I have a confession to make. I used to wear tight-fitting spandex
leggings, with even tighter black underpants worn on top, together
with a black mask and long cape. Just to be clear, I was four years old
and this was my beloved Batman suit! According to the family-legend,
this was the only thing I was prepared to wear every, any and all day.
I know I am not alone in having been obsessed with a superhero. And
looking at how money is spent each year on the movies, tv-series, books
and merchandise – it’s clearly not only children who love them.
Why? And what do superheroes teach us about relationships?
Although superheroes come from a wide range of different
backgrounds, they all share one thing in common – a superpower, an
ability beyond those of ordinary people, which they use to make the
world a better place. Superheroes dedicate themselves to protecting
the weak and fighting evil, supervillains who are their criminal

Now think about it – these are really very Jewish values! In fact,
Superman, Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the
Fantastic Four, the Avengers and the original X-Men were all created by

Here are the values they built their characters on:

  1. We are all blessed with a defining unique hidden power
  2. We must use this for a greater good
  3. We only succeed when we follow a strict moral code

Not surprisingly in this week’s parsha, we get an example of this with
the mitzvah of tzitzis, which the deeper books say give the one who
wears them a special protection – a surrounding light, which shields

Now if this was in a comic book, wearing tzitzis would be like getting a spiritual force field, an invisible iron dome, an electric armour that encircles the person as they battle the enemy. Coming back into reality, there’s two ways to understand how this works. Either it’s some esoteric mystery that we can never understand; or there’s a rational approach which explains it. The verse says “and when you see it, you will remember” – meaning that when we see the tzitzis we remember what they represent and we connect to truth, we get grounded, in the reality of life, in the meaning of life and the purpose in life. Life is challenging. Life can be tough. The world can be cruel. As parents we all want to help our kids thrive. We all want them to succeed and be the best they can. To use their unique gifts to face their personal challenges with grace and confidence. So as parents, we have to ask ourselves: are we raising children or are we building superheroes: young people who are in touch with their own unique super power, young people who are not afraid of their enemy or their challenges, young people who get up every morning to fight for the weak and make the world a better place As parents, we need to give them this gift. To help them discover and develop their special gifts. We need to give them something to anchor themselves to, something to remind them of who they are and what they can do.