Orphaned at birth to protect him from a world destroying cataclysm, the Man of Steel is most often compared to Moses because they were both raised by non-Jewish families and eventually accessed magic powers to save their tribe. Also presented as evidence are the similarities between the S symbol on Superman’s chest and the Hebrew character Lamedh. Larry Tye, author of Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero, compared Superman’s code of ethics—“Truth, Justice, and the American Way”—to the Mishnaic values of “truth, peace, and justice.”

Perhaps the most important link to a Hebrew superhero is Superman’s identity as a partially assimilated immigrant. The 1930s New York that produced the world’s first modern superheroes was awash in recent Jewish refugees fleeing the pogroms of 19th century Europe. According to “The American Jewish Experience in the Twentieth Century: Antisemitism and Assimilation” by Jonathan D. Sarna and Jonathan Golden at Brandeis University, “In 1900, more than 40 percent of America’s Jews were newcomers, with ten years or less in the country” and the next quarter century saw a wave of immigration as “another 1.75 million Jews would immigrate to America’s shores, the bulk from Eastern Europe.”