Jewish Themes in Star Trek [Kindle Edition, eBook]

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The first episode of Star Trek was broadcast on NBC on Thursday September 8, 1966.  Trekkies (Star Trek fans) across the world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the much-loved sci-fi franchise. Let’s do it our way.

Jewish themes abound in such “Trek” novels as “Well of Souls,” “The Wounded Sky” and “Spock’s World.” Biblical figures like Moses and David are mentioned explicitly while Jewish themes are intimated in the movie franchise and the various television series. But despite Jewish writers (David Gerrold, Harlan Ellison to name a few) and numerous Jewish stars (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, Brent Spiner, Armin Shimerman) Jewish imagery and mentions of Jews as a people tend to be fleeting or covered up in “Star Trek” films, books and shows.

Finding individual Jewish moments in the life of Galaxy created by Gene Roddenberry is no easy task.

In his book “Jewish Themes in Star Trek” Rabbi Yonassan Gershom takes you where no rabbi has gone before. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this well-researched and reader-friendly journey into Jewish themes, actors, writers, in-jokes and subtexts in the Star Trek Universe.

Inspired by a class he taught at the Minneapolis Talmud Torah, the book explores such things as:

  • The Jewish origin of the Vulcan salute;
  • How Vulcan culture is based on rabbinical Judaism;
  • “Who is a Jew” among Trek characters in episodes, movies and the novels;
  • How Talmudic logic helped expand the Star Trek universe;
  • Is there room for religious Jew in the Star Trek universe;
  • Why Ferengi values are not Jewish values — and much more.

 

Yonassan Gershom is a Rabbi and writer who was ordained in the Jewish Renewal movement during the 1980s and is now a follower of Breslov Hasidism. He was associated with the early days of the B’nai Or movement, a forerunner of Jewish Renewal, in which he was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in 1986, although he is not in agreement with the direction that the movement has taken in more recent years.

Gershom lives on a farm in rural Minnesota, where he writes and conducts himself as a “cyber-rabbi” on the Internet.In 1997 he made a pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman, Ukraine, a trip that has strongly influenced his later writings. Until this point, “he wasn’t aware how much the rural experience shaped Hasidism. It gave him a deeper understanding of Hasidic stories and the Torah.” (via Wikipedia)

“Jewish Themes in Star Trek” by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom is available on iPhone,  iPod Touch,  iPad with free Amazon app  (download app – here)

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 2947 KB
Publisher: Lulu.com (March 13, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
Price: $10.54  (Buy now)

Paperback: $15.22 (Order now)

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