I converted to Judaism last August, but my children, ages 11 and 13, have not quite made that decision yet. People in my life often ask me, “Are the boys converting?” or, “How do they like being Jewish?” The truth is, my children still enjoy me enough to enjoy anything where I’m involved—to an extent. My answer is generally, “We’re not sure yet.”
They are getting closer, I think. My youngest has been asking me, “So what’s the mikveh like?”
Me: It’s warm, like a hot tub.
Him: Can I hold my nose? Can I close my eyes?
Me: No, you can’t hold your nose. Yes, you can close your eyes.
My oldest: So this circumcision thing?
Me: You’re already circumcised.
Believe me, I am relieved as well that this particular process was taken care of at their births.
As the boys are easing into Jewish life, they attend Hebrew school, special events, and regular services with me. I have also tried to look for common connections in the secular world so that they can feel a connection between Judaism and the life they’ve always known.
One easy connection was music. A Jewish teen at my synagogue was kind enough to give my youngest a couple of guitar lessons, which made it easier to get him excited about coming to Hebrew school because the lessons were immediately afterwards.
The other connection came from an unlikely source: the new “Batman vs. Superman” movie.
As I watching the film with my boys, enjoying all the punches, kicks, and explosions—and of course Henry Cavill’s super hot Superman—I could not help but recognize Jewish themes to point out to my boys. And no, I’m not just talking about the incredibly beautiful Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
In case you are not familiar with the general plot, “Batman vs. Superman” puts Superman’s hometown of Metropolis and Batman’s Gotham City within driving distance. Bruce Wayne is visiting Metropolis on business and sees one of his buildings destroyed along with the employees and some other citizens in the vicinity. In the sky, you see Superman battling a villain, which inevitably involves lasers and falling bricks and stones. Bruce Wayne becomes intent on using his Batman alter ego to stop Superman from destroying Metropolis and other innocent lives. Thus begins the war of Batman vs. Superman.
After the movie, we’re driving home and I say to my boys, “There were Jewish themes in there.”
My youngest: What? Where?
Me: In the Batman movie.
My oldest: Mom, are you serious right now?
Me: Yes. OK, first did you see how much they love their mothers? All good Jewish boys love their moms.
My youngest: Wow. OK. What else?
Me: Coming together as a community despite the differences.
My oldest: Where did you see that?
Me: Duh, Batman and Superman didn’t like each other but they were brought together by a common enemy and put their differences aside.
My oldest: Oh, and Batman is a good Jewish boy because he was against Superman being treated like a god because there is no other God.
Me: Yes! And tikkun olam.
My youngest: What does that mean?
Me: Tikkun olam is repairing the world. The world is inhabited by imperfect humans and it’s just like the movie said, ‘We fight, we kill, we betray each other, but we can rebuild. We have to.’ And that’s exactly it. We have to repair the world.
My youngest: You really thought about all this during the movie?
Me: Yes. Well that and how I felt bad for betraying my love of Batman because Superman is way hotter than Ben Affleck.
My youngest: Mommy…
Me: I’m just saying…
So moms (and dads), if you’re not opposed to a little superhero violence (and one very brief scene with implied sex), I would recommend taking your kids to see “Batman Vs. Superman.” It’s fun, action-packed, and even a little Jewish.