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Spider-Man and Teshuvah?

Nomi and I spent the past two days observing the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana, which meant spending much of the day in shul (synagogue).

Our shul has a tradition of having a member of the congregation give a talk every shabbat afternoon during shalosh seudos, or the third meal, which takes place between the afternoon and evening prayers. Dan, who arranges for speakers, asked if I would be willing to give the talk this shabbat. Dan always makes it clear that the talk doesn't have to tie into the Torah portion we're reading on that shabbat, but many speakers like to try to find a connection.

Well, given what else is going on this shabbat, a topic for my talk came to mind instantly.

We are now in the Days of Awe, the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur when we are supposed to be reflective of our lives and do teshuvah, which loosely translated means repentance. This shabbat is therefore a special one, Shabbat Shuvah, or the Sabbath of Repentance.

So, my brain went, what better topic to talk about this shabbat than Spider-Man?

If this were anything more than a small talk for the shul, I'd probably promote it with something like, "Join award-winning science fiction writer Michael A. Burstein at Kadimah Toras-Moshe this shabbat as he gives the shalosh seudos talk on the topic of 'Spider-Man and Teshuvah.' Shalosh seudos will take place after the 5:50 pm Mincha at Kadimah Toras-Moshe, 113 Washington St., Brighton MA, on October 4 (5 Tishrei)."

However, since this is just a small talk, I'll merely note that if anyone local wants to stop by and hear what I have to say, consider yourself welcome.


See, if I lived in Boston, and despite my atheist leanings, I'd probably drop by and give that a listen. You should videotape and YouTube it.
We can't tape it on shabbat, but I might write up what I discuss and see if I can turn it into an article or an essay for publication somewhere.
I'll hope the write-up happens, or you give a version of the talk at some con I attend. Good luck with the talk, and many good wishes to you and Nomi for the new year.
Heee! You're awesome.
Heck, I'd totally put that on nescifievents if you wanted. ;)
I would be amused, but I think perhaps we should wait until I'm giving a more expanded version of the talk in a larger forum... :-)
If the rest of our afternoon goes smoothly, perhaps I will trick Julian into taking the kids to the park and I'll go to the talk.
It would be cool to see you there.
So, it's after Shabbat -- where's the write-up for the non-locals? :-)
We've been busy...

And I may try to turn this into a saleable article, in which case I may not post it here so soon.

But suffice it to say that with great power there must also come great responsibility.

December 2016

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