In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 7, 2006 / 11 Tamuz, 5766

Superman, Lois Lane and Me

By Michael Arnold Glueck

The author with Lois Amster
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My afternoon with the Real ‘Lois Lane’

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What Would Superman Do?

The answer has been obvious to generations of children and the adults they became. He would fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Even in this postmodern era, when Truth and Justice are dismissed as meaningless abstractions and the American Way as pernicious, Superman inspires. How do we know this? Because of the untold billions that his admirers have spent and continue to spend on comic books, films, memorabilia, costumes, and branded merchandise.

But the saga of Superman has a darker side. I mention this not because of the new movie but because I recently discovered that Lois Lane and Superman and I are, well, mischpocha — a Hebrew word meaning family, but often in a very broad sense of unchosen or accidental affinity.

You see, Lois Lane is my close cousin. More precisely, the woman upon whom Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, his creators, patterned Lois Lane. At least, I have strong evidence to believe that she is.

Superman, according to that excellent website, www.superman.ws, was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, when everybody needed reassurance. His creators were two high school students, devotees of science fiction and the pulp magazines in which it often appeared. One night, it all came together for Jerry Siegel, all the sci fi and personal fantasies. He wrote the first Superman story. The next day he showed it to Shuster, an aspiring artist. Their first collaboration was a mimeographed affair. For the next six years, they tried to sell the idea to the syndicates and companies that turned out newspaper comic strips. Finally in 1938, DC Comics, pioneer of the new genre of comic books, gave them $130 for all rights, forever.

Against all odds and expectations, Superman took off. Siegel and Shuster spent much of the rest of their lives doing comic books as employees and suing to have their agreement renegotiated. They died in obscurity and, if not poverty, certainly not wealth.

Which brings me to the mischpocha angle.

Siegel and Shuster attended my father's alma mater, Glenville High School in 1933. One week ago, I returned for my class reunion. Never mind what number. While there, I visited the new Maltz Museum of Jewish History in Beachwood, which boasts a large multi-colored figurine of Superman with Glenville yearbook pictures below of the dynamic duo (to coin a phrase) and the pretty young female classmate upon whom they based Lois Lane.

By their own admission, Siegel and Shuster had several crushes on girls who would not have gone out with them, even if they had been able to change the course of tall buildings or leap mighty rivers with their bare feet. In an interview with the Washington Star in 1975, Siegel revealed which of these girls he immortalized and it was Lois Amster. One look at a picture of my cousin Lois as a young girl, and you know for sure.

My wife and I visited Lois Amster while we were in Cleveland. She is now 90, still beautiful, spunky, independent, and witty. The fictional Lois was a very strong female character and well ahead of her time. So is the real Lois, who is immensely proud of her two sons, their wives and four grandchildren.

Siegel, Lois recalls, was in one of her classes and always staring at her. He was a rather unkempt nerdy fellow with uncombed hair who wore pajamas that stuck out from under his pants. She avoided looking at or speaking to him. Once, a classmate told Lois that Siegel sometimes would follow her around. Unsuccessful at this pursuit, the young man contented himself with fantasies of a dual life "mild-mannered reporter and Man of Steel" that might seem bizarre or pathological to some, but gave the country two of its most enduring icons.

But fantasy can only take you so far. Those who created Superman, and two men who played him, came to sad and tragic ends. It's hard to believe that Superman would have wanted it that way. And perhaps there's a cautionary tale here. Ideals and fantasies, when carried too far or taken too literally, destroy.

So what would Superman do nowadays? Fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, of course. But like any Earth man, he would never forget his love for Lois Lane.

But above all, he would remain grounded in his ideals.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments on medical-legal issues. He flew to Cleveland and back to report this story. Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Michael Arnold Glueck