45 minutes | Feb 27, 2020

Episode 10 - Moon Knight - Part 2

Our tenth episode! A full set of Kabbalistic Sefirot! This is Part 2 of our exploration of Moon Knight. We look at Moon Knight #38, part 2 of the story of the villain Zohar! Moon Knight #38, July 1984 “Final Rest” - Written by Alan Zelenetz - Penciled by Bo Hampton - Inked by Armando Gil - Colored by Christie Scheele - Lettered by Joe Rosen - Edited by Denny O’Neill Incredible cover that seems to have concentric circles of Hebrew text Looks like an amulet Page 1 Our hooded figure lays out Rabbi Spector’s body “Master, thy soul has shed its skin and ascended the ten spheres to union with God. Thence hast thou returned to thy disciple with the hidden wisdom of angel and seraph… from thee, Elias Spector, I have learned the Lord’s names of power to summon forth the Divine Spark from within my mortal form. Such secrets must remain mine alone and none others. Now, as Zohar, I shall illumine truth and scourge the sinful in God’s name, bringing atonement and a cleansing to this world.” I LOVE THIS 10 spheres = Sefirot But what about Kaddish and soul taking time to ascend? Wisdom of angel and seraph - reminds me of heichalot lit God’s names having power Zohar - central text of Kabbalah - literally splendor Page 3 Marc goes after Curly, the gangster the hoodlums named last issue “I’m the angel of death, beer-belly. You don’t want to make me angry.” Page 8 Mr. Weiss drops by the Spector home to pick up the Rabbi’s books and papers All donated to the seminary “Most of these manuscripts are one of a kind, aren’t they?” Page 9 Marlene looks at a photo of Elias with his students. Elias in a chair, all his students standing behind him Traditional Jewish learning Megillah 21a explains a teacher should sit on the ground while disciples stand around him Zohar is stealing materials, including an actual scroll Page 10 “In the name of heaven, do you think Zohar will allow this mystic wisdom to pass into the hands of the sinful and ignorant? Know the divine spark of justice, mortal woman--” He shoots electric blasts at her Spark of justice - Din of the sefirot is the one most inclined towards sitra achra, the other side Ezekiel 1:4 וָאֵ֡רֶא וְהִנֵּה֩ ר֨וּחַ סְעָרָ֜ה בָּאָ֣ה מִן־הַצָּפ֗וֹן עָנָ֤ן גָּדוֹל֙ וְאֵ֣שׁ מִתְלַקַּ֔חַת וְנֹ֥גַֽהּ ל֖וֹ סָבִ֑יב וּמִ֨תּוֹכָ֔הּ כְּעֵ֥ין הַחַשְׁמַ֖ל מִתּ֥וֹךְ הָאֵֽשׁ׃ I looked, and lo, a stormy wind came sweeping out of the north—a huge cloud and flashing fire, surrounded by a radiance; and in the center of it, in the center of the fire, a gleam as of amber. Maimonides identifies Chashmalim as the fourth rank of angelic hierarchy Word used in Modern Hebrew for electricity Page 12 Zohar has written אמת on Elias’ forehead “The secrets are safe with me, father of my soul, and through them mankind shall be brought to do penance.” Christian term Marc and Marlene go to the seminary library at Rabbi Reuben Davis’ request Wind up chatting with Mr. Weiss Declares Elias as world’s expert in Kabbalah Marlene asks what Kabbalah is Marc doesn’t know, he resisted Jewish “religious” studies Page 13 Mr. Weiss starts explaining Kabbalah “You see, those initiated in the secret traditions claim to own passwords that open the gates of heaven to the soul searching for its creator.” Again, this is heichalot literature. Meditative ascent Between late antiquity and early Middle Ages (3rd century to 6th or 7th?) Hekhalot Rabbati (“Greater Palaces”), detailing the ascent of Rabbi Ishmael This is the most solid Jewish mysticism in a comic book we have encountered. Beats Rucka “Union with God brings great bliss and knowledge. But it can also lead to madness. Some have attempted to wield magic power through Kabbalah, to pervert the knowledge of God to selfish ends.” Hagigah 14b: Four men entered the pardes — Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiva. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiva entered in peace and departed in peace. Long a concern of such perversion, rabbinic hesitance to looking behind the veil Marlene asks why someone would desecrate a grave “The soul of a dead man, free of the body, journeys to God more easily than a living man’s soul. There are legends suggesting that a soul can be brought back to its dead body by necromancy and made to utter its knowledge of God to a living Kabbalist.” Practical Kabbalah = essentially magic Writes of forbidden and permitted activities “This is the word EMETH, ‘truth’ in Hebrew. INscribing it on the forehead of one dead and reciting appropriate spells is believed to bring the breath of life back into its form.” That form being, essentially, a golem Page 14 “The body can be returned to death by erasing the first letter, which leaves the word METH or ‘dead’ in Hebrew” Marlene attends a Kabbalah lecture with Mr. Weiss Marc goes to the “seminary chapel” Page 15 Zohar shows up, citing Deuteronomy 21:18 Ben sorer u’moreh “It is written, a wayward and rebellious son shall be put to death that you might rid yourselves of evil in your midst.” Sanhedrin 68b - limiting of a possible ben sorer u’moreh From when he grows two pubic hairs, which are a sign of puberty and from which time he is considered an adult, until he has grown a beard around. The reference here is to the lower beard surrounding his genitals, and not the upper beard, i.e., his facial hair, but the Sages spoke in euphemistic terms. As it is stated: “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son” (Deuteronomy 21:18), which indicates that the penalty for rebelliousness is imposed upon a son, but not upon a daughter; and upon a son, but not upon a fully grown man. A minor under the age of thirteen is exempt from the penalty imposed upon a stubborn and rebellious son, because he has not yet reached the age of inclusion in mitzvot. משיביא שתי שערות ועד שיקיף זקן התחתון ולא העליון אלא שדברו חכמים בלשון נקיה שנאמר (דברים כא, יח) כי יהיה לאיש בן בן ולא בת בן ולא איש קטן פטור שלא בא לכלל מצות: Zohar again cites the Isaiah 1:18 motivation of cleansing sinners through punishment Marc realizes the same quote is from Reuben Davis’ eulogy.... “Thou shalt honor thy father” Page16 “I have become as a God to mete out justice in the name of the Creator” Page 17 “For the suffering Zohar inflicts upon your body, your soul will be redeemed.” Connected to concepts of Gehenna, of suffering to redeem a soul Zohar either psychically moves or materializes stained glass ark that he shatters over Marc Wishes to continue, lest the ignorant learn the names of God Page 18 Mr. Weiss giving a lecture on Kabbalah Pointing to an image of the sefirotic tree behind him Writes גדולה in place of חסד or רחמים A: this allows for direct parallel with גבורה B: I Chronicles 29:11 - lecha Adonai hagedulah... “It is a fundamental belief among Kabbalists that the Tetragrammaton and other secret names of God are the most powerful tools for conjuring occult forces and commanding nature itself.” Marlene thinks she hasn’t been this fascinated since first learning hieroglyphics How does this relate to the tension of the very Jewish Moon Knight being in service to the Egyptian God? Jewish slaves in Egypt Word Balloon Podcast May 1, 2017, Dan Slott Part 2 Talks Secret Empire Silver Surfer Silk’s Origin 31:05-32:02 - “It took until Moon Knight...when you think about it, is the worst Jewish character” Page 19 Zohar attacks the seminary students who fight back Zohar keeps citing verses Seems to cite Proverbs 10:6, 10:8 “Violence filleth the mouth of the wicked, but the prating fool shall fall” Page 24 MK uses a mirror to reflect a blast back at Zohar Page 25 “Father of my soul, I, who have slain the evil son of your loins, call thee up against this stranger… with the charmed vowels of the Tetragrammaton, KELSHADDAY” El Shadday is not Tetragrammaton. IS a name of God But I LOVE that he write KEL Suddenly Elias Spector’s corpse rises up Page 26 Elias goes to choke his son Marc thinks he’ll die before laying hands on his father again Asks dad for forgiveness Page 27 Marlene runs in, erases the aleph Elias starts to fall Page 28 Marc mentions feeling like a new person Seems like a play on multiple identities But also a possibility that Zohar was victorious in redeeming him? Has he performed teshuva? Hilchot Teshuva 2:4 Among the paths of repentance is for the penitent ...to change his name, as if to say "I am a different person and not the same one who sinned;" מִדַּרְכֵי הַתְּשׁוּבָה...וּמְשַׁנֶּה שְׁמוֹ כְּלוֹמַר אֲנִי אַחֵר וְאֵינִי אוֹתוֹ הָאִישׁ שֶׁעָשָׂה אוֹתָן הַמַּעֲשִׂים
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