Jewish Or Not?: The Thing


“Universal Thing” by JD Hancock is licensed under CC BY 2.0


It’s a right of Jewish passage to wonder who out there in the world is Jewish too, especially famous people like actors, singers, athletes, and even social media stars and YouTubers. It’s just something we do.

So, to better answer the question about whether that person is Jewish or not, we’re partnering with Team JONJ at Jew Or Not Jew, a website dedicated to this exact topic. The site is hilarious so please give them a read, so they’ll stay partners with us.

The Thing

(Ben Grimm)

It’s chlobberin’ time?That’s right, the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing is a Jew. He, davens for a fallen comrade, wears a yarmulke, and regrets he doesn’t remember the words to the Mourner’s Kaddish. His creator (and fellow landsman), Stan “The Man” Lee, even confirmed it in an interview few years back.

But is he really someone we want as a member of the tribe? After all, we finally get a Jew in the four-colors and he’s a rock faced monster so repulsive the only woman who’ll date him is blind (and a shiksa, no less)? He’s really just a big lug. Certainly, no self respecting Jewish mother could brag that her son runs around like a vildechaya in tight blue shorts. Even his role in Marvel’s Civil War plot line as a conscientious objector makes him seem like more of a coward than a compatriot.

But, in the end, it could be worse. After all, he’s not the most embarrassing Jewish superhero (Hello, Ragman!). He’s openly Jewish (as opposed to secret Jews, like Superman, a different subject entirely). But, perhaps most importantly, he’s probably one of the only two or three superheroes left out there that could be described as a legitimately good guy. Over 40 years in the funny books and Ben is still well-liked both by his fictional peers and his legions of readers.

And that’s really the point. He may be a monster, but he’s a popular, fairly well-known monster. Especially when compared to every other Jewish comic book hero out there, most of whom even avid readers would be pressed to name (Hello, Ragman!). So, yeah, until Supes comes to grips with his Semitic roots, we’re more than happy to have the Thing. Now if only he could convince that nice Alicia to convert…

Verdict: Jew.

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