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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Spider-Man is about to dip apples in honey with The Thing

In ‘An UnBEElievable Rosh Hashanah,’ the webslinger and Marvel’s famous golem celebrate Rosh Hashanah
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Courtesy of Disney Junior
The Thing, Peter Parker and Miles Morales in “An UnBEElievable Rosh Hashanah.”

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can. Can he hang with the Jews? L’Shana Tovah tikatevu! 

In a new special, “An UnBEElievable Rosh Hashanah,” Peter Parker and Miles Morales, two of the wall-crawlers who, in Disney Junior’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends are more Spider-Boys than Men, help ensure a sweet new year. 

The episode, which airs Sept. 15 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior and will be available to stream on Disney+ soon after, involves a surprising environmental message. “Gobby,” the pre-school friendly version of Spider-Man baddy the Green Goblin, steals the neighborhood’s bees, creating a wrinkle for a honey-centric holiday. 

While it doesn’t seem like the episode will go too deep into the mass death of bees and its catastrophic implications for our planet, it does promise to give pride of place to a Jewish superhero whose Yiddishkeit has often been ignored outside of the comics.

Ben Grimm of Yancy Street, the golem-like member of the Fantastic Four known as The Thing, helps recover the bees and honey. Grimm has appeared a few times in Fantastic Four films, but never quite reached the Jew-y heights of his comic counterpart. While it took decades to confirm Grimm’s implied Jewishness, he had an adult bar mitzvah to mark his 13 years of being made of rock and adorned co-creator and artist Jack Kirby’s Hanukkah cards well before his Chosen status was made official.

In a clip provided to the Forward, Thing (voiced by Andy Milder) is shown wearing a kippah and dipping an apple for a “good and sweet new year.”

As if that wasn’t enough to get you verklempt, Thing, whose shame and fear of rejection no doubt affected his presence in Jewish life, receives a hearty yasher koach for saving the day.

“Thing, you made our whole community so proud,” a man named Mr. Rosenberg says at the holiday meal. “It’s a sweeter new year for all of us because of you!” May he be inscribed in the comic book of life!

The episode continues a strong Jewish track record in Disney’s programming for kids, heralded by the Elena of Avalor Hanukkah special and, of course, “Puppy for Hanukkah.”

Here’s hoping the rest of the Marvel universe takes notice and, when and if we get a new Fantastic Four film, Ben Grimm (may I suggest Harvey Keitel) celebrates Tu B’Shvat with Groot.

PJ Grisar is a Forward culture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] and @pjgrisar on Twitter.

This article was originally published on the Forward.

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