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Parshat Vayigash: Why Do We Love Superheroes?

Why do we all love superheroes?

Major film studios and toy companies have made billions of dollars as a result.

Scientists suggest, it is an innate part of us.

We all have an inner sense of justice.

We are inspired when we witness individuals committing heroic acts to protect the weak.

One such moment occurs, at the climax of the storyof Joseph and his brothers.

The brothers are on the brink of despair, as the viceroy of Egypt is adamant, that their brotherBenjamin will remain with him in Egypt as a slave.

It is at this critical juncture, that a superhero appears on the scene.

“Judah draws close to him (Joseph)”. Like two fighters in the arena, he demonstrates in no uncertain terms, that he will not back down.

But why is it only Judah, who makes this courageous move? What about the rest of the brothers?

The answer is captured with the words, in that same narrative, “Your servant has taken responsibility for the boy”.

It is only the one who assumes responsibility, who then becomes responsible. And he does so, because he feels that way.

Judah takes a huge risk, but not because he has made a calculated decision. He does so, only because he feels he has no choice.

When we assume responsibility for others, we are no longer the centre of the equation. On the contrary, it is they who become the focal point of our lives.

There is a more profound reason why we all love superheroes.

We do so because deep down, we know that each and every one of us, should be the superhero. The reason we fail, is because we lack the courage and confidence to play that role.

This is why we are so attracted to them. For we are hope that their acts of sacrifice and courage will inspire us to do the same.


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