Patriarchs in Spandex

Breaking down the qualities of a human being to their most simplistic, core elements, we arrive at just a few types of elemental characteristics or archetypes. From these, because I can’t even figure out the first thing about how my wife operates, I am going to elucidate and elasticize on only three character archetypes, the males... the Patriarchs.

The first of these archetypes is infectiously bold, yet endearingly humble. He is a skilled musician of the human psyche and can charm anyone into choosing, not only the right path but, the path of valor. He knows exactly what is transpiring behind the walls that we have built because he sees right through them. He is the most awake of the three archetypes and lives to teach truth. This archetype’s most endearing quality is his self sacrifice and his ultimate faith in the unlikely eventuality that we are going to be alright, once we learn to appreciate that the world is the ultimate gift, and cherish every moment that we have.

The second archetype is a loner that hides from us in plain site and quietly teaches us at the same time. This archetype exists in a state of reaction to a young injury and by reaching out quietly to the world he eventually becomes closer to himself. He is in pain, yet trusts that the pain has a purpose that is ultimately going to free him. In plain sight, he calls out to link us all together with the truth of the universe—the second archetype awaits with ultimate patience for the answers to be revealed, all the time knowing that the answers are within him, and as well, within us.

The third is the darkest of the three. This archetype comes out at night and is without fear. He is a shadow...a dream. His strength is his mind and his will. His weakness is his blind-spot, behind him. He lives in the subconscious places in the world and lurks just out of sight, waiting for us to turn our backs on the truth. He is the father of all of our brothers and his blessings can sound like curses, but are actually truths that have been pealed down to their subconscious states. At night, the darkness closes in on us and if we aren’t careful, the third archetype can roll over us with this truth—the vast truth of the ever expanding universe.

When I started this blog, I was thinking about what kind of characters were embodied by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These are the Patriarchal Archetypes and their characteristics are reflected in us all. I started to run through famous people to see which ones were close and came up with a very strange list. In the end, since I tend to live in a cartoon-world sometimes, I focused on just that. Who is the perfect Abraham? Superman is other-worldly in his knowledge. He is able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. He is always there when we need him and always there, holding us up as we take our first baby steps into the future. Superman is the Sun, the morning, the light. Superman is Abraham—in spandex.

I struggled over Isaac and then jumped right to Jacob, an instant match for Batman... the Dark Night battling the angel of death in the dark of night. Jacob is frail, stoic, and influential by day, and Israel is larger than life, known but unseen, a nation builder by night, that spawns both the hope and the uncertainty of future generations. Jacob believes in the good in the world and wants it to grow and fill everything, just like Batman when he takes upon himself the burden of darkness in order to force the light to rest comfortably in the minds of the simple folk, the children of the day. Batman is Jacob—in spandex.

Then I came back to Isaac. I thought who is constantly waiting for us to either fail or succeed? Who is waiting and listening. Who is learning about himself, even as we learn about ourselves? I can only think of one Superhero that has this adolescent similitude and yet knows to trust in the way of the universe. Spiderman sits by the police radio, waiting to swing in and help us understand our twisted inner-selves clashing in a mad effort to claim definition. We want to believe, but we also want to rule and Spiderman helps us to see the truth that we are only children, pretending not to be playing in the garden. Spiderman is Isaac—in spandex.

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird... it’s a plane... no, it’s Hashem!!!

Shavua tov le kulam!

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