From Moses to Superman: the Jewish Hot 100

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The Independent Online
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's that famous Jewish guy, Superman, writes Catherine Pepinster.

You didn't know Superman was Jewish? Heh, he nearly got called Kal-El, the Hebrew name for God. His creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, first invented him to counter anti-Semitic feeling during the Thirties. And for that, they have made it into the list of the all-time Jewish hot 100 people of influence.

New York lawyer Michael Shapiro compiled the list, "The Jewish 100", which will be published in Britain next year as a celebration of Jews and Jewishness.

Top of the list is Moses, lauded by Mr Shapiro for developing the first system of beliefs that respected human life. Jesus at number two was just pipped to the number-one slot because, says Mr Shapiro, of the behaviour of his followers. "There have been so many wars because of the abuse of his message that I could not put him top."

Also ranked in the top 10 are three of the greatest modern minds - Marx, Einstein and Freud - while other biblical figures in there include Abraham, St Paul and Mary - at number nine, the highest-placed woman.

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