DIY Judaism with ALEPH and Judaism Unbound

Evolving, like Pokémon



My seven year old is a huge fan of the Japanese cartoon series Pokémon. If you have never shared your life with a Pokémon fan, you might not know that Pokémon are animated creatures (many of them adorable) with varying skills and talents.

On the instruction of their trainers, Pokémon battle one another to see who will prevail. When they are in circumstances of extraordinary extremis, they glow with an inner light and then evolve into new forms with new names. When a Pokémon evolves, it retains the memories, relationships, and general personality of its previous form. But it also changes, growing into a new version of itself with new skills and abilities, denoted by its new name.

There are parallels between this cartoon and the core story of Jewish becoming. Torah tells us that once there were a pair of twin brothers named Jacob and Esau, who wrestled with each other even in the womb. They were estranged for many years. And then came the night when Jacob knew that in the morning he would encounter his estranged brother again...

That's the opening of my latest essay for The Wisdom Daily, which explores the intersection of Pokémon and next week's Torah portion. Read the whole thing here: Evolving, like Pokémon.