"Jewish Themes in Star Trek" -- the book

What it is about, where to get it, and all that stuff)

book cover
In 2009, I self-published my long-awaited book, Jewish Themes in Star Trek (Where No Rabbi Has Gone Before!) which I dedicated to the memory of Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut in space, and his six noble crewmates, who perished aboard space shuttle Columbia on February 3, 2003.   May they continue to inspire us to explore strange new worlds! (Note: Ilan Ramon was not the first Jew in space -- that honor went to American astronaut Judith Resnik, of the Challenger crew, may she also rest in peace among the shining souls in the heavenly Garden of Eden.   Read more on Judith Resnik...)

My Jewish Star Trek project was inspired by a class I once taught at the Minneapolis Talmud Torah back in the 1980s, and explores such Trekker topics as:

  •  Jewish origin of the Vulcan salute 
  •  How Vulcan culture is based on rabbinical Judaism
  • Are Spock's ears stand-ins for "big Jewish noses"? 
  • Do the Romulans resemble modern Israelis; 
  • Is Worf really a Klingon version of a ba'al tshuvah?  
  • Plus: I have proof positive that the Ferengi were based on Yankee traders, not the Jews!
  • And much more!

Yes, there's lots more.  There's an appendix called "The Torah of Star Trek" that compares the evolution and classification of biblical and rabbinical sources with the striking similarity to the classification of Trek materials. (Like, what is canonical, what is not, fanzines as "midrash," etc.)  And I included a list of possibly Jewish charaters and references in all of TOS Trek plus all the novels up to 1990 (when Roddenberry cracked down on novelists creating new characters.  Sigh.)

 I spent over 15 years working on this project.  Rumors of this book were around for five years -- that's the time my agent and I spent being told that there is no market for it.  

What??? With millions of Jews and millions more Trekkers (and a lot of people who are both!), they've got to be kidding!  No market?  Then again, publishers are notorious for turning down good books.  (The Wizard of Oz was rejected with "we don't need any new fairy tales."  Go figure.)   So, I decided to self-publish it on lulu.com.  They print to order and the quality is very nice.

 Jewish Themes in Star Trek combines careful scholarship with easy readability. I had a great time writing it, and I included plenty of my personal reactions and insights. (I've been a Trekker since the first episode aired, and Trekdom has had a very positive effect on my life.)

Order your copy NOW on lulu.com -- Simply go to my Lulu author page where you will find options to buy it in hardcover, paperback, or a download.  You can also get it on Amazon Kindle, Nook, and the iBookstore, although I get a bigger cut if you buy direct from Lulu.  (Nothing wrong with putting on my "lobes" here...)

One interesting bit of personal trivia:  When I went to the NASA site to find a cover image, I looked through lot of Hubble shots of planets, galaxies, nebulae etc. until I found the one I liked.  Only then did I look at the name of it -- Nebula NGC1818 -- double chai!  Is there a better sign that the time is right for this book?  You can download a FREE copy of my desktop graphic of the original  Enterprise flying through Nebula NGC1818  -- just go to this page on box.net. 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rabbi Yonassan Gershom,

    I found your blog while researching Jewish themes in Star Trek. I became interested in the subject when I realized that I'm affected by the Vulcan phenomenon known as Pon Farr. What I mean by that, is that I counted the years on my paternal line, and realized that for the past 3 generations all of my paternal ancestors were born and passed away in multiples of 7 years. Doing further research on the topic, I found Rabbi Jonathan Cahn's book Mystery of the Shemitah which discusses the Jewish 7 year cycle in more detail.

    Some interesting notes from the book:

    *Yeshua (Jesus) was born on a Sabbath year
    *Kind David died in a Sabbath year
    *Joseph's 7 years of plenty & 7 years of famine fell during the Sabbath cycles
    *Yahweh's covenant with Abram fell on a Sabbath year
    *Enoch's birth and the year he was taken to "heaven" both fell on a Sabbath year

    I wanted to know what you thought about my analysis, and what significance this pattern may have for me.