Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shimshon The Super Saiyan?

I recently came across the Gemara in Masechta Sotah 9B about Shimshon that struck a cord in my memory. The Gemara quotes a posuk that the Artscroll Tanach translates as “The spirit of Hashem began to resound in him in the camp of Dan, between Zora and Eshtaol” (Shoftim 13:25) and then says:

"R. Isaac of the School of R. Ammi said: This teaches that the Shechinah kept ringing in front of him like a bell;42 it is written here to move him [lefa'amo] (note: Artscroll is "resound") in Mahaneh-Dan, and it is written elsewhere A golden bell [pa'amon] and a pomegranate.43"

As soon as I read these few lines, an image from one of my favorite TV shows (or more accurately, Anime) in high school popped into my head – none other than Dragon Ball Z.

Namely, whenever Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Trunks, or any other character who is a full or half-blood Saiyan transforms into a Super Saiyan, there is a distinctive sound which “resounds” around/before him. For those unfamiliar with what the heck I’m talking about, or if you are and want a blast from the past, please check out this clip from Youtube:

See what I’m talking about?

Not only that, but a Super-Saiyan’s hair turns golden and raises upward to defy gravity, and in Super-Saiyan 3 mode, grows long and down the person’s back. Powering up to Super-Saiyan also greatly increases the person’s strength many times over, and for anyone who knows the show, it would certainly be easy enough for Goku or Vegeta to kill 1,000 men with a donkey’s jawbone (15:15) or rip giant gates from a city off their hinges and carry them up a mountain (16:3).

So was Shimshon the first Super-Saiyan and the possible (partial) inspiration for the power-up as seen in the Anime/Manga?

While that may be a bit farfetched (and I’m have to ask Akira Toriyama if my conjecture is correct), the whole Super-Saiyan “resounding” noise seems to be a pretty accurate representation of what happened with Shimshon. Pretty cool eh?

Parenthetically, I’m quite glad I can totally geek out with posts like these and not worry if they’re Bad For Shidduchim – thanks ASoG!

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