Happy Chanukah (Hanukkah), everyone! Chanukah is the spelling preferred by Jewish traditionalists, but Hanukkah is also fine, because Hebrew is a bit difficult to transliterate into English. The tradition of celebrating Chanukah comes from an event about 2,100 years ago, when, after reclaiming the Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews only found enough holy oil to light the sacred lamp for one day. The oil miraculously lasted eight days, until more oil could be pressed and ritually purified. The festival is about the triumph of light, purity, and spirituality over darkness, compromise, and materialism. To learn more, here’s a rather good website with information about all things Jewish. This year, the eight-day Jewish festival began November 27 and ends on December 5, and in honor of it we’re taking a look at Jewish representation in pop culture.
A while ago, I looked at the character Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory fame. I argued that the writers have written Cooper to have Asperger’s Syndrome without actually saying he is Asperger’s, solely to avoid the problems that come with poking fun at a man’s disorder.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. There have been multiple articles, including one on Slate.com in 2009 (link), that noted that Sheldon shows characteristics similar to an Autism Spectrum case study. In the article, TBBT co-creator Bill Prady is noted as saying that Sheldon is not Asperger’s, but rather just “Sheldony.”
We’re going to play that card, Prady? Okay. Let’s play.