Lights of the Winter Solstice-An Elseworld Tale

By Philip Mogul <>

Rated: PG-13

Submitted: November, 2004

Summary: A heartwarming Judeo-Christian tale: A young Clark Kent is imprisoned in a Soviet work camp where he meets three men who are able to put away their differences in order to embrace a greater truth.

Standard Fanfic Disclaimers apply

Again, many, many thanks to my GE, Jeanne Pare, for her invaluable assistance in assembling this Superman story into a more readable and interesting tale.

Within the large body of Talmudic literature there are stories that tell of a time, before Chanukah or Christmas, when, at the beginning of the world, this scholarly and sacred literature informs us there was also a festival of lights.

From the abundance of Talmudic tales found, one story specifically tells of man (the first human) who became aware that the light that illuminated the world was steadily decreasing as the Earth approached the Winter Solstice. In thinking about this condition, he wondered whether the world was becoming darker because of his sins. Will the Earth soon return to its original dark chaotic form? And, is this what G-D meant when he indicated some sort of punishment for his lack of ethics and morality?

The Talmudic tale then indicated that Adam prayed and fasted for eight days.

Soon after Adam ended his praying and fasting period, the progenitor of humankind became aware that the duration of Earth's daylight hours, occurring after the winter Solstice, began to lengthen. Adam soon realized, after some deliberation, that the variation of the Earth's light periods was just another way the world functioned. In his joy of this discovery, Adam prepared another festival and celebrated an additional eight days dedicated to the almighty and the wonders of the Creator's mysterious ways. It is from this rather obscure Talmudic tale that I developed the following Lois and Clark adventure, which attempts to merge some of the Chanukah and Christmas traditions into a single festival of hope.

While artistic and historical license has been considered in the creation of this story, I believe that the Talmudic concepts in this holiday story are successfully linked with the ideas presented in the Lois and Clark series and maintain and preserve the basic essences, values, and integrity one might expect in such a fable. And, I believe that the notions expressed by this Winter Solstice tale are well within the traditional constraints extolled by many Judeo-Christian communities worldwide.


If you have comments pertaining to this story, please contact me privately at


To combat the increasing lack of godliness which was prevalent in the former Soviet Union, the Church of Rome sent selected priests, such as Father Ralph Salvatore, to this Communist state to help bolster the waning religious fervor among its parishioners. In accepting this assignment, Father Salvatore joined others in a never-ending-struggle to prevent church closings. Churches were the last bastions of western Christian teachings within Soviet Russia's even shrinking Roman Catholic community.

Because of their religious activities, which were in opposition to many of Soviet Russia's doctrines, Ralph and his religious compatriots were periodically assaulted by what the official governmental agencies called marauding hooligans. So, as the 'holy-rollers' trekked from one village to another, especially in isolated places, blood was often seen on the ground, indicating that an attack had occurred by the so-called hooligans.

Occasionally, on a lonely pilgrimage to the backcountry, death found some of Rome's emissaries. While there were official apologies for such calamities, there were never any official inquiries into the causes for these brutal acts from the central committee of the Communist state. At times, a priest, here and there, would just plain vanish as he traversed Russia's hinterland. These mysterious disappearances seemed to be directed at the most dynamic of the activists within Ralph's priestly community.

Together with their Christian brothers, Jewish teachers and activists also worked tirelessly within the Soviet Russia to keep Judaism alive and a viable option to the atheistic views wedded to the Communist state.

Like their Christian counterparts, the Jewish activists were also occasionally beaten and even murdered by the so-called hooligans, who were said to wander over the Russian tundra and through its forests. As the Judeo-Christian groups intensified their efforts within the vast atheistic culture, the repercussions of Bolshevik backlash became more ruthless.

Secretly, the Russians created more labor camps, and slowly, but relentlessly, the KGB randomly seized the religious zealots either singly or in small groups to fill these prisons.

It was during a routine monthly meeting between Father Ralph Salvatore and Rabbi Asher Zeiminski, to discuss tactics to be used against the soulless Communist regime, that both men were seized by the KGB and taken to a political labor camp for counter-revolutionary activists in the wastelands of Siberia.

About the same time as the two religious activists vanished from the world's stage, Vademir Zimmerman, a man who abandoned his traditional Jewish ways and joined the communist party, was also arrested. Vademir, who early in his twenties had enlisted in the red army, had risen to a high-ranking position over the ensuing years. Vad's advancement parked hatred in the soul of his immediate subordinate, Joseph Brodski, who coveted his boss's prestigious military position. Over time, Brodski's loathing for his superior grew into rage. Brodski's emotional seething caused Zimmerman's lieutenant to fabricated false information accusing Vademir of having business dealings with black marketers involving military property and equipment. This fraudulent evidence was presented to the commanding general of the military complex and was supported by Brodski's confederates. Due to Brodski's seemingly flawless information, Zimmerman was relieved of his position and arrested.

Because of the infallible evidence and witnesses the trial was swift, and Vademir was found guilty for crimes against the state and sent to the selfsame Siberian labor camp where Asher Zeiminski and Ralph Salvatore had been incarcerated.

While Vademir was being transported to the Siberian Labor camp, the Christian and Jewish religious activists were carrying-on their work, even in captivity.

As Vademir was becoming familiar with his prison quarters, he chanced one day upon Rabbi Asher and Father Salvatore. As Zimmerman, over time, became familiar with the two godly warriors, they awakened in his memories visions of a home and a life he had forsaken long ago. With the encouragement Vademir acquired from the Rabbi and Asher's friend, Father Salvatore, his spirit slowly began returning to the ways of his fathers. Under Asher's guidance the former Soviet official, enduring rather harsh conditions, began keeping Kosher, avoiding work on the Sabbath, and grabbing a few moments of prayer when he could. His new regimen meant subjecting himself to near-starvation more times than not. For his nonconformist behavior, Vademir received penalties, almost daily, that easily could have placed his life in great peril.

Soon, there were three activists working to bring both Christians and Jews imprisoned in a hellish Siberian Labor Camp back to their spiritual foundations.


As a battle raged for men's souls within the bleak Siberian prison camp, Clark Kent — CJ to his friends — was in the final phase of his secondary education — commencement exercises and the activities that surrounded this supposed milestone in his life. If the truth be known, Clark was impatient for the commencement festivities to conclude. Now that he could defy gravity and propel himself to the farthest reaches of the planet within minutes, his wanderlust was driving him to embark upon a journey of exploration — a trek that would allow him to finally see the Earth and all its magnificent diversity.

Over the next five years, while CJ was involved in his undergraduate collegiate education and his Master's degree in journalism to boot, Clark traveled about the globe mainly during his summer academic hiatuses.

When at last he was fully free from his formalized learning activities, Clark traveled at will over the surface of the Earth, stopping when and wherever he chose and for as long as he wished.

So it was that during his first year of his academic freedom, Clark found himself visiting Vatican City and basking in the glorious artistic treasures he viewed daily in the papal city.

It was during one of his artistic forays in this tiny Rome enclave Clark happened upon Victor Lang, a first cousin to the Lang family who resided in his hometown of Smallville. After their surprise meeting, followed by enthusiastic greetings, the two Kansans found a small Rome restaurant, with an exquisite and highly varied cuisine, close to the Pope's headquarters in the Vatican.

As it turned out, Victor was currently serving as the information attache at the Moscow bureau of the US embassy. As it turned out, Victor was currently serving as the information attache at the Moscow bureau of the US embassy. He was currently in Rome on official business.

From this chance meeting, Clark received an invitation to visit with Victor as his guest in the Moscow embassy's residence. Several weeks after arriving in the Soviet capital, Clark left the embassy and began to walk briskly toward a small concert hall located on the West side of Red Square. Tonight, there was a chamber recital featuring the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. Clark was looking forward to hearing the Russian musical rendition of these particular works.

As CJ ambulated toward his destination, a black limousine suddenly stopped next to him. Almost immediately, three men jumped out of the car and seized a rather surprised Clark Kent.

A few seconds later, a fourth individual exited the limo and confronted the man from Smallville, Kansas.

This fourth person, obviously the leader of the group, showed Clark his credentials attesting that he was a KGB official and that his name was Sasha Borishenko.

Then the Boreishenko fellow asked Clark for his credentials, where he was going, and his place of residence. Effortlessly, and in fluent Russian, CJ provided the KGB gumshoe his passport and the other information the Soviet official requested.

After providing the Russian official with his US government documentation, Clark's visa was requested.

At that moment, Clark Kent realized that he had taken the wrong passport upon leaving the embassy. Instead of placing diplomatic documentation in his pocket, he had mistakenly grabbed his standard passport, a passport that required a visa from the Russian government to travel throughout the Communist state.

Before Clark could explain the mix-up, the KGB agents seized the Kansan and pushed him into their limousine and whisked him to a headquarter building of some type located near the Red Square area of Russia's capital city. On their way to their destination, CJ asked several times that the KGB agents contact the US embassy to clear-up this matter. His requests were met with total disregard in an atmosphere of total silence.

After being maliciously shoved into what appeared to be a KGB building, Clark was taken to a special chamber within the structure. There, Sasha quietly informed another official of his actions, his superior no doubt Clark thought, and what information he'd extracted from the American. Boreishenko then blundered, foolishly withholding any knowledge from his superior about a possible US embassy connection with his prisoner. He repeated his rash action later in his written official deposition.

After the information from the KGB agent had been communicated to the proper authorities, other officials within the KGB headquarters issued orders to Borishenko's who then promptly moved Clark back to his limo. Several minuets later, Sasha's car was proceeding rapidly to a private airport located on the outskirts of Moscow. Soon after Clark's arrival at the airdrome, he found himself on a jet aircraft traveling East toward the wilderness of Siberia.

Hours later, Clark found himself being processed into a Soviet labor camp, the one which also housed Ralph Salvatore, Asher Zeiminski, and Vademir Zimmerman. Soon after the check-in procedure had been concluded, Clark was assigned to his squalid quarters sarcastically referred to by the camp's guards as his guest accommodations. After getting settled, CJ found that he could mix freely with the other prisoners within this political bastille. Because of the Siberian location of the labor facilities, fear of an escape was almost nonexistent. To leave the labor camp without the proper gear meant almost certain death.

As Clark became familiar with the camp's inmates, he was drawn more and more to the so-called counter-revolutionaries — Salvatore, Zeiminski, and Zimmerman. As CJ continued his association with the so-called-mavericks of the camp, his name was soon added to the so-called reactionary list by the officials of the political prison and singled out for special treatment, treatment that was administered by the camp's guards. Of course, when the guards attempted to inflict the special punishments ordered by the camp's officials to those who didn't conform to the Communist line, unpleasant things happened to these so-called labor camp's sentinels. Soon, however, it became obvious to the jailers who meted out the camp's vengeful punishments and to those administrators who ordered the chastisement that if they left Asher and his friends unmolested, they too would remain unscathed from such things as a sudden irritating burn on their skin, cold appendages approaching frost byte conditions where there should be none, and spoilage of their special rations.


Meanwhile, when Clark didn't return from the concert outing, the US embassy acted by informing the political wing of the Russian government. When the Soviet regime learned of the missing American, its search facilities went into high gear. The Soviets were well aware that the safety of diplomatic personnel from foreign legations, their families and relatives, and friends who occasionally visited, was essential in maintaining vital links and good relations between nations.

The Russian Communist government, therefore, immediately sent squads of its agents to hunt for Clark Kent. Description and pictures of the American were quickly furnished to all the Soviet Union's bureaucratic offices.

With the efficiency of the Soviet government, it was only a matter of time before Clark Kent would be located.

Soon after the search for Clark commenced, search information briefs reached Sasha Borishenko and others involved in this Clark Kent affair. Fear immediately permeated the KGB agent's being for good reason. Soon Sasha was quickly apprehended by the authorities and dragged shaking from his apartment to a Soviet equivalent of a New York City paddy wagon that whisked him to an interrogation center.

While the search for Kent was proceeding, the Smallville, Kansas resident was learning a great deal from the dissidents housed with him in his Soviet prison.

As Clark watched and learned, he became aware that most Jews in the prison would not work on their Sabbath, but their Christian comrades supplied the quota of goods required for them to produce. Similarly, their Jewish brothers supported those Christians within the penal community who would not labor on Sunday. The Jewish community within the Siberian gulag supplied their quota of goods.

In this way, the Judeo-Christian community could function and spread the light of their religious concepts and avoid the severe penalties that would be meted-out for not meeting their gold ore quota for that day.

As Christmas and Chanukah approached during the year of Clark's incarceration at the Soviet gulag, Asher revealed a plan to the labor camp inmates, which, of course, now included CJ Kent of Kansas, USA. The Rabbi said, "I'll obtain small, empty food cans — the smaller the better — so they will be easier to hide and escape notice. We'll save half our daily ration of margarine during the next few weeks. This will provide us with the margarine needed to produce the oil we'll need for the lamps that will adorn the Christmas tree and kindle the lights of the menorah. We can manufacture wicks from the loose threads at the edges of our coats. When the time arrives and the camp facility has bedded down, we'll light the menorah under my bunk and place the twelve oil lamps on our unadorned tree, that scraggly piece of greenery the officials of the camp have the gall to call a Christmas tree."

Listening to Asher's plan, Vademir became somewhat incensed and said, "We will most certainly not use garbage to construct a menorah or make lamps for the holiday tree. It's Chanukah and Christmas, Rabbi, the festivals of miracles which signify the most precious of gifts — that of hope. We'll do the mitzvahs the way they should be done. Not using rusty cans fished out of the refuse, but with a real menorah and twelve oil-cups for the tree, the way it should be done." Then Father Salvatore added, "I have a few rubles hidden away which we can use to pay Igor, the man who runs the metal-working shed, and I also have a few 'debts' that I can call in at the kitchen…"

A few days before the start of Chanukah and the Christmas seasons — the two holidays overlapped that year — Zimmerman triumphantly showed Asher, Salvatore, and the rest of their intimate group, a "real" menorah. Although crudely made, it was unmistakably a menorah, with eight oil-cups in a row and a raised cup for the shamash. For the small ungainly tree the camp officials had grudgingly provided for the inmates, Vademir had fashioned twelve crude oil-cups to substitute for lamps to adorn their little festival tree.

On the first evening of Chanukah, Rabbi Asher Zeiminski set the menorah on a stool in the doorway between the main room of their barracks and a small storage area in the rear, and filled the right-hand cup. Together, Asher and Vademir recited the blessings and kindled the first light, as millions of their brethren would do in their homes around the world — the first day of Christmas was still five days away.

On the first night, the menorah lighting went off without a hitch, as it did on the second, third, and fourth evenings of the Chanukah festival.

As a rule, the prisoners in the labor camp did not inform on one another, and those inmates not wishing to involve themselves in the camp's religious affairs had also grown so accustomed to the daily religious rituals performed by the impassioned Judeo- Christian community that, in time, they never gave their actions a second thought.

On the fifth night of Chanukah, which corresponded to Christmas Eve, there was a surprise inspection in the camp complex. The official who oversaw the camp facilities ran a routine inspection, which always tended to strike terror in the hearts of the prisoners. The officers, during these camp checkups, would advance through the barracks meting out severe penalties to be administered at a later time for offenses such as a hidden cigarette or a hoarded crust of bread.

"Quick, throw the Christmas tree and the menorah out into the snow," whispered some of the panicked inmates. However, a guard was already striding toward the back doorway where Father Ralph Salvatore and Rabbi Zeiminski stood huddled over the flames emanating from the candelabra and the oil-lamps adorning the ungainly tree. As one gazed at the blazing lamps of these ornaments of faith, the light they shed made them appear otherworldly.

When the camp official arrived at the spot where the tree and menorah were still blazing, he stood there for a long minute and turned to the Rabbi and Priest saying, "P'yat (five)," in an inquiring tone.

"P'yat," replied Asher.

As the officer again glanced at the fiery menorah and the glowing oil-lamps on the Christmas tree, a smile touched his face. Then he turned and exited the room without uttering another word.




Several weeks after the search for Clark Kent commenced, the young man was finally located by the KGB and rapidly returned to the US compound. Then, after celebrating with the embassy staff for several days, the man from Kansas said his adieus and continued his European trek.

Sasha Borishenko was shielded from execution by his family's strong political ties with the Communist party's politburo. However, for his blunder, Sasha was transferred to a sleepy little village on the Sea of Okhotsk, where he could no longer do any political mischief which could result in harm to his country and the world at large. There this KGB agent would stay doing menial tasks for the remainder of his working lifetime.

About a month after Clark's departure from the Soviet Union, a strange figure, on a moonless night, clad in dark apparel, and wearing a black hood, descended rapidly upon a Siberian political labor facility. Minutes later Father Ralph Salvatore, Rabbi Asher Zeiminski, and Vademir Zimmerman ascended skyward carried by the black spirit, an appellation bestowed upon the mysterious flying figure by those who had witnessed this happening.

After rising several thousand meters, the flying being and his human cargo proceeded in a westerly direction toward the Mediterranean basin, stopping first at the Vatican enclave where Father Salvatore was set down near St. Peters, whereupon the flying Will-Of-The-Wisp sped onto Jerusalem where Rabbi Zeiminski and Vademir Zimmerman alighted in the central plaza of the Keenest complex.

Since the missing labor camp inmates were never located, the Soviet bureaucracy eventually stated that several prisoners attempted an escape from a Soviet penal institution and were overcome by the severe Siberian winter conditions existing at the time. Because of the harshness of the terrain, the remains of these escapees, it was assumed, would have been consumed by the harsh environment vanishing from the sight of man for all times.

Officially, a report was filed which simply read that during a breakout attempt from Siberian labor camp five, three escapees perished during a severe Siberian winter storm. Bodies were never recovered.



Early on Christmas Eve years later, Clark, and his fiance Lois Lane arrived at the Kent farm. After the affectionate greetings between the younger and older couples, they settled in the kitchen for some light refreshments and to discuss the upcoming nuptials of the engaged duo.

As the season's festivities were increasing in fervor, the door chimes told of a visitor to the Kent farm.

Opening the door, Clark saw a very dear friend, Vademir Zimmerman. No words were spoken; the two men simply hugged one another as tears of joy gushed from their eyes.

After regaining his composure, Clark introduced the Christmas visitor to Lois and his parents. All that Clark would say at that moment was, "I want you to meet a very special friend, Vademir Zimmerman or Vad, who I encountered in an unusual and hostile environment. There, we and several others who shared like views became spiritual brothers before our little band escaped from the Soviet Union to freedom. From that time till now, the trek of this special group as we travel life's highways and byways, while not always together, has sought the same goals — peace, free from want, and freedom for all humankind."

Clark then turned toward Vademir and asked, "Where's Asher?"

Vademir replied, "Asher's wife, Lemore, went into labor this morning. He's probably with her at the hospital by this time."

"Isn't she early?" Clark questioned his friend. "Yep," Vad replied. "But, that's not so unusual for multiple birth conditions," Zimmerman added.

"How many children do they expect," Clark asked. "Four or five" Vad, replied.

"My Lord," Jonathan gasped.

Clark then spoke-up adding, "After Lemore's difficulty in conceiving and her body's reluctance to hold the fetus, they'll finally get that family both of them so desperately want." Then Clark sort of giggled and remarked, "From zero to five kids in one jump, wow."

"My own family," Vademir told the Kents, "is currently in Israel visiting the children's grandparents. Miriam wanted to be home for the Chanukah season and be with her folks. I had to stay in New York. Some last minute work popped-up that had to be done by my UN legation, and guess who was elected to do that job? — Moi, of course.

"However, staying in New York proved to be a blessing in disguise," Vad added. "It gave me a chance to visit Kansas and see you and your family, my brother. It looks as if I even got a bonus for my UN labors. I've again been privileged to see your lovely fiance, CJ."

As the Kents were stuffing Vademir with Martha's holiday goodies, a telegram arrived from Asher: "Five babies born on the fifth day of Chanukah — three girls and two boys. Lemore and our new babies are doing well. In eight days, hopefully, there will be Brit Melah. The girls will be named this Thursday. Will be in the small UN chapel eleven p.m. New Years day. Take care, Asher."

"That's a rather strange ending to that telegram," Jonathan commented.

Vademir replied, "Not at all."

After a brief pause, Vad said, "It's believed by many Jews that G-D attends each ritual circumcision, a Brit Melah it's called, eight days after a healthy male infant is born. On that day, the covenant between G-D and Abraham is reaffirmed.

"Suppose" he continued, "a person who would initially accept a direct invitation to the Brit Melah for some reason found that he/she couldn't attend. According to historical views, such a person, by their actions, would signify to many pious individuals and the heavenly hosts that something was more important to that individual than being in the presence of G-D during this sacred ceremony. Religious people believed that such an affront to the Lord of Hosts could be a calamitous event in the life of that person. So cryptic expressions are used to invite people to a Brit Melah. In that way one would not be in a position to insult or mock the Creator of the Universe if he/she could not attend this ritual."

"Very clever," Martha said. Then she added, "You know the circumcision of which we speak will occur on New Years day — the feast of circumcision which is celebrated among many Christian communities."

"That's correct," Clark supported his mother comments. Then added, "Sort of mystical, huh."

Then Vademir mentioned to Clark, "I believe it's time."

Clark shook his head and then the two spiritual brothers went to a small table upon which were a home made menorah and a scraggy evergreen wit twelve oil-lamps at the base.

While Vademir filled five of the menorah's eight cups with oil made from margarine and completed the ritual by placing additional oil in the shamash, Clark decorated the small tree with the twelve oil-cups and then filled them with margarine made oil. As Vademir ignited the Shamash from which he kindled the five other cups of oil, Clark simultaneously ignited the twelve cups of oil that adorned the little ungainly Christmas tree. As CJ looked on, Vademir chanted the ancient Hebrew blessings over the menorah lights, which the Russian believed, blessed all G-D's creations.

Looking at Clark and Vademir standing before the blazing lights coming from the tree and the menorah, Lois thought that maybe tonight Clark would tell her why he celebrates two festivals, Christmas and Chanukah, each one in its own way proclaiming hope for humankind and a better world for their children.

After Vademir and Clark had tuned away from the blazing lights of the menorah and the special tree, Martha called everybody to supper.

As the gathered company enjoyed Martha's delectable cuisine, the door chimes signaled another presence at the Kents' front door.

Opening the entranceway, Jonathan saw Tommy Grieb, a youngster who worked part time at the Smallville Western Union office.

After inviting the boy in his home to warm himself, Jonathan was handed a telegram. While Martha offered the boy a piece of pie and ice cream, Jonathan gave the telegram to his son, the intended recipient of the dispatch.

While Tommy consumed Martha's treat, she asked Tommy why he was rushing about on Christmas Eve?

"Well," the young boy replied, "we received an overseas gram and Mr. Stands, the office manager, felt it should be delivered. So here I am."

After Tommy left for home, Martha looked at the envelope, which had carried the message to her son, and saw that it was postmarked Vatican City.

Before Martha could question her son further, Clark asked for everyone's attention.

As they quieted down, CJ told them that he had something to read, and he believed that they all would find what he had to say most interesting.

After pausing for a moment, Clark began to read the contents of his gram:


To my beloved Friends:

As you read this message, I'm sitting alone in my apartment gazing at a crudely fashioned menorah left in my hands by what many called a flying apparition, and next to this ancient Hebrew symbol is a small unsightly Christmas tree I smuggled into my quarters. It too, like the menorah, is now adorned, decorated with twelve crudely crafted oil-cups forged in bowls of a spiritually hostile citadel. As I gaze at these heavenly items, precious beyond all Earthly value, but worth little in mere monetary terms, I'm recalling a trek by four brothers through a spiritual desert made all the more desolate by man's inhumanity to his fellows. I am now kindling the crudely made oil-cups, as a band of brothers did so long ago within the belly of a heartless labor camp built in the wastes of Siberia where fear and suffering was a regular part of an inmate's daily regimen.

The flames from the tree and the menorah are now blazing and seem to mimic the stars in G-D's firmament. The light fills me with a spirituality unequaled by any of the elaborate processions which I will soon witness as I lead my flock through this holy season.

As I relax alone in my quarters, the presence of these kindling produce a serene feeling throughout my being and will provide me with the courage to face my responsibilities and to guide my parishioners through the coming Christmas season and beyond.

That's all for now my friends.

With everlasting love,

Ralph Salvatore


"Ralph Salvatore," Jonathan shouted, "Now, there's a name I should know! I believe he's a prominent theologian of sorts."

"Yes, he is," Vademir replied. Then, in a very quiet voice he added, "And my brother."

With his super hearing, Clark overheard Vademir's last comments and just smiled.


On the eighth day after their birth, New Years day, four spiritual brothers watched as a moel, chanting ancient ritual melodies, performed the Brit Melah, the covenant between G-D and Abraham, as he named Asher's two levit male infants, binding them to the creator's service forevermore.

An hour or so after the Brit Melah had been performed, Ralph tapped Clark on the shoulder and quietly said, "I must leave; duty calls, my brother."

Clark nodded, and both men, unnoticed, left the festive celebration.

A few minuets later, a man attired in a highly colored suit rocketed skyward and headed eastward toward the Italian peninsula. Superman's destination, and that of his passenger, was Ralph Salvatore's lodgings, the Papal residence in Rome's Vatican enclave, where the celebration of life would continue.


Talmud Avodah Zarah 8a

If you have comments pertaining to this story, please contact me privately at

As you trek through highways and byways of life during this coming new year, may the Creator grant each of you, my brethren, good health, provide you with a measure of wealth, and allow you the means to enjoy the fruits of your worthy endeavors during this coming new year. new year.