Months ago, Disney+ hyped season 3 of the Star Wars-related “The Mandalorian.” A thousand people from 20 countries read my 2021 post, “The Mandalorian and the Jews.” Season 3’s Jewish connections were even stronger.

“The Way” of the Mandalorians suggests Jewish law, Halacha—the way of going. Maimonides writes about the “way of the Lord” in his Mishneh Torah. The Creed—Torah—binds Mandalorians in diaspora. They lost their planet to the Nazi-like Galactic Empire in the Purge—Holocaust. The “Night of a Thousand Tears” evokes Kristallnacht in 1938 Germany.

The Mandalorian often is called Mando. His name: Din Djarin. Din: Hebrew for judge or judgment. The book of Judges presents Israelite heroes, strong but often flawed. Din once took off his helmet—a no-no akin to an Orthodox Jewish man removing his kippah, a married Jewish woman her wig or head covering. Seeking redemption, Din bathes in Mandalore’s Living Waters—mayim chaim. Torah requires this to regain ritual purity. Notably, Din was a foundling, who accepted the Creed. He became a ger tzaddik—a convert. A Midrash states that God loves the convert more than the born Jew. The convert chose Judaism.

Our heroine, Bo-Katan (Hebrew: come/go, little one), ruler of Mandalore when it was destroyed, also is immersed in Living Waters. She, too, is redeemed though she doesn’t walk in the Way (is not observant). As a girl, Bo-Katan accepted the Creed after which her parents threw her a big party. Bat mitzvah, anyone? Secular Bo-Katan is the leader who “can bring all the tribes together” and re-take Mandalore. The judge Deborah? Golde Meir? 

The Armorer—here a woman—works at a forge fashioning helmets and protective gear. She also is the expert on the Way and the Creed. In the First and Second Temples, the high priest and fellow priests burned offerings at the altar. The Armorer’s clothing, like the High Priest’s—is special. She wears a fur cape.

A puzzle: The evil Moff Gideon, a former Empire leader who sought to bring order to the universe, played a key role in the Purge. Biblically, Gideon was an Israelite hero (Judges 6–8). However, after the Israelites of Succoth and Penuel refused to provision his men, Gideon punished Succoth’s leaders and slew the people of Penuel.

Mandalorians remain scattered among many planets as Jews were among the nations before the State of Israel. We encounter two groups. The “observant” keep their helmets on. The “secular” maintain Mandalorian identity but remove their helmets. Initially, the two groups are antagonistic. When Greeks, then Romans, ruled Judea, Jewish zealots fought with Jewish Hellenizers. The Sages condemned their violence as springing from sinat chinom—baseless hatred. 

The secular Mandalorians work as mercenaries. So did ancient Jews. Some maintained a fortress on the Nile’s Elephantine Island, protecting Egypt’s border with Nubia. 

More: Din Djarin says, “One does not speak unless one knows. Is that not the Creed?” The Rabbis condemned lashon hara—evil speech/gossip. Also, Mandalorian tradition requires donating a portion of one’s earnings to the foundlings. Judaism’s concept of tzedakah is not charity but justice—tzedek. One is obligated to help the poor and needy.

Did the show’s Jewish creator, Jon Favreau, set out to offer such parallels? I don’t know. But he did. 

As important: “The Mandalorian” is fun.

The Short (Pun Intended) Redemptive Life of Little Ned is now available in softcover or e-book from, and Or order from your favorite bookstore.

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  1. David Newman on July 14, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Thanks David. I read this immediately after meeting with my new conversion mentee. It’s such a good example of Jewish textual analysis and of having fun with it that I forwarded it to her. It will no doubt be the topic of our next chevrutah session.

    • David Perlstein on July 14, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      I’m honored, David. And I’m always available to discuss.

  2. Carolyn Power on July 14, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Further, the parallels to Judaism were clear, obvious and even more numerous than you’ve listed. It was fun to pick them out while watching this entertaining show. May the force be with you.

    • David Perlstein on July 14, 2023 at 12:24 pm

      A little Force, a little Torah——before you know it, you’re getting things right. Thanks, Carolyn.

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