See also Rev. Ivan Stang
Zandik Ivan Stang, more formally Zandik Hakham Kohen Mekubbal Melamed tinokot Sandek Ivan Stang, is the co-founder of ייִדן פֿאַר באָב (Jews for "Bob").
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Stang was born in 1942 in Spain to Sirach and Lilith Stang, who were Ashkenazic Jews. The second oldest of five children, he was born during his parents flight to Spain to avoid persecution of Jews in Nazi Europe. He is a descendant of Aaron brother of Moses (making him a Kohen) and a direct descendant of the prophet Jeremiah. On the 8th day after his birth, he was given the name טאַנג משה יוחנ (John Moses Stang). As was traditional, he began learning scripture at the age of 5. At his bar mitzvah on his 13th birthday, he declared his name to be Ivan Moses Stang in honor of one of his Russian ancestors who was killed in one of the הסופות בנגב; ("Storms in the South" or "pogroms") in the late 19th century ("Ivan" is the Slavik form of John).
Religious life[edit | edit source]
Before he became a bar mitzvah, he had been secretly reading the Alphabetum Siracidis, Othijoth ben Sira (Alphabet of ben Sirach). As a result, he became fascinated by Kabbalah. He was a (מְקוּבָּל) (Mekubbal), a traditional Kabbalist.
He became a school teacher (traditional term Melamed tinokot), and assisted at a brit milah (circumcision ceremony), becoming a סנדק, "companion of child", Sandek). He was very honored and embarrassed in his later years to be called a Hakham (wise man).
SubGenius[edit | edit source]
In spite of his years of learning and teaching, he became dissatisfied and disillusioned. He began studying Zoroastrianism. But his beliefs were too unconventional, and he was named a Zandik (heretic). This term looks very similar to Tzadik or Zadik, in Jewish belief one of 36 anonymous righteous people who keep the earth from being destroyed.
He saw an article about another Ivan Stang, the one who had co-founded the SubGenius Foundation. He studied this, and learned that the Church of the SubGenius was the true religion. He registered a different name with the Church to avoid confusion. Years later, he realized that to a SubGenius confusion was kosher, So on 13 Tishrei 5776, he publicly acknowledged that he was a SubGenius Ivan Stang.