Frum Judaism, Funny, holidays, Judaism, YouTube

Purim: A Parade of Parody

We all know about Purim spiels, shticks, and other forms of fun and ridiculous spectacle that help contribute to the joyous atmosphere of holiday, and so it shouldn’t really be a coincidence that a large amount of parodic material is popping up all over the place online.

Combining the modern trends of over-publicity as well as the numerous ways of creating and getting out there pretty much whatever you want, along with the overbearing attitude of giddiness and mischief that captures the Jewish spirit during the Purim holiday season, several videos and other forms of parody have hit the airwaves in great levels at this time of year.

And on a side-note, another reason we see a lot more videos out there is because maybe… just maybe… observant Jews are finally realizing that we don’t always have to take everything we do so seriously. And that it’s okay to laugh and make fun of the some the absurd things we do. If this is the case, then all the reason more to love Purim.

While there are several videos out there, I’m only gonna focus on a few videos that have very recently gone viral. Except for this one. You already know why

The first video is called “I Just Broke Shomer“, which was made by a group of students from the University of Maryland.

I have to compliment the  guys for the gutsy decision to parody the Saturday Night Live Digital Short “I Just Had Sex“. I really like the concept. They touched on a often-talked issue in the observant Jewish world in a quasi-controversial, yet safe and very entertaining way. And while the video quality is nothing to rave about, I actually think the low quality only enhances the hilarity. It’s one of the “it’s supposed to look low quality because that’s the goal and therefore it’s good” occurrences. This ain’t a knock on their capabilities, but rather a compliment. I’m sure they did their best to make the video look as nice as possible – and there’s no knocking that.

I especially liked the before and after shomer moment at 1:03. It’s amazing what a difference touching a girl can do to a guy 😉

The second video actually has nothing to do with Purim. It’s just a satirical video that went viral.

The video was made by Deena Mann, who besides finding her Facebook profile, I really don’t know that much about her. But what I do know is that she does a fine good job of imitating your stereotypical frum woman straight outta Brooklyn.

Where do I start? The yiddish and yeshivish insertions are gold, the ignorance of Miami being a city and NOT a continent captures the “Brooklyn is the center of the world” mentality, the always going back to how as long as you keep in mind “insert whatever mitzvah here” mitzvah here – G-d’ll take care of you, the double-name – a necessity for the frum women,  the assurance that the shoes have to be black because “they match with everything” and the assertation that something not black is a splash of summer, and of course the example of “modern technology” allowing us to keep the mitzvahs we hold dear.

In fact what makes the video so funny is that some people didn’t know/couldn’t tell if it was satire. And you gotta laugh at the overblown disapproval when someone claims “it’s a chilul hashem!!! how could you!!” or even the simple “I don’t get it” reactions. Guess what… that’s precisely what satire does, and you just proved why the satire was necessary. Mission Accomplished, Deena.

And that’s what Purim does to Jews: Not only does it allow us to take part in the joy of the holiday by doing several good deeds and mitzvahs, which allow us revitalize our passion and desire to be better Jews, but it also allows us to take a step back as well and realize that maybe we’re taking certain things way too seriously, and perhaps if we stop being so serious for two seconds we can realize that we are so silly for wasting our emotions on such silly things. Whatever those things may be are obviously different for everyone – there are no real universal things I can honestly have authority to tell you to stop taking serious. But I hope we can use the silliness to brighten our spirits, inspire some genuine emotion (because honestly people, zombies aren’t capable of having emotions besides do this, do that…and repeat, and repeat), and so we can reorganize our ways of going about our daily lives.

Because you never know what type of Haman is coming after you….

(And somehow I always wondered was it just sheer boredom at this time of year that people got around to making things like Purim spiels and other forms of mischief. No… of course tis the season to prank everyone and everything in sight… (Hooray for Silliness!!)… Of course now is the time to bombard yeshiva roommates with stink-bombs in the shower (Not fun when you’re the victim), or to run around with silly string and attacking everything in sight. Oh how I miss yeshiva…

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