Facebook is pretty terrible these days, so I mostly stay away, choosing instead to spend my time in more meaningful spaces like Instagram. But I did a quick peruse of my newsfeed today and AM I GLAD because I stumbled on this, the best/worst Rosh Hashanah video I’ve ever seen, featuring a lovely woman named Yael Yekel, AKA The Kosher Mermaid. It is my new favorite thing, and I urge you to watch it:
Now let’s break it down, shall we?
Rosh Hashanah is upon us, indeed. The Jewish New Year starts at sundown this coming Sunday, September 9, and who better to remind us than a modestly dressed, Yiddish-singing Ariel? No one, obviously.
Next comes the classic kosher-keeping mermaid’s dilemma: The ocean is filled with delicious shellfish, all of which is treyf. But wait, do mermaids even eat seafood? I don’t recall the real Ariel ever salivating over her bestie, Sebastian, which is good because that would be weird and sad. Nevertheless, The Kosher Mermaid has many desires.
What doesn’t the Kosher Mermaid desire? Carp. I’m not actually entirely sure what’s going on in this scene: did she just find that carp in a tub on the beach? Does it belong to somebody? Did the carp come from the sea or was it imported from the local grocery store? And why does it make her queasy?? Also please note the wardrobe changes from scene to scene — there seems to be a day vs. evening look going on here. I’m partial to the shimmery black top.
And now we get to our thesis! “In honor of the new year, they sing all day and night: Gefilte fish!” Mostly I’d like to use this moment to commend the Kosher Mermaid on her use of carrot nipples, which is truly genius (I mean this seriously. I am not being ironic).
Okay, but so now I think I get it: This is a song celebrating the classic Rosh Hashanah dish, gefilte fish. “Just have a bite, it’ll bring you luck. Come and sit. It glorifies our holiday table, and our hearts are filled with joy.” Damn, that’s one powerful fish ball.
Time for a vocab lesson! Mechayeh, a Yiddish word that literally translates to “resurrection,” is used to mean “a feeling of pleasure or delight.” Gefilte fish: WHAT A PLEASURE.
Back-up mermaids!!!! Yes, yes, yes.
But wait! Not so fast. The Kosher Mermaid actually doesn’t like gefilte fish, finding it rather gray and flobbly. I probably don’t have to tell you that flobbly is not a word, but it’s safe to say you know exactly what it means. (The Hebrew word, doche, translates to “gross.”)
Okay, so bear with me because I’m having a little trouble following, but what I think the Kosher Mermaid is saying here is that there’s no reason to glorify gefilte fish when there is magic in literally every food. Which I totally agree with. Macaroni and cheese is magic AF.
Oooooh, okay. I’m getting it. She’s talking about symbolic foods, and the superstitions that surround them. Not pictured: the fact that, according to the Kosher Mermaid, if you want to be skinny, you should only eat schmaltz (chicken fat). Which like, okay?
BUT ONE THING’S FOR SURE: The absolute only way to be young, spry, rich, and sexy is to eat gefilte fish. Sorry, them’s the rules.
PLOT TWIST! Despite all that talk about gefilte fish leading to a sexy, spry life, it turns out our beloved Kosher Mermaid is actually a vegetarian now??!?!
This must be a new record: She’s been a vegetarian for literally 5 seconds and already shaming folks for being carnivores. Typical vegetarians!!!
Which brings us to our conclusion: Have a great New Year, whether you’re a rich, sexy, unhappy meat-eater or a vegetarian kosher mermaid with carrots for nipples.