The Four Sons (and the Four Questions) Make Great Ads!

Maybe this will wear off, but I still get excited about the commercialization of Jewish holidays in Israel. I spent so many years hearing incessant Christmas ads in America that I love hearings spoofs of the four questions on our radio selling washing machines. And above is a great example of Passover-related advertising.

This is an advertisement for a local gym, or "kantri" as most gyms are called here--that is, "country" as in "country club." (That in itself is funny to me and probably has an interesting history. Did the original olim, fresh out of being denied entry to American and European country clubs, decide to build some "countries" of their own?) The name of the gym is another example of Hebrish: Sportli, as in "my sport." The headline overall says "Sportli: kantri mehahagadot" or "Sportli: country [club] from the hagaddahs/stories."

The hagaddah-looking text below describes the four sons. A translation:

Hacham [the wise son], what does he say? "I checked. I compared. I chose. All the amenities at the best price!"

[the evil son], what does he say? "I'm in the exercise room, my wife is in dancing, and the children are in the pool. So why should I pay more for another place?"

[the simple son], what does he say? "What do I know? [Actually he says "Ani yodeah?" ... is there a better translation for this idiom?] Everyone moving to Sportli is a sign that it's the best."

Veshe eino yodea lishol
[and the one who doesn't know how to ask], what does he say? "Don't ask! I'm running to make my subscription!"

I think it's funny that all the sons, even the evil son, choose Sportli. (And by the way, I know a lot of people who work out there-- it really is the best and cheapest gym in the Krayot.) I suspect that "evil" in this context means more "not a fryer." :)

Another irony to Israeli holiday advertising is that some companies-- Coca Cola in particular-- recycle their Christmas ads in the States to play around Passover here. (You know, those lavish ads with polar bears drinking coke in magical kingdoms.) Stores are full of holiday shoppers buying gifts to bring to seder. And I had better go buy fish now or else we don't have Gefilte fish tomorrow...

Btw, this Facebook Hagaddah parody is hillarious.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my arrival in Israel!! I will try to post then, although it's likely to be pretty crazy here tomorrow. But in the meantime, chag sameach (happy holiday)!

What hagaddah ad parody would YOU like to see? What are your favorite pesach-related ads on Israeli television?


  1. Chag sameach, Maya!

    Congratulations on your 1st anniversary!

  2. Yes, no matter what one wants to think. Religious or not, Israel is a JEwish country!

  3. Hi Maya,

    Happy belated aliyah anniversary!

    And wouldn't you really translate 'Ani yodeah?' as 'I should know?' :):)

  4. Oh my -- this is too funny!!!


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