South Park Sacrifices the Red Heifer

This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Ginger-Cow

Cartman and Kyle make a trip to Jerusalem in last week’s episode of South Park, the longstanding animated series on the Comedy Central network known for its crude language, surreal comedy and social commentary.

Why do the boys leave snowy Colorado and show up in the Holy City on a stage in front of thousands of Jews, Christians and Muslims? Well, it’s kind of a weird story.

Cartman pulls a prank on Kyle (who is Jewish) by dressing up a cow with a curly red wig and painting red polka dots on it. He manages to convince some of the kids at South Park Elementary that cows, like people, can be ginger. Kyle doesn’t fall for it, and admonishes Cartman, “Even the dumbest lie can have big consequences.”

Of course, the devious and manipulative Cartman brushes off the warning. But before long, a trio of Haredi Jews from Jerusalem show up in the principal’s office urgently asking to see the red heifer — the extremely rare animal that was used in Temple times for a purification ritual, and which is also associated with a prophecy about the end of days. “The fate of the world is at stake!” they tell Kyle.

Click here to read more and watch the episode.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand.  All rights reserved.

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