Around 115 million Americans watched the Super Bowl last night.

Many of them, like me, didn’t have a vested interest in either team, but if Deadspin’s map is an indication, the large majority was rooting for San Francisco. I certainly was, but I was also rooting for awesome commercials.

I wasn’t so thrilled with the ads this year, but I certainly enjoyed the Volkswagen Minnesotan-speaking-Jamaican-style one, the preview for Fast and Furious 6, and Israeli company SodaStream’s commercial.

Then there was the GoDaddy commercial with Israel’s pride and joy, the lovely Bar Refaeli. The commercial made me, and probably another 114,999,999 people, cringe.

Here it is, in case you missed it:

In the aftermath of that unforgettable experience, I pondered three questions

How many TV viewers recognized Bar Refaeli?

How many of them know she is an Israeli?

How many of them know she is Jewish?

I bet most people had no clue who she was, or what her nationality or religion are. (But I’ll bet they weren’t showing that commercial on the Arabic-language broadcast.)

To me, this was a wonderful cultural-spiritual Zionist moment, on par with celebrating Omri Casspi’s quasi-success in the NBA or Natalie Portman, um, just being Natalie Portman.

However, Bar Refaeli’s moment of glory/infamy arrived just in time to juxtapose it with the story of another beautiful Jewish girl whose true identity is concealed and not known by the masses… Queen Esther.

In the Purim story, Esther’s beauty is beyond compare, and other than Mordechai, no one knows she is Jewish. Only at the end, when she reveals Haman’s plan to Achashverosh, is she outed as a Jew and her identity comes front as center as she saves her people from annihilation.

Not that Bar Refaeli will one day save the Jewish people, or the State of Israel from inevitable ruin, but you never know. She is doing her best to make up for the negative attention that Israel seems to always be suffering from.


Purim begins on Saturday night, February 23.

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