As the fascinating tale of a talking fish captivates the imagination of thousands of eager and gullible believers, ready to swallow any miraculous story no matter how preposterous and outlandish it may be, I have a few questions of my own that I’d like to ask, before I, too, become an ardent believer.
Firstly, who cross-examined the two witnesses who claimed that they actually heard the fish talk? I wonder if they asked them any of the following questions.
Was it a white fish, carp, or gefilta fish? What did they have to drink for breakfast on that particular day? Were they ever subjected to a breath analyzer test? Were these witnesses ever abducted by a UFO? Do they believe that Uri Geller can make metal spoons bend just by looking at them? Do they believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbi is Moshiach? Are they planning to sell a cassette recording of this earth-shattering event? Did anyone cut open the stomach of the fish to check if it didn’t perchance swallow a small transistor radio? Would any rabbinical court in the world give any credence to the testimony of even the most trustworthy witnesses that came before it and claimed that they heard a fish tell them that X owes Y $100? Most of the time, the only noises fish make is when they are in our stomach.
Perhaps if we’re very lucky, Zev Brenner will bring us a live interview with the fish – or at least with one of its close relatives and see if he can get all the facts straight, since there are at least ten different versions of the story.
It’s alleged that the Yarma Rov, Rabbi Yankel Miller, called the owner of the fish store and asked him if he had any salmon. When the owner told him that he just got in a fresh supply, he asked if he could speak to one of them. News reports claim that the US recently caught a very big fish in Pakistan and are sending it to Square Town to get it to talk. However, the district attorney claims, that none of the fish they catch within Square Town ever do any talking. They are as silent as an Egyptian mummy.
By the way, many years ago, at the conclusion of the Pesach seder, after I’d finished the fourth cup of wine, I thought I heard the matzah talk, yet I was embarrassed to tell anyone my story. That’s because years ago, they didn’t print such stories in the papers; they just gave you the address of a good psychiatrist or simply put you to bed! So if you too begin to hear any strange sounds coming from your fish or matzah this Pesach, it’s a sure sign that you’re way past the fourth cup.
While Shlomo Ha’melech, the wisest of all men, said that “A fool believes all” it’s difficult to comprehend how clever and smart people are ready to believe this tall tale unless we, too, have gulped down a few too many. ( By the way, let’s not confuse the belief in gilgulim, with the belief that a fish that has no vocal cords can talk. A talking fish is no different then a talking matzah. )
Surprisingly, when I asked a few people who said they believed the fishy story if it was a live fish or a dead fish, they all replied that it was certainly a live fish. When I asked them how they knew for certain that it was a live fish, they gave me this incredulous look and replied, “Why? Everyone knows that a dead fish can’t talk!” I thereupon responded, “and a live fish can talk?”
One thing is for sure. Whoever pulled off this brilliant hoax sure did a great job! In these very troubled times we all can use something to make our hearts merry. So have a happy and joyous Pesach, and just make sure you don’t swallow the fish’s brain, for you, too, may begin hallucinating!
P.S. What surprises me is how such a nonsensical fishy story can make such a big splash in all the papers. I’m beginning to wonder if all the other news articles we read in the papers are as authentic and reliable as the “Fish” story. I’m afraid I smell a very foul odor. It’s the terrible stench of farsh’tunkene fish!