Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What If Oceanic 815 Had Been El Al 815? How Would LOST Be Different?

Coinciding with the start of the last season of LOST, Ami Eden, JTA's Editor-in-Chief, published a speculative piece yesterday which whetted our appetite for Purim parodies, a medium which Jewish Humor Central's Blogger-in-Chief has cultivated over the years.

The article, titled What if it had been an El Al plane that crashed on ‘Lost’?, posed a series of alternate plot lines and details that the JTA staff imagined would come into play if the plane that crashed on the island was not an Oceanic flight, but an El Al flight loaded with passengers who typically fly on Israel's national airline.

Here is the JTA list of what would be different about the LOST series, followed by our own extended list of "What ifs."
  • In the first place, the plane would have never crashed because the pilots would have been able to perform evasive maneuvers. But if it had…
  • Jack would not have been the only doctor.
  • John Locke would have been named Yeshayahu Leibowitz.
  • Sayid would have never made it on to the plane.
  • Instead of his makeshift radio, some of the Israeli passengers would have set up a high-speed Internet link.
  • Some Lubavitcher would have shown up before long to open up a Chabad house.
  • There would be more than just one recklessly driven, German-made vehicle on the road.
  • The existence of a nuclear weapon on the island would never have been acknowledged.
  • Gratuitous shots of Kate in her underwear would be replaced by quick peeks of haredi women sans sheitels.
  • The island would suddenly have attracted the attention of the entire world, with the U.N. accusing the passengers of illegally occupying territory and using disproportionate force to fend off attacks by the Others.
  • The back fuselage was what stayed intact, so all the people davening in the back would have made it. Breakaway minyan, anyone?
Here are our additions to the list:
  • The temple wouldn't be the only one on the island.  The passengers would have built at least one more -- the one they wouldn't be caught dead in.
  • The pool which the Others use to revive the dead would be converted into a mikvah.
  • There would be lots of tefilin which Dr. Jack Shephard could use as tourniquets.
  • Ben would be revealed as Jacob's son, and he would have 11 brothers.
  • When the cache of food was found in the hatch, there would have been a big kiddush.
  • Instead of pushing the button every 108 minutes, it would be every 613 minutes.
  • There would be dozens of new settlements all over the island.
  • All of the houses and hatches on the island would have mezuzot.
  • Instead of a bad black smoke monster, there would be a good white pillar of cloud leading the Losties by day, and a pillar of fire by night.

  • Instead of finding the Black Rock, the British trading ship on the island, they would have found the remains of Noah's Ark, which would explain the presence of polar bears and any other unexpected wildlife.
  • Someone would have used gematria to figure out that the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 add up to 108 which in gematria is the hebrew word avka, or powder, a reference to the gray powder which is sprinkled around Jacob's house to keep Smokey away.
  • The gematria man would also find that adding 815 (the flight number) and 6 (as in The Oceanic Six who returned to the mainland) gives the number 821 which in Hebrew spells Ahasuerus, the king in the Purim story, a reminder that Purim is less than a month away.

  • There would be signs all over the island saying Na Nach Nachm Nachman.