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Monday, October 17, 2022

Sukkot-Celebrating Sirfetch'd Secured Four Species

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - If there were six, it'd be full alliteration. However, four allows for something greater.

Remember Sirfetch'd from Pokémon Sword? Sirfetch'd has been making a big impression as a member of Ash “The Twerp” Ketchum's team in the Pokémon World Championships going on in Japan right now. But between Sirfetch'd last major fight (where he made a major impression... I'm not spoiling it, but trust me) and the next one starting at the end of this week, there was a five-week gap. Why was that?

It's because Sirfetch'd is actually a practicing Jewish Wild Duck, and since the end of September to about now have been the Jewish High Holidays, and Sirfetch'd doesn't work during that time. Of particular importance and deep meaning to Sirfetch'd is Sukkot, which features, among other things, waving around and praying with four species of plants under a temporary physical structure that it's dwelled in. (As opposed to a Poké Ball.)

Sirfetch'd Pokémon Jewish Sukkot Lulav Etrog citrus palm willow myrtle four species
Credit to ShinyGirafarig for depicting Sirfetch'd holding the lulav and etrog.
Sirfetch'd has traded its normal leek and leaf shield for those.
(The lulav is the new leek, and the etrog is the new shield.)


What does this actually mean? Well, Jewish tradition has a lot of lore and world-building to it. I'll share just some of it with you, particularly what the four species mean (according to one interpretation of the lore).

The lulav consists of three of the four species held together, if you look closely at the drawing. There's a palm branch with closely attached leaves, a thick-leaved myrtle, and willows that generally grow by a brook. The separately held citrus fruit is the etrog. These four species represent the four kinds of Jewish people (or Wild Ducks). While it may be difficult to try to remember four different kinds of things, it's actually quite simple and easily represented by one of my favourite devices of all time, the 2x2 matrix!

2x2 Matrix Sirfetch'd Farfetch'd Egg four species plant Sukkot good bad smell taste Torah deeds
The two dimensions of the 2x2 matrix are smell and taste of the plant,
which symbolise good deeds and Torah (holy book of laws and stories) study, respectively.


The etrog has good taste and a fragrant odor, symbolising Jews who are both learned in Torah and do good deeds. The palm branch has a good taste but is without an odor, which represent Jews who have Torah knowledge but don't do much good deeds. (These are the Jewish people who sit around all day debating lore and canon, but they're not doing much for anyone else.) The myrtle allegedly smells well but doesn't taste good, representing Jewish people who do good things but aren't well-versed in the Torah. And lastly, the willow doesn't smell good and it can't be eaten, representing people who don't do good things and aren't spiritually well-versed.

As you can see above, I think this can be plotted to Sirfetch'd, the two Farfetch'd variants, and... the Egg. Sirfetch'd has everything (and it's the only one with a shield cosplaying as the etrog), so Sirfetch'd is probably a great guy who knows his religious stuff. Regular Kantonian Farfetch'd is quite delicious, being hunted to nigh-extinction for its Leek. However, it doesn't do anything good for its community as a weakling. Instead of hitting the gym or helping build houses or whatever, it's probably inside studying all day. Galarian Farfetch'd is much more of a warrior, with a higher Attack stat than regular Farfetch'd (regular Farfetch'd has a higher speed stat so it can run away from danger faster as opposed to helping anyone out), so it helps protect its community from invaders. However, its Leek ain't yummy with how thick it is, and Galarian Farfetch'd hasn't fit studying into its timeline.

As for the Egg... well, Eggs aren't edible and they don't have an aroma. You may wonder why Sukkot includes the Jew who isn't really good in any respect as part of the lulav bundle during the holiday. That's because all Jews are important in Judaism, and not doing good deeds or studying scripture is a mere temporary state. That Jewish person, in fact, has great untapped potential. Much like the Egg. You won't know its Nature or IVs (or Shiny-ness) until after it hatches. It could be amazing or it could be mediocre. It has a wide range of possibilities and potential! (But depending on your philosophy, even a counterintuitively natured Farfetch'd could still later do good if raised well and has weak enough competition.)

May Sirfetch'd not be let down by its twerpy trainer in its upcoming Pokémon World Championship battle!



One of Ludwig's regrets on KoopaTV is that he should've made 2x2 matrices more often. Thanks again to ShinyGirafarig for the artwork and making this article possible! Let Ludwig know if this makes you like the Farfetch'd line less than you did before... or more.


Sirfetch'd isn't the only Jewish Pokémon. There's also Venusaur.

9 comments :

  1. Another Jewish article with birds? As they say "If I had a nickel for every time that happened, I'd have two nickels. Which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice".

    As odd as this topic is, i must applaud the creativity here. At any rate, i learned something new. The untapped potential of an egg/person analogy was somewhat heartwarming.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, the first one was nine years ago. And that was in a collaboration with Thanksgiving. Totally different approach.

      Delete
    2. He brought up an article detail from 9 years ago? That's genuinely terrifying, I don't think I was HERE 9 years ago! Not quite, anyway. Actually, how many years HAVE I followed KoopaTV, I wonder? But anyway, no wonder he almost always wins the loyalty contests!

      Delete
    3. It's coincidence (I think)—Captain Stitch just commented on that particular article two days ago because he sometimes checks out the "View Some Random Posts" feature on the sidebar on desktop and he happened to get that.

      Delete
    4. A coincidence, but a very strange coincidence indeed. Who knows, maybe 9 years later the same thing will happen. Does the number 9 carry any meaning for the Jewish people or... birds??

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    5. For Jewish people, nine doesn't have much going for it.
      Seven is very special (number of days the world was created plus one, the rest day.)
      Eight is special for its centrality in Chanukkah.
      Ten is relevant too for the story of the Ten Martyrs, and the number of days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as the Ten Commandments.
      18 is a special number with a lot of meaning (representative of "life"), and Jewish people give gifts in multiples of 18.

      Nine ain't got much going for it.

      As for birds...uh.... I got nothing for ya. I tried looking into the number of bird sub-species for example, and it's not nine.

      Delete
  2. I did not think my drawing would be used for anything.

    ReplyDelete

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