YidLife Crisis is a web series that follows two Montreal-born Jews as they journey on an adventure of sex, drugs, milk and meat. The protagonists, Jamie Elman and Eli (or Leizer as he sometimes prefers to be called) Batalion, highlight the struggles of living piously as Jews in contemporary society where being kosher, keeping the Sabbath, and even fasting on Yom Kippur are no longer as mainstream as they once were.
Oh, and they do it all in Yiddish, resurrecting what many throughout the show otherwise refer to as a ‘dead language’.
The show’s first season did quite well, accumulating over 200,000 views in a year, and garnering reviews from The Huffington Post, The Times of Israel, and of course, The CJN (the two also recently penned a special Rosh Hashanah Op-Ed for The CJN). But it seems Batalion and Elman are only getting started. Judging strictly from their season 2 premiere, viewers can expect even more debauchery, slander, and chutzpah from the next season, albeit, in a hilarious and banter-filled manner that speaks to any Jew, and anyone, who has ever questioned the laws imposed by religion.
In the premiere, our beloved Yids embark for a circumcision that takes place on Rosh Hashanah, debating, as we’ve become accustomed, why Jewish traditions today should be taken seriously, with Elman reaffirming his role as devil’s advocate, while Batalion plays the proud, yet incorrigible, defender of the tribe. This Hour Has 22 Minutes' own Abdul Butt plays the role of the converting Jew.
If conversion, and thus circumcision, are not enticing enough issues for you, the two also tackle Jews for Jesus, and whether or not it’s kosher to get stoned on Rosh Hashanah (after all, it is the “high holidays,” quips Elman). You can watch the premiere, aptly titled “Off the Top,” below. A warning, though: while the show is, in addition to funny, also insightful, and makes several valid points about religion and culture, it’s not for anyone who can be too easily offended.
The duo have also released a special five-minute Howie Mandel episode, which you can watch below. If you reside in Toronto, Elman and Batalion will be bringing their “intensely neurotic hybrid screening/live show” to the Koffler Center of the Arts for the official Season 2 launch on Oct. 1.
For more info, check out their website.