July 21, 2016

3 min read


Forget Pokémon Go… now there’s Pokémensch!

My kids return to school soon but it can’t be soon enough for me ever since Pokémon Go was released. In case you haven’t seen this faddish phenomenon sweep the nation, (and you’d have to be blindfolded with your talis to miss it) it’s a new Smartphone app you download that connects to your GPS to direct you to move about the outside world to capture strange little critters onscreen and earn points.

How about: “Parsha Pokémensch”?

But as any smart Jewish mother knows, (You might refer to me as a Pokémaven?) if you can’t beat ‘em, you should join ‘em. Therefore I would like to present my newish Jewish version of the popular game that finally gets your kids off their tuches and onto their own two legs (for you Yiddish speakers, that’s why I almost named it Pulkemon!) and encourages them to do good deeds (Mitzvahs) for others.

The tagline for regular Pokémon Go is “Gotta Catch ‘em All!” So of course my slogan is “Never Kvetch At All!”

Types of PokéMitzvahs Your Child Will Do:

Chores: (My Pokémensch app encourages children to help out around the house!)

  • “Permanent Press Pokémensch” pops up suddenly when they do their own laundry. He’s wrinkle free, brightly colored on one side and pale on the other, reminding them to separate the whites from the brights.

  • “Puffy Pillow Pokémensch” can be located under their sheets for when they make their bed. I gotta admit he looks a bit militant and you can even bounce a quarter off of him.

  • If they should accidentally wander within even a hundred yard radius of the dishwasher, “Cascade Pokémensch” magically materializes, beckoning them to unload spotless drinking glasses and shiny plates with his crystal clear appearance.

  • A “PokéPooch” will manifest whenever they remember to walk that family dog they promised that you’d never have to take care of. But first they must wipe the dust off his leash and actually make it out the front door.

Errands: (They’ll beg to accompany you around the city now!)

  • Getting your kids to the doctor and the dentist for check-ups has never been easier now that I designed the “Pediatrician Pokémensch” and the “Plaque Pokémensch.” (Don’t be dense -- of course one wears a stethoscope and the other holds a toothbrush!)

  • “Pride and Prejudice Pokémensch” will tempt your children into a library so they will (gasp) read a book.

  • “Payless Pokémensch” will have your child agreeing to shop in this reasonably priced franchise for shoes rather than needing the popular Vans or Sketchers at designer prices. Of Note: A white non-leather sneaker monster reveals itself in time for Yom Kippur and Tishah B’Av.

  • “PokéMetamucil” guarantees that going to Bubbie and Zayde’s house will never be seen as boring. An elderly character eating prunes, wearing dentures, and using a walker will offer bonus points for each grandchild’s visit.

Respecting Religion (Elevate your children’s spirituality from a Pikachu to a PikaJew!)

  • “Prayers/Psalms/Parsha Pokémensch” will ensure your kid is drawn into a synagogue on many occasions other than his Bar Mitzvah.

  • And of course “Promised Land Pokémensch” will entice your older teen to sign up for birthright and go tour Israel.

Note: If you decide to borrow my Pokémensch invention, feel free to omit the annoying little accent mark over the “e” that drove me “Pokémashuggah” trying to figure out how to type on my keyboard. And you’re welcome!

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