Remembering when Mallory Palmer went viral combining sea lions with the blasts of the shofar

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Jordan Palmer, Mallory's Dad

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the Jewish news world went bonkers for St. Louis TikTok user named Mallory Palmer, who created a viral video combining the call of sea lions with the blasts of the shofar. Forward, JTA, Times Of Israel, The Cleveland Jewish News, all carried the headline. Heck, Rabbi Erica Asch of Temple Beth El in Augusta, Maine, gave her a shoutout in her Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon.

When the video picked up steam, I suddenly realized, my daughter Mallory Palmer, was actually funny, despite her mother’s best efforts.

How does a video go viral? Well, when people you don’t know see it, and then make posts like this, it just goes and goes.

I have no idea who Jonny Kunza is, but after he tweeted out Mallory’s video, the fun began. We got calls from more than 30 synagogues from Brooklyn to San Diego, Carmel, and Brisbane, Australia, all asking for permission to use the video in their virtual services, or invite Mallory to join them on Zoom.

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Messages poured in from family and friends who said the video was shared to them multiple times by people who didn’t know Mallory, but could not stop laughing and had to share it.

“I’ve been thinking about this all day and I just have to do it, I have to, I have to,” says Mallory in her intro in the clip.

Then she says “tekiah,” one of the traditional shofar sounds — but instead of a shofar responding, a sea lion delivers a single call that could fit right in during Rosh Hashanah services.

“Shevarim,” howls Mallory and another sea lion responds with the staccato sounds of the nine-note blast (actually the “teruah” call, but who’s counting). For “tekiah gedolah,” the extended tone that concludes the shofar service, multiple seals offer their call at once.

“I know that the sounds aren’t PERFECT but still. Happy Rosh Hashanah!” Mallory wrote. The mashup has gone viral, with nearly 72,000 views five days after she posted it.

Not wanting to be confused with other great Jewish scholars, my daughter cleared the air by posting

“This is my formal apology to my Jewish following,” she wrote on a post set to a song combining Nikki Minaj’s “Super Bass” and Hava Nagilah. “I know you followed me for Jewish memes but unfortunately this is a Percy Jackson account.”

@loganlermansupremacist#duet with @aquariumpacific i know that the sounds aren’t PERFECT but still. happy rosh hashanah! #jewish #jewishtiktok

♬ Sea Lions are LOUD Aquarium of the Pacific – AquariumofthePacific