Monday, September 27, 2004

 

I have a little dreidil

I made it out of clay, but if it's the Saturday of Yom Kippur, baseball I will not play?

As many of you may or may not know, Shawn Green is an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and is a Jewish American. The Dodgers, who were in the midst of an extremely tight race for the NL West title, and the even closer race for the NL wild card, had a very uneasy situation on their hands when the high holiday of Yom Kippur rolled around this past weekend. What was their star players Shawn Green going to do? Could they possibly ask him to play and forfeit his religious beliefs, and could they afford to play without him?

Well Shawn did something many viewed as honorable, but I personally feel to be distasteful, he compromised. He played in the pivotal series opener with the Giants on Friday, a game the Dodgers won, but took Saturday off, honoring the Jewish tradition of not working on the Sabbath. So if his convictions are strong enough that they force him to not work one day, why does he bother working the other?

Maybe it's just that I'm bitter, maybe it's that I think he's being a hypocrite, but if you're going to say you're religion mandates you not play one day, why bother playing the other. Do you think his teammates would have really dogged him for taking 2 days to observe his religion? It's not as though he was out in the field with a yarmulke on eating latkes between innings and screaming oi everytime he swung and missed. Pressure was being applied to Shawn from both his Temple not to play, and his team to play, and I just think it's wrong. Ultimately, I'd imagine the pressure from both sides is what caused Shawn to play one game and not the other.

I guess I just feel bad for Shawn, to be put in such a strong place. It's just my take that as someone who had religious convictions deep enough to take one day off, he probably wanted to take both days off, and eventually succumb to the pressure around him. Some guys miss time because a child is born, a family member is ill, or a child's birthday; why is the Jewish New Year any different?

Maybe it's just that Shawn is a better man than I am, with as much commitment as the people he works with to his family and religion. I just know had the choice been mine, I would have sat out both games, and told anyone who thought otherwise to stick it where the sun doesn't shine (oi!).

As for the score, the Dodgers won the game Shawn played and lost the game he didn't, but who's to say that's his fault, or that it wasn't?

Happy Yom Kippur Shawn..

Comments:
Religion, like work ethic, are personal values that should not be influenced by the media or delirious students. Each person should decide on their own right what religion and the effect they will allow it to have on their lives, will be.

There is no single class of Judaism that says you must not play baseball on Yom Kippur. It is a spiritual feeling you decide to follow or not. Everyone has the right to determine exactly what their religion means to them. It is one of the founding principles of this great country.

I say let Shawn decide for himself how he will observe his own faith, and let him determine exactly what he will or won't sacrifice. In my mind Shawn respected both his teammates and his God by doing what he did. And had he played on both holy days, that is between Shawn and his maker, not media wannabees and the press.

Good article though.

BDT
 
now you are just being stupid the article wasn't going to sway any person from their own beliefs so you are dum for thinking that and that is what i believe...

~pig
 
hall of fame pitcher sandy koufax in the mid 60's in a much more important game (game 1 of the world series vs. the twin cities) sat out for his religous convictions...the dodgers were picked up by a good outing by drysdale to win that first game...the only thing that saved koufax was his win in the decided 7th game of the series to win the world championship for the dodgers, if drysdale had lost that first game or if koufax had lost game 7...his religious convictions would be viewed very differently...in the case of shawn greene you have a player who has greatly underachieved since arriving in LA from toronto and has only this year begun to pick up his play for the surging dodgers who have a relatively comfortable lead in the NL WEST with only a week left to play making them not even in a position to care about the wild card as they have a better record than any team in that bunched race...sandy koufax was a player for debate...shawn greene is a total non-issue but i am very thankful of the jews for larry david, my life would have so much less meaning without him
 
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