The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 6 June 2009 / 13 Sivan 5769

Shades of Sandy

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

There is something about Yom Kippur that has an impact even on the world of sports.

When the owner of the New York Jets football team discovered that his team was scheduled to play against the Tennessee Titans on September 27 in a game set to start at 4:15 pm, he quickly made a calculation that Jewish fans would not have enough time to get home for the beginning of Yom Kippur that evening. It was bad enough that the home opener for his team was on the second day of Rosh Hashana. But to lose Jewish fans two games in a row was too much.

The situation recalled the heroic move made by Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax who refused to pitch in a World Series game on Yom Kippur 44 years ago. This time the problem was solved by getting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reschedule the Erev Yom Kippur game to 1:00 pm so that fans could arrive home before sundown, undoubtedly emotionally prepared for the big day of soul searching and repentance.

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