The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 11 December 2010 / 3 Tevet 5771

Charity Saves From Defeat

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Charity, said the wisest of men, King Solomon, saves from death.

A soccer team in Israel turned this advice into a strategy for avoiding defeat, a fate comparable to death for sports competitors.

Beitar Yerushalayim was scheduled to play against the national champions, Maccabi Haifa, and an extra measure of motivation was needed to overcome superior opponents. Team sponsor Eddie Mor hit on the idea of saving his players from defeat through charity. He set up a partnership between the team and Aleh, an organization serving children with disabilities with centers in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Gedera, and kicked it off with a donation of $10,000. His players responded with their most inspired play of the year and scored a 4-0 upset.

It's one of the secrets of team sports, said Mor after also organizing regular visits to the centers by team players. They play better when they look beyond themselves and focus on the team.

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