“the day we proclaim the King of the Universe”... wait, that’s what I thought Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium was.
This year, Derek Jeter dons his stripes at Yankee Stadium for the final time on one of the holier days of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah. It also gives me a chance to pose a question to all of the media members. The tables have turned, punks. For those of you who are also members of the tribe, will you be covering this game?...
Granted, I’m not Sandy Koufax. I’m not even Kevin Youkilis or Shawn Green. Hell, I’m probably not Scott Feldman. The likelihood of my being in the lineup on any given Jewish holiday was roughly the same as the odds of a left-handed pitcher (or Kent Bottenfield) being on the mound.
That didn’t stop the reporters from asking. “Gabe, what’s your plan? Will you play?”
My reply was always the same.
“I’m ridiculously proud of my Jewish heritage. I have a Star of David tattooed on my body for that reason. That said, I don’t practice Judaism. It would be awfully hypocritical for me not to be available to my manager and my team if I wouldn’t be attending synagogue. I’m just as likely to be setting my fantasy football lineup as reading from the Torah.” ...
This isn’t an article about whether to play (or work) or not to play. Nor is it a discussion about Jewish holidays. Instead, it’s just a chance to ask the media the question I was always asked. There are lots of Jews in the New York media who will be deciding whether to be loyal to their synagogue or to the Captain on September 25th. I won’t be in Yankee Stadium the day Jeter waves goodbye; I’ll be in Los Angeles. What will you do? Before you answer, I have your rabbi on speed dial. How’s that for some good old-fashioned Jewish guilt?
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