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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kapler: Pinstriped Yarmulkes

“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?

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:54 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: derek jeter, religion, yankees

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   1. winnipegwhip Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4780433)
I will let the voice of Larry David be my guide on such matters.

To Work on Not?
   2. bobm Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4780464)
I have a Star of David tattooed on my body ... That said, I don’t practice Judaism.

"That said" seems superfluous in this context.

   3. dejarouehg Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4780470)
Wasn't he portrayed as being an observant Jew when he first came up?

Watched a report with him recently about his sons being raised atheists.

As much as I rooted for him, from a cultural brotherhood perspective, I can never knock someone for passing on organized religion.

   4. Srul Itza Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4780478)
Not everyone is aware that the Jewish religion forbids tattoos.
   5. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4780499)
#4, that's not quite the end of the reasons why a Jew should never get a tattoo. Or put differently, my grandfather could show me his.
   6. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 01:57 AM (#4780632)
Not everyone is aware that the Jewish religion forbids tattoos.

Well, kinda.

Given that there isn't one practice or set of orthodoxies, it's not really true that "the Jewish religion" forbids tattoos. More traditional forms of it do; they also forbid cremation. That said, I know lots and lots of Jews, and not fakey, west-coast-secular Jews like me, who have tattoos and/or intend to get cremated. I know at least one who did both. There's a lot of stuff that's forbidden by certain stripes of Judaism that's totally fine if you subscribe to a different stripe.
   7. bobm Posted: August 28, 2014 at 02:05 AM (#4780634)
There's a lot of stuff that's forbidden by certain stripes of Judaism that's totally fine if you subscribe to a different stripe.

The old joke:

Two Jews are stranded on a desert island. They build three synagogues --- one for the orthodox Jew, one for the reform Jew, and one that neither one of them will ever set foot in!
   8. i'm only STEAGLES when it's complicated Posted: August 28, 2014 at 02:08 AM (#4780635)
There are lots of Jews in the New York media...
there's probably a better way to begin that sentence.

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