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Friday, March 2, 2012

Sport as a Living Metaphor, The Young Jewish Basketball Heros of American Jewry

Earlier in the week I posted about religion in the United States from a different angle.  The story of the Jewish basketball team in Texas perfectly shows how the USA was founded for Christians, not other religions.


International news agencies looking for something special latched onto the David versus Goliath or Maccabees versus the Greeks story of the Orthodox Jewish day school basketball team that surprised everyone by getting into the semi-final playoff spot in the private/parochial school league and then refused to play, because the game would be on the Sabbath, Shabbat.  The league countered by saying that the school knew from the start when they joined the league that there were games on the Jewish Sabbath, but no doubt that the school never expected to succeed to the level that it would be a problem.

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) was established to suit the needs of typical American private and parochial schools.  Now, what's a "parochial school?"
A parochial school is a school that provides religious education in addition to conventional education. In a narrower sense, a parochial school is a Christian grammar school or high school which is part of, and run by, a parish.[1]...
United States Historically, most American parochial schools have been Catholic schools (often elementary schools attached to a local parish), as well as schools run by Lutherans, Calvinists and Orthodox Jews...
Considering all, it's pretty clear why the Beren Academy in Houston Texas, an Orthodox Jewish school joined TAPPS.  Houston, Texas is too far from enough other Orthodox Jewish schools to make it's own Sabbath-observant sports league.  The USA has changed, and the concept of a "parochial school" is no longer all shades, denominations, of Christianity.

It reminds me of a true story from over a generation ago, when a young Jewish boy from New York had been sent to a "non-denomination" private school.  The family, being decades in Jewish neighborhoods in New York, understood that to mean "all religions."  The poor kid discovered that it meant "all types of Christians," and he was totally out of place.  He didn't come from a religiously observant Jewish family, so the problem wasn't kosher food and Shabbat.  But there was still  a big difference, and he didn't continue studying in that school for long.

So, what happened in the end to these loyal Jews of Texas?

TAPPS Adjusts Schedule So Beren Academy Can Play Semi-Finals Game! TAPPS announced that due to a court order, they will change the schedule.  America is being forced to change.

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