Jack’s Winning Words 10/12/16
“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” (FDR) It’s Yom Kippur, a day for stressing the importance of doing the right thing. In 1934, Detroit Tigers star, Hank Greenberg, chose not to play on Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Day. The Tigers lost that game and, eventually, the World Series. Hank was ridiculed for the choice he made, but now, he is now admired for that choice. The right way is always the right way. ;-) Jack
FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: interesting story. do you think they would have won both the game and the World Series had he played that day? or is that just too much speculation?====JACK: Well, he did play on Rosh Hashanah, a few days earlier and hit 2 homers, the last was a walk-off winner as the Tigers beat the Red Sox 2 to 1. You be the judge!====PAUL: holy cow, Jack. you must be a baseball whiz kid? how do you know all these details/facts?====JACK: Since Greenberg was from Detroit, stories are often printed about him. Not only was baseball racist at that time. There was also anti-semitism, and some players were openly critical, because he let the team down in favor of his religion. There were fans who thought the same way.
FROM PRJM: Amen to that! Not always the easy way, either. ====JACK: Real atonement isn't supposed to be easy. Even self-flagellation didn't work for Luther. He had to rely on grace alone.
FROM TRIHARDER: When he walked into Shaari Zedek for services that morning, it is said that he received a standing ovation.====JACK: I always like to hear "the rest of the story." Each of us has a story beyond that which is commonly known...even you...and me.
FROM TARMART REV: I always felt guilty about practicing my bowling on Sundays, however, if it was bowling during a tournament on Sunday, I made that an exception . . . I still will not mow our lawn on a Sunday.====JACK: I think that much of "Sabbath behavior" goes back to works righteousness. Having said that, I'm not going to criticize someone for practicing their religion in a way that meets their spiritual needs...wearing a hijab, for example'
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Today is Kimberly's birthday. Many years either her birthday or my birthday (Oct 8) lands on Yom Kippur. When I was little, I asked what Yom Kippur was and as usual, my parents told me to look it up in the Books of Knowledge. Then I had to tell everyone at dinner what I researched....we all did that. Every meal was a long conversation between all of us kids and our parents. We all took times telling what we did that day or what we found interesting. We carried that relationship in our families.====JACK: One of my church members was able to quote, word for word, classical poetry (The Village Smithy, for example). When he was growing up his father had him recite poetry at the supper table. It was similar to your B of K assignment.
FROM MY ATTORNEY: Hank Greenberg was a baseball player. A team leader. A league leader. A Jew. Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall in the regular season and in 1934 Greenberg's Detroit Tigers were involved in the pennant race. Greenberg wrote in his autobiography, "The team was fighting for first place, and I was probably the only batter in the lineup who was not in a slump. But in the Jewish religion, it is traditional that one observe the holiday solemnly, with prayer. One should not engage in work or play. And I wasn't sure what to do." Greenberg's rabbi said that Rosh Hashanah was a "festive holiday" and playing would be acceptable. Hank played and hit two home runs including a ninth inning game winner. "I caught hell from my fellow parishioners, I caught hell from some rabbis, and I don't know what to do. It's ten days until the next holiday — Yom Kippur." Those words, and his choice not to play on Yom Kippur due to its significance, inspired Edgar Guest to pen the following prose. "Suppose I stay out of the game and we lost the pennant by one game?" - Hank Greenberg
Came Yom Kippur -- A Hank Greenberg Poem
Author: Edgar Guest ©. Published: 1934. Appeared In: Detroit Free Press
"Came Yom Kippur — holy fast day world wide over to the Jew,
And Hank Greenberg to his teaching and the old tradition true
Spent the day among his people and he didn't come to play.
Said Murphy to Mulrooney, 'We shall lose the game today!
We shall miss him on the infield and shall miss him at the bat
But he's true to his religion — and I honor him for that!'"