Jews & Sports

from Big Mo's Sports Desk

Yom Kippur Support in England

From the Jerusalem Post:

Many Jews who don't necessarily observe the Sabbath, in one way or another observe Yom Kippur. In most cases, this is a private matter between the individual and his or her creator.

But when it comes to people like Avram Grant, the former coach of the Israel national soccer team and the current manager (head coach) of Britain's West Ham United, it enters the public domain and becomes headline news on the sports pages of major British dailies.

Although this is not the first time that Yom Kippur has fallen on Saturday, it is the first time that it fell on a day that clashed with Grant's obligations as a team manager. Grant has certain lines that he will not cross for any football team or any football game. One, as the son of a Holocaust survivor, is his annual participation in the March of the Living; the other is choosing the synagogue over the soccer field on Yom Kippur.

He wasn't the only Israeli sporting personality who made that choice. West Ham's talented and greatly admired defender Tal Ben-Haim, who is currently on loan to the team, also put faith ahead of soccer and did not play in last Saturday's game against Stoke City, which ended in a 1:1 draw. [A loss would have had disastrous consequences for the team's final league standings. -ed.]

From The Algemeiner Journal

…Grant thanked players and fans for their understanding after he missed the game to observe Yom Kippur.

"I have been very touched by the support I received this weekend in observing Yom Kippur. The backing of the owners, the positive messages from the fans and the commitment and effort of my staff and players was truly special. I am humbles by this response" he said.

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