I’ve been sick for two weeks. Bronchitis and the whole deal.
Sick to my stomach, though, this past week as a result of a very unsettling story out of Texas where Robert M. Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish school in Houston, was almost forced to forfeit its appearance in the boys basketball state semifinal because the game was scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday. In observance of the Sabbath, Beren Academy doesn’t play from sundown on Fridays to sundown on Saturdays.
The school appealed to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), the event’s organizers, but that appeal was denied. Lawyers representing the team’s players and parents then filed a complaint Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in Dallas. Facing legal pressure, TAPPS eventually rescheduled the game for 2 p.m. Friday.
In the semifinal played Friday at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth, Beren Academy beat Dallas Covenant, 58-46. Last night, Beren Academy lost to Abilene Christian, 46-42, in the championship game.
There are a few lessons here.
First, U.S. schools - public, private, and in this case even parochial - need to do a better job respecting religion. I’ll leave it at that.
Second, we can all learn a lesson from the kids and parents at Beren Academy. When it seemed like their season was over, when all hope seemed to be lost because a few adults got it so wrong, this was their response (as reported by the New York Times):
“The sacred mission will trump excellence in the secular world,” Rabbi Harry Sinoff said. ”There isn’t any more for us to do,” Sinoff said. “We want to be in this year, but if not this year, next year.”
“Our record has never been this good,” Zachary Yoshor, a junior on the team, said. “We’ve been able to win against teams that we’ve never beaten before. I’m appreciative that we’ve been able to play this far.”
The real kicker came at the end of the article, when Mark Buchine, whose son is on the team, put it all in perspective.
“It’s disappointing,” Buchine said. “I think the kids will be disappointed, too, but the team has this attitude of when there are bad calls, you just move on.”
I don’t care how much it costs, or what he’s doing at the time, get that man to Greenwich immediately.
IN NEED OF A TITLE, IN NEED OF A HOME
Rob Adams likes to call this my “Hit and Run.” But when I hit, Rob, I don’t run.
– There’s no more noble organization in town than the Greenwich Animal Control. You may have read about “Red” in the paper. He was abandoned on Weaver Street, then patiently waited to be rescued. Maybe you’ll find it in your heart to adopt one of these guys.
– Speaking of pets, to the young boy, I’d say middle-school age, who stopped to pet our dog, Kermit, this week: Thanks bud, we all appreciate your kindness. And to the lady, apparently fearful of dogs, who some time ago said “The face!” while keeping her distance from Kermit: Rest assured, lady, that he wasn’t a big fan of your face either.
– CAPT begins this week. It’s a good time to remind everyone that there are wonderful things happening at Greenwich High School. One I told you about on Wednesday- Unified Sports. I’ll get a few more to you this week.
– This year’s great book success story is Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.
– Enough already with the Rick Santorums of the world attacking Barack Obama’s religious beliefs. The President goes to Church on Sundays, prays daily, takes care of his family, and treats people with respect. That’s a pretty good theology if you ask me.
– Great issue of Sports Illustrated this week. The UCLA story was classic SI.
– If weathermen were evaluated like they want to evaluate teachers, they’d all be out with today’s rain. After telling us, of course, that it would be sunny.