Thursday, August 09, 2007

Baseball and Aliyah



The IBL did its part to support Aliyah by welcoming the NBN Olim on Tuesday and here was the reaction of the baseball players as described by Beit Shemesh Blue Sox outfielder Alan Gardner:

The IBL contingent all were surprised by how emotional the experience was for them. Jason Bonder will be attending the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan this fall. For Jason, it was an extremely touching experience to see family upon family exiting the buses dedicated to raising their children in Israel and becoming a part of the fabric of the larger Jewish community that makes up most of Israel. Scott Perlman noted the contrast between how people generally immigrate to the United States to pursue the opportunity for greater financial and other material rewards while the people we met had generally left financial success to come to Israel for a greater purpose, to share a national community in the homeland of the Jewish people...to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Ben Englehart felt such a strong feeling of unity, family and belonging that he wished he'd already packed his bags to join the newcomers. Steve Raab was awestruck by the joy and happiness he saw on the faces of the Olim as they embraced family and friends waiting to greet them. Dan Saltzman's brother made Aliyah last year. He was reminded of the emotions of his brother and his family as he watched families leaving the buses with their children and picking up their luggage to start their new lives as Israelis dedicated to preserving, serving and improving the Jewish homeland.


Read the full article with photos here.

2 Comments:

Anonymous josh said...

After making aliyah, I still kept up with the 'national' baseball, hockey, and basketball leagues, but it slowly sank in that after loosing interest, I simply didn't care anymore for that aspect of the galut culture. At the same time of losing interest in holywood, I lost interest in multimillion$$$ 'athletes' as well. Coming to Israel lets you get a new perspective of things and I guess that I finally realized that 'professional sports' is merely entertainment moguls looking for some of the cash in my pocket.

So I was surprised and also unsurprised about this initiative of bringing a baseball league to Israel. The absurdity that most of the players are goyim doesn't help me to reunite with one of my favourite sports here in Israel, and I do not know if I want my kids to start worshipping players and teams and knowing 'stats' either.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah, josh...how our lives and ideas can change...so long as we are truly happy, that is what matters...my hope, as a player and purist, is for baseball to take hold in Israel, not for the hero worship, though we may disagree as to the benefits of children choosing responsible, hard-working athletes as people to look up to; rather, it is because baseball is a very Jewish game...it's rules are many and some are somewhat arcane, but they all make sense; there is a great degree of strategy and counter-strategy in well-played baseball games; to play, and moreso, to manage, at a high level really requires lots of study and reflection on skills, play and player options for games, matchups, etc. it is not simply about throwing, hitting and running as fast as one can.
Knowing stats may bother you, but it also gets kids working with numbers in ways that advance their math skills (and there are so many more stats to know today and how to figure them out); the truth is, so long as a parent teaches a child discipline (there's a time and a place for everything), being a real baseball fan is a positive, not a negative. hope you'll join us with your children at some ballgames next season. Who knows, maybe one of them will end up throwing out a first pitch...

1:18 AM  

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