Judaism and baseball: Remembering Sandy Koufax
Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It's known as the Day of Atonement.
On this day, Jews around the world fast for 24 hours and are urged to consider how they can become better people in the coming year (Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the new year, was last week). In 1965, All Star Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, a Jew, was scheduled to pitch game 1 of the World Series.
Jews around the world skip work and school to have a meaningful fast with their families and communities - Koufax thought his job was no different than any other, so he refused to go in to 'the office' that day. Koufax refused to pitch in the World Series because he wanted to remain steadfast to his religion and his commitment to his beliefs.
That's a man with integrity. There are many stories of Jews excelling in professional sports against the odds (let's face it... we Jews aren't typically built for the professional leagues!), but Koufax's story and his decision to not pitch in the World Series is the most famous of all.
It's an example to Jews everywhere - it reminds us how to prioritize, and how to make decisions for yourself, not for those around you.
So, on this day, as I hungrily type away, I am remembering Sandy Koufax.