Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Jewish years. As a Reform Jew (the least observant in the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox branches of American Jewry), our religious education was made up of Sunday school, Hebrew school instruction and Bar Mitzvah lessons. The Jewish years coincided with my Junior High jail sentence so you understand that they did not happen under rosy skies. In October 1962, I might have been in Hebrew School and Junior High, but events were happening nearby and in San Francisco which I was following with a passion. My New York Yankees were playing the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. All of us in class had these little transistor radios of the day plugged into our ears and our Hebrew teacher, Rabbi Lief was complimenting us on our attention and decorum. At the time, he was oblivious to the fact that we were ignoring every word he said and listening to a baseball game being played 3,000 miles away. Willie McCovey came to bat, Willie Mays on deck. There were runners on second and third and the Yankees squeezing a precarious 1-0 lead. One more out and they would be back to back world champions. But if Willie Mac hit safely, the championship would go to the Giants. Ralph Terry pitched the ball and Mac hit a screamer----right into the glove of Yankees Bobby Richardson. The Yankees had won the World Series. We went nuts! WE jumped out of our seats, yelling and screaming and hugging each other with laughter and tears in our eyes. Rabbi Lief almost had a stroke. I doubt we did any Hebrew studies that day. It didn’t matter. Despite the fact that we were prisoners at Temple Beth-el in Huntington New York, the Yankees had given us reason to believe that someday, there was a better life to live.

No comments: