Roger Goodell is Good for the Jews

Thursday, 24 November, 2022 - 2:40 pm

They say that 13 is the age when a young Jewish boy realizes that he is more likely to own a professional sports team than play for one. In fact, nearly one third of owners of the five major pro sports league teams in the US are Jewish or of Jewish parentage, including over 25% of NFL owners. So, if Roger Goodell is good for the NFL owners, he is good for the Jews. But more specifically, I refer back to an article that I wrote 7 years ago entitled, “Fire Roger Goodell.” At that time the NFL flexed a Saints game from noon to the later time slot, which collided with the scheduled time for Chanukah @ Riverwalk. You can read it here:

Ever since then I have been anxious each time there is a game scheduled on the same day as Chanukah @ Riverwalk. This year, the first night of Chanukah is on Sunday, Dec. 18. When planning the event, we looked at the schedule and noticed that the NFL had the Dec. 18 game start time designated as TBD. We have been anxiously awaiting the schedule to be determined so that we could set the time of the program. This week the NFL announced that the game is being moved to Saturday, Dec 17. This is good for the Jews. Now we have been able to schedule Chanukah @ Riverwalk 2022 without any concern of the conflict with the Saints game. We hope you will all join us at the Riverwalk Spanish Plaza on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 4-6 pm for this year’s special celebration. (See below for information on a gathering to benefit victims of the war in Ukraine, that will take place before the event at 3 pm.)

On a different note, while I was in New York last Friday for the annual Kinus (conference of) HaShluchim, I got a message from my friend Lior, who met my son Sholom in Tel Aviv that day at the Tefillin stand on Dizengoff Square. While they were chatting, another man walks by and Lior says to him, “Do you know who this young man is? He is the son of Rabbi Mendel Rivkin in New Orleans.” The man’s name is DSC01964.jpgYehuda Peretz. He was here in 2011 for aSholom and Yehuda Peretz.jpg liver transplant. Sholom looks at him in disbelief. 11 years ago he was at death’s door, and now he looks robust and healthy, thank G-d. He said to Yehuda, “Were you in the hospital on Purim? Do you remember a delegation from Chabad coming to read the Megillah and play music?” Yehuda remembered. Sholom continued, “I was the little boy who accompanied my father to your room that day.” They took a photo together and it was a beautiful full circle that demonstrates the power of connection through Ahavat Yisrael – love for one’s fellow.

May we experience many miracles from Hashem that allow us to offer constant Thanksgiving for His blessings.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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