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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Rosh Hashana or football? Saturday, Jews must choose”

    Michael Schwartz
    Michael Schwartz

    So Saturday is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year and one of the biggest holidays on the Jewish calendar.

    It also happens to be the night of the Arizona football game against No. 3 USC, the biggest game on the UA sports calendar.

    What does that mean?

    The 10 percent of this campus that’s Jewish will have one more reason to celebrate the New Year after storming the field in the Wildcats’ last-second victory against the Trojans.(OK, OK, we might just have to stick with apples and honey).

    In any case, the Jewish students still need to choose between a relaxing Rosh Hashana weekend at home with their families or their first chance at seeing the Trojans since Matt Leinart’s first season as a starter three years ago.

    For some, the choice is easy – this is the High Holidays and nothing else should matter besides prayer and reflection.

    For others, football is also their religion, and there’s nothing so wrong about doing both: Rosh Hashana services Friday night and Saturday morning, and football in the evening.

    Although it was difficult to let Grandma down (I hope she’s not reading this), she’ll have to see me on ABC.

    This issue certainly isn’t unprecedented in Arizona football history.

    Just two years ago on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, when Jews repent for their sins, the Wildcats played Washington State at 12:30 p.m. on a Saturday in the game better known for former running back Gilbert Harris’ fumble with Arizona poised to run out the clock, instead allowing the Cougars to score a late, go-ahead touchdown.

    That day made the ritual Yom Kippur fast easy – there wasn’t any time to eat between services, as I manically changed into my red Zona Zoo shirt and blue Cats shorts and sprinted to Arizona Stadium just in time for kickoff.

    This year the rush shouldn’t be so bad with a 5 p.m. kickoff time.

    Still it’s too bad that such a big football game is being played on such an important Jewish holiday. It should be a day of prayer, family and reflection, but that’s not how the football gods want it to be.

    Unfortunately, there’s no way for an entire week of play to be postponed and no way to move the games to another day of the week. It just doesn’t work out logistically, and big games are played on holidays for every
    religion.

    In any case, things could be worse.

    At least there won’t be any Yom Kippur fast to break at kickoff.

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