The Way It Iz

Judaism Requires Abortions?

The United States is a Christian country. We may not have an official religion, but come on – it’s not...

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In one of the most surprising turns of events in politics, Andrew Cuomo has decided to resign from office, becoming the third consecutive head of state to end his tenure in disgrace. At this point, the New York Governor is basically the Defense Against the Dark Arts position at Hogwarts, after a curse was placed upon the position by George Pataki. All across the land, there were cries of triumph from all of his political opponents, Democratic and Republican alike, perhaps none more so than his fiercest rival, embattled New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio. Democrats, specifically, got to puff out their chests. “See,” they were heard to say. “We take care of our problems in-house,” pointing to how they successfully ousted Cuomo with overwhelming support from his own party, and contrasting it with how Republicans refused to do something about Donald Trump for four years.

Amid growing outrage over Ben and Jerry’s decision to halt all business in Judea and Samaria, the America’s largest township took action. Last Thursday, the Town of Hempstead became the first to prohibit any future business with not only the famous ice cream brand, but also with its parent company, Unilever. Flanked by a bipartisan coalition, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin made the announcement ending business relations with Unilever. This decision follows a 2016 law that prohibited the town government from conducting business with anyone that openly boycotts America or its allies, including Israel.

Righteous indignation is an emotional or angry reaction over the perception of the mistreatment of another. Though it has a basis in Christian doctrine, it has become a rallying cry on all sides of the political spectrum. The more one is able to claim moral outrage, the easier it is to make a moral argument. Historically, it can be the basis of the fight to free slaves, the creation of the New Deal, or even the establishment of a federal income tax. But more recently, it is being used to club political opponents.

Over the last few months, Conservatives have had a few rallying cries. There was pushback against BLM (the organization), followed by the opposition to Critical Race Theory. But the granddaddy of all Conservative rallying cries has been “Cancel Culture.” For those out there who just pushed that giant boulder out of the opening of the hole they have been crammed into for the last five years, Cancel Culture is the practice of a public rejection of an individual or group of people based on the socially or morally unaccepted view or action. A person may lose their career, company, sponsorships, opportunities, or social standing based on a position they hold, an action they took, or even an ill-advised tweet they sent.

Sports has come a long way. Athletes are no longer seen as these specimens of infallible physical perfection. Gone are the days of Michael Jordan scoring 38 points in the NBA Finals with the flu, or Kerri Strug attempting the vault in the 1996 Olympics and earning a gold medal, or Curt Schilling pitching Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series on a torn tendon in his ankle. Athletes are now seen as they always should have been: human.

This past week, one of the most consequential events regarding Jews in sports occurred. Jacob Steinmetz, the 6’5” 220-pound right-handed pitcher was the first known practicing Orthodox Jewish player to be drafted into the Major Leagues. Steinmetz went 77th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and has the potential to be the first frum big leaguer. So, let’s take a few moments to determine Steinmetz’s chance at making the majors and what this means for the future of Jews in sports.