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RICK "SHAQ" GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "THE BIG LEBOWSKI: 3,000 YEARS OF BEAUTIFUL TRADITION: FROM MOSES TO SANDY KOUFAX"
on November 14, 2012
"Jewish Jocks" is the perfect formula for all that is special in modern Jewish literature... history past and present... more sorrow than any one people deserve to be burdened with... denigration that many don't... won't... and shouldn't put up with... writing that from paragraph to paragraph can range from poetic... to humorous... to agonizingly emotional if you are a true member of the tribe... role models in areas you may not have thought to look for them in... and the beautiful sense of family and pride over the centuries... and yes... more and more Jewish idols and role models in sports!
The very short stories that range from Sid Luckman to Sandy Koufax... and from Mose Soloman (whose signing by John McGraw and the Giants led to the following headline in the Sporting News: "McGRAW PAYS 50K FOR ONLY JEWISH BALLPLAYER IN CAPTIVITY.") to boxing champion Barney Ross whose story written by Buzz Bissinger is probably the most powerful six page story you'll read in many a year!
The multiplicity of authors with subjects ranging from boxers from over 250 years ago to ping pong players to a basketball coach named Auerbach who never paid "retail" for the stars he acquired through trades, in what history has proven to be almost always one-sided in *THE-RED*... also include members of the tribe of Israel that are infamous as well. Including Arnold Rothstein who was part of the throwing of the 1919 World Series as well as Jack Molinas who helped throw basketball games from all sides of the court. What makes each short story provide a larger impact to the reader than the mere total of the pages... is that you can feel the personal heartfelt feelings in almost every writer's story.
In my opinion this book is not unlike a top athlete who can hit, field, run, throw and hit with power. This book can make you laugh... and make you want to cry. You are reminded of the Holocaust... and really what human being should ever forget that... with facts such as: "Three quarters of Dutch Jewry was murdered in the Holocaust, a higher proportion than anywhere else in western Europe"... it motivates you when the great Hank Greenberg said about all the anti-Semitic attacks: "IT DROVE ME TO DO BETTER, TO PROVE THAT A JEW COULD BE A BALLPLAYER." And the humor... "G-d made the Gentiles because someone had to buy retail."
There are so many great stories in this one book... and I'd be amiss to not make note of the one on the great prideful Al Rosen who fought back on and off the baseball field against the despicable anti-Semitism he faced and it "only intensified Rosen's Jewish identity."
There's a lot to be learned for both Jews and Gentiles in this book... from the fact "Between the two world wars, there were twenty-six Jewish boxing champions, including two of the greatest fighters of the era, Benny Leonard and Barney Ross"... to the tough as nails Jewish quarterback who changed the game by the name of Sid Luckman... "Sid (changing yet another stereotype) is remembered less for his brain than for his brawn. It was impossible to keep Sid Luckman out of a crucial contest. Like Moshe Dayan or Bugsy Siegel, he was the big Yid who tells the world, "YOU THINK YOU KNOW US, BUT YOU'RE WRONG."
P.S. And a little humor for the road: "Arnold Rothstein is the price we pay for Albert Einstein."