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The Jewish Sport Report: Hank Greenberg’s 1934 High Holiday conundrum

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Hello, and shana tova to all those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, which begins tonight.

The life of a sports executive can be unpredictable. This week alone, the revolving door of baseball operations bosses saw David Stearns return to New York to run his hometown Mets and Chaim Bloom get abruptly fired by the Boston Red Sox.

As the Jewish podcasting duo Cespedes Family BBQ pointed out on social media, that makes for a “shana lo tova” — a not happy new year — for Bloom, who is an observant Jew.

Looking back at Hank Greenberg’s 1934 Rosh Hashanah dilemma

Hank Greenberg scores after hitting a home run to give the Detroit Tigers a 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox, Sept. 10, 1934. (UPI/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

The year is 1934, and future Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg is enjoying a breakout season for his American League-leading Detroit Tigers.

On Sept. 10, the Tigers were set to face the Boston Red Sox in a crucial game as they looked to hold onto their lead over Babe Ruth’s New York Yankees in the pennant race.

There was just one problem: the game fell on Rosh Hashanah.

Greenberg, who was raised in an Orthodox family, was torn. Playing would feel wrong on one of the holiest days in the Jewish year. Sitting out would mean letting his team down when it mattered most.

Click here to see what Greenberg ultimately decided — and how the game turned out.

Halftime report

ON TO THE NEXT ONE. Israel’s national soccer team — which features Premier League player Manor Solomon — is one step closer to qualifying for the 2024 European Championship. It would be their first qualification for a major soccer tournament since the 1970 World Cup. Israel beat Belarus 1-0 in a qualifying match on Tuesday on an injury-time goal from Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder Gabi Kanichowsky. Next up they’ll have to beat Switzerland on Oct. 12.

SERVE’S UP. Israel is gearing up for another Tel Aviv Watergen Open, which has become a premier international tennis tournament (all-time great Novak Djokovic played in and won the men’s contest last year). Organizers are working to expand the main court’s seating capacity to 4,500 to accommodate an increase in fan interest. The tournament will take place Nov. 5-11 and feature $1 million in prize money.

IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY. Sport Report readers know that Jewish MLB rookie Zack Gelof has been tearing it up with the Oakland Athletics. But his younger brother Jake is also on fire, in the minor leagues. The younger Gelof, who was drafted this summer by the Los Angeles Dodgers and is playing in Single-A, was just named Minor League Player of the Week in the California League after posting a .360 batting average with 16 RBI in just six games.

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN. Speaking of Jewish sports family dynasties, Quinn Hughes was just named captain of the Vancouver Canucks, joining a small group of Jewish NHL players to have ever earned that honor. Quinn’s brother Jack is an alternate captain for the New Jersey Devils, while current Tampa Bay Lightning Assistant Coach Jeff Halpern served as captain of the Washington Capitals (and of the U.S. National Team) during his playing career.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Greg Joseph and the Minnesota Vikings kicked off NFL Week 2 last night with a 34-28 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. Here’s the rest of the Jewish schedule in the NFL this week:

Sunday at 1 p.m. ET: Jake Curhan and the Seattle Seahawks play the Detroit Lions, while A.J. Dillon and the Green Bay Packers square off against the Atlanta Falcons.
Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET: Michael Dunn and the Cleveland Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.


Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer takes the mound Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET during a crucial series against the Tampa Bay Rays — the winner takes control of the AL East. Joc Pederson and the San Francisco Giants face Jake Bird and the Colorado Rockies this weekend, while Zack Weiss and the Boston Red Sox take on Spencer Horwitz and the Toronto Blue Jays.


Manor Solomon is back with Tottenham after playing with Israel earlier this week. The Spurs face Sheffield United Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. Daniel Edelman and the New York Red Bulls host their crosstown rivals, New York City F.C., Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. (It is unclear whether either player will suit up on Rosh Hashanah.)


Max Homa is back in action this weekend at the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California — which he won each of the last two years. David Lipsky is also competing in the tournament, while Ben Silverman is at the Simmons Bank Open in Tennessee.


Lance Stroll will be on the grid for the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, Sunday at 8 a.m. ET.

Bernie trades his mittens for a baseball glove

You may have seen the viral video of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders making a slick catch while pitching to his grandson. “Pitching Ninja” Rob Friedmancheck out our profile of the social media star here — put a fun spin on the clip, comparing the 82-year-old’s fielding to that of Hall of Fame pitcher and 18-time Gold Glove winner Greg Maddux.

The post The Jewish Sport Report: Hank Greenberg’s 1934 High Holiday conundrum appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Flip through the digital edition of the Summer 2024 print magazine from The Canadian Jewish News

We’ve produced a collection of feature articles four times a year since 2022. A special edition of this magazine will appear in mid-September—with reflections on the Jewish year that was. And in December, look out for a reimagined publication with a name of its own. Get future copies delivered to your door as a thank-you […]

The post Flip through the digital edition of the Summer 2024 print magazine from The Canadian Jewish News appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Top US Official Calls Hamas Leader Sinwar a ‘Psychopath,’ ‘Messianic’ as Ceasefire Talks Swirl

Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, attends a meeting with people at a hall on the seashore in Gaza City. Photo: Yousef Masoud / SOPA Images/Sipa via Reuters Connect

A senior US official said that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is the Palestinian terrorist group’s ultimate decision maker and has little interest in reaching a ceasefire deal with Israel, in testimony before a US Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday.

“At the end of the day, there’s one guy 10 stories below the ground: a psychopath, messianic in his own belief that he has established himself in history, and [he believes that] there’s a sunk cost of having lost thousands of fighters and carnage in Gaza,” said Barbara Leaf, the US assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs.

Sinwar, the top Hamas official in Gaza and the mastermind behind the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, has reportedly been hiding in Hamas’ extensive network of underground tunnels during Israel’s ongoing military campaign in the coastal enclave.

Leaf’s comments echo others made by Biden administration officials.

In April, a US official told reporters that Sinwar is single-handedly holding up any progress on a potential hostage deal.

The senior Biden administration official said that while Hamas’ political bureau has shown some willingness to compromise on the terrorist group’s most hardline positions, Sinwar’s maximalist demands continuously win out.

“Sinwar has made the decision he’d rather hold [the hostages seized by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7] than secure a ceasefire, and that’s just the truth of the situation,” the official said.

Leaf, in her testimony on Tuesday, said that Qatar — where many top Hamas political officials are based — has been “squeezing” the group — though to little effect, according to a report from Axios.

“There’s a cadre of political officials of Hamas in Doha, and boy do they squeeze them, I can assure you they squeeze them,” Leaf said.

Israel has described Hamas’ response to the new US ceasefire proposal as total rejection. But efforts to secure an agreement are still continuing, according to mediators in Qatar and Egypt, backed by the United States.

The Axios report added that Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani met on Tuesday in Doha — Qatar’s capital — with senior Hamas officials in an attempt to reach a breakthrough in the talks about the hostage and ceasefire deal.

Egypt and Qatar — which along with the United States have been mediating between Hamas and Israel — said on June 11 that they had received a response from the Palestinian groups to the US plan, without giving further details.

The post Top US Official Calls Hamas Leader Sinwar a ‘Psychopath,’ ‘Messianic’ as Ceasefire Talks Swirl first appeared on

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Blinken Confirms US Pausing Bomb Shipment to Israel After Netanyahu Calls for End to ‘Inconceivable’ Weapons Halt

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hold a joint news conference in Jerusalem, May 25, 2021. Photo: Menahem Kahana/Pool via REUTERS

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday confirmed the US was still withholding a shipment of bombs to Israel, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for Washington to remove restrictions on arms deliveries to the Jewish state and asserted that the top American diplomat had assured him the Biden administration was working to lift any halts on weapons.

The Biden administration is “continuing to review one shipment that President [Joe] Biden has talked about with regard to 2,000-pound bombs because of our concerns about their use in a densely populated area like Rafah. That remains under review,” Blinken said at a news conference at the US State Department.

However, he added, the administration is committed to making sure “that Israel has what it needs to effectively defend itself.”

Blinken’s remarks came after Netanyahu posted a video online earlier in the day in which he lamented that the US recently paused a weapons shipment to Israel and threatened to block more but said Blinken told him that Washington was seeking to end any halts on arms deliveries.

“When Secretary Blinken was recently here in Israel, we had a candid conversation. I said I deeply appreciated the support the US has given Israel from the beginning of the war,” Netanyahu said.

“But I also said something else. I said it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition to Israel,” he continued. “Israel, America’s closest ally, fighting for its life, fighting against Iran and our other common enemies.”

The Israeli premier then asserted that Blinken told him the issue would be addressed.

“Secretary Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks,” Netanyahu said. “I certainly hope that’s the case. It should be the case. During World War II, Churchill told the US: ‘Give us the tools; we’ll do the job.’ And I say, ‘Give us the tools, and we’ll finish the job much faster.’”

Following Netanyahu’s comments, both the White House and the US State Department refuted his apparent claim that Washington was withholding more than a single shipment of bombs.

“Everything else is moving as it normally would move, and again, with the perspective of making sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against this multiplicity of challenges,” Blinken said.

The White House echoed Blinken’s comments, saying that only one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs had been withheld and nothing else.

“We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “We just don’t.”

Jean-Pierre added that the US and Israel have been having discussions about the release of the shipment but that there was no update at this time.

“There are no other pauses, none,” Jean-Pierre said. “No other pauses or holds in place.”

On Monday, unconfirmed reports in both Israeli and German media said that during Netanyahu’s meeting with Blinken in Jerusalem last week, the Israeli premier urged the US to return the frequency of its arms shipments to the level immediately after Oct. 7, when the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas launched the war in Gaza with its massacre across southern Israel. According to the reports, Blinken said that Washington would remove all restrictions on weapons transfers to Israel in the coming days.

Netanyahu also reportedly warned Blinken that the slowing of aid and the perception of America’s weakened support for Israel benefits Iran and its terrorist proxies across the Middle East, including Hamas, emboldening them to intensify attacks against Israel and potentially resulting in a broader regional war.

The Biden administration has been under intense pressure from Democrats, especially those on the progressive left, to condition if not outright withhold US military support for Israel. Critics of Israel have argued the Israeli military campaign in Gaza has killed too many civilians and led to a humanitarian disaster in the Palestinian enclave. Israel has said Hamas is to blame for starting the war, stealing aid, and intentionally placing its operation centers inside or underneath civilian sites.

Hamas started the war with its surprise invasion of Israel on Oct. 7, when the terrorist group murdered 1,200 people and kidnapped over 250 others as hostages. Israel responded with its ongoing campaign aimed at freeing the hostages and destroying Hamas, which rules Gaza.

In recent months, the Biden administration has become increasingly critical of Israel’s operations both in public and private, pressuring Jerusalem to change its military strategy and seek a ceasefire.

The issue came to a head last month, when Biden announced that it would cease a bomb shipment to Israel and threatened to halt more weapons deliveries if the Israeli army launched an offensive in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza and Hamas’ last major military stronghold.

I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities — that deal with that problem,” Biden told CNN.

Israeli officials and experts have said operating in Rafah is essential to eliminating the last remaining Hamas battalions. Netanyahu said the Jewish state appreciates US support but “will stand alone” if necessary.

The post Blinken Confirms US Pausing Bomb Shipment to Israel After Netanyahu Calls for End to ‘Inconceivable’ Weapons Halt first appeared on

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