Shalom Life | April 16, 2014

Super Bowl XLVI has a Decidedly Jewish Flavor

Even the Half-Time Entertainment is Connected to Judaism

By: Daniel Horowitz

Published: January 31st, 2012 in Culture » Society » Events

Super Bowl XLVI has a Decidedly Jewish Flavor

Despite the use of the unavoidable pigskin, this year’s Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, taking to the field on Sunday, February 5th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, will have a decidedly Jewish connection.

For starters, Madonna, who is the half-time entertainer and most decidedly nothing “like a virgin”, has, since the mid-'90s, been Kabbalah's best known enthusiast, incorporating Kabbalah-inspired themes into her music and even donating $18 million to the Kabbalah Centre.

And, let’s not forget the more obvious connections which might also explain why both the Giants and the Patriots were “chosen” – if you will – to participate in this year’s classic. 

The New York Giants are owned by the Tisch family, including Larry Tisch, who, at one time, was the President of the UJA Federation of New York. Jim Tisch’s wife, Merryl, is Board Chair, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

Robert Kraft – who owns the Patriots, lost his beloved wife Myra last summer. Myra was particularly active in tzedakah and Jewish life, having been the Chair of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ board of directors and co-chaired its annual fundraising campaign.

One of their most distinctive and important  projects is their support of American Football Israel, including Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem and the Kraft Family Israel Football League, to which they have donated millions of dollars.

So, as a Jew, who do I vote for? I don’t want to see any Jew suffer the dreaded “pain of defeat”.

But, I’m apathetic at best. After all, I’m from Toronto where the Super Bowl is a rumour and the best we can hope for is the Argonauts to win a Grey Cup.

I don’t have any real connection to either New York or New England, no relatives live in either place, and frankly, if I had to name my favourite NFL team, I’d have to go with the Buffalo Bills, just because of the geographical proximity.

So, all I ask is that when the victorious team is presented with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the quarterback – whether its Tom Brady or Eli Manning -  raises it to the heavens in sheer joy, and tells the reporter, “Forget Disneyworld, I'm going to Jerusalem!”

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