SAN DIEGO (AP)
Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Shawn Green will sit out Saturday afternoon's game
against the San Francisco Giants in observance of Yom Kippur.
"Playing one of the two
is the most consistent with my beliefs as a Jewish person," Green said
before the Dodgers plays the San Diego Padres on Thursday night ... When asked
to explain, Green said: "I'm not orthodox. I am Jewish and I
respect the custom. I feel this is the most consistent way to celebrate
the holiday. I feel real good about my decision." ... earlier in the
day, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said Green had the support of the team no
matter what he decided to do.
Baseball "Hall of
Famers" Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg won the everlasting affection of
American Jews, and the respect of many non-Jews, by observing Yom Kippur rather
than playing in big games -- Koufax in the 1965 World Series as pitching ace of
the Dodgers, Greenberg in the 1934 pennant race as the home run slugger for the
Detroit Tigers. (Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish
calendar, starts at sunset Friday, September 24, 2004 with the Kol Nidre
... Green hit a two-run homer in Los Angeles' 3-2 victory over the
Giants on Friday night (09/24/04), a day before the first baseman will
miss a game to observe the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur ... on Saturday
(09/25/04) the Dodgers lost to the Giants 9-5.
Green acknowledges that
he does not regularly practice the Jewish faith. He never had a
bar mitzvah, he did not marry a Jewish woman and he does not belong to a
congregation. "In religion, I don't think there is an all or
none," Green said. "Everybody has to go about it their
Some of this is
confusing. If Green doesn't regularly practice the Jewish faith
then why did he make such a big deal of the decision to play or not to
play on Yom Kippur? He didn't play last year and Yom Kippur is on
the calendar for everyone to see so it is not like "oh wow, Yom
Kippur! ... what should I do?" Was all of this just a
truth, I totally disagree with Green's decision to play the Friday night
game ... "you either stand for something or you fall for
anything." In a way it is egotistical of him to believe that
the Dodgers are dependent on him to win ... after all, could he have
stopped Pedro Feliz from hitting a grand slammer with the bases loaded
and adding 4 more runs to the score? Of course not. So
whether Green played or not on Saturday the Dodgers lost and the Giants
won ... but SHAWN GREEN LOST SOMETHING MUCH
BIGGER, Green had a BIG opportunity to "PUT
GOD FIRST" ... and in the world we live in today ...
this would be a monumental decision.
that we make create our beliefs and our beliefs create our experiences
... decisions are like imprints on our consciousness ... and sooner or
later there is a resulting consequence. I believe there is a
direct link in our faith in God and our feelings of confidence,
self-assurance, peace and happiness. To put God first is to
acknowledge that there is a Power Greater than me ... Greater than the
things we do or don't do ... Greater than financial abundance, success
or personal accomplishment ... for "I of mine own self can do
nothing" ... and as I put God First ... I am
"recognizing" that it is God that plays the game ... God that
makes a home run ... God that walks the bases ... God working through
me, as me and for me ... I am but the form in which that Greater Life
which Is God ... lives, moves and has Its Being.
So It Is!