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RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses (September 26, 2004)         

         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 service.)

... 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 own way."

         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 publicity stunt?

In 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.

       The decisions 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.

And So It Is!           
Maximum Love
Rev. Hank Bates

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