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SERMON: Is ANYTHING O.K.?

June 15, 2015

Next week Sherry and I are talking our two oldest grandchildren to see Rome and Venice. Going at this time can be quite hectic. According to an article in last week’s Wall Street Journal, because of the strength of the dollar, people from the U.S. and other countries are flocking to Europe this summer and especially to the most popular sites … one of which is the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. According to the Journal article, on the Trip Advisor website, the Sistine Chapel received more than 2600 reviews marked “excellent” and just 94 reviews marked “terrible.” I asked myself: How terrible can it be? I’m sure the critics must have felt that they could have done a better job, but still! And then I had a more painful insight. Is it possible … is it just possible … that the 94 “terrible” reviews had come from Jews?

Why would I ever think that? It’s not for religious reasons. I can’t imagine a Jew denouncing the Sistine Chapel because of his Jewishness. If that was the case, he never would have gone there in the first place! So what makes me think that it may have been Jews nonetheless? For that, you have to know who David Blatt is. If I ask you: how many of you know who LeBron James is, I think most all of you – with the possible exception of Rabbi Wecker – would know the answer. But you have to be a bit of a sports connoisseur to know who David Blatt is. David Blatt is LeBron James’ coach. He is the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. And he is a Jew … a proud Jew. He has four children named, Shani, Adi, Ella and Tamir. Two of them have served in the Israeli army. Blatt grew up in Framingham, MA and after spending a summer in Israel he decided to go on aliyah and join the Israeli army. He eventually became the head of the Israeli National Basketball Team. In 2014, he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euro League championship … making him good enough to coach LeBron James into the finals that are now being played in the NBA. READ MORE

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