On this Sabbath past, I made a mistake. And it was no ordinary Saturday but was one of the highest and holiest of High Holy Days in the Texas-sized religion. The religion, of course, is football. And the day? The day of the Red River ShootOut, the annual match up between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, just south of the River that separates the two states, in the Cotton Bowl on the grounds of the State Fair of Texas. My mistake? I took Julie out for dinner and a movie during the Observance, and I ignored the fact that the exclusive film showing was, right at that High Holy Time, in that High Holy Place called Dallas. I had ignored the Texas-sized Religion, and its Holy Day, and we paid for it in lots of traffic and in loud Spirited crowds dressed in their High Sabbath Best. (The ladies, of course, wear cowboy boots with either short shorts or very leggy skirts; the gentlemen, of course, wear cowboy hats or branded caps; and all wear t-shirts, either Red or burnt Orange to support the respective community with Great Spirit. The spirits, of course, flow from long necked amber bottles.)
Now I’m hoping you’ll quit thinking about my mistakes and shift your attention to the news. This morning, when my UT flag flying neighbors in Fort Worth are still covered in red the shade of the OU t-shirts, I open the local paper and read of a different sort of ignorance. It’s something once overlooked. It’s something reported on by one Ken Herman, reporter, writing “It’s time for News About Jews in the News.”
Herman ends with a couple of questions. And yet Herman starts with a one-liner; he starts with a witty one-liner but quickly backs up with this background (because, well, because this is Texas, and because there’s so much ignored here). He writes, and actually fast forwards, to beg for understanding:
The background: Oct. 8, 2011, is Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for us Jews. Please understand that Yom Kippur is not a holiday in the decorate-the-house, get-drunk, go-naked sense.
Please understand that I’m not going to read all of what Herman has written as if I’m reading to you, or at you, or for you either. (Didn’t I already warn you that Herman ends with a couple of questions? Could it be that he’s hoping some of us readers in Texas will ask a couple of questions at ourselves? Should I warn you that he suggests an answer too?) Please understand that I’m only saying that Herman is finding that there’s much he must help us all understand, especially when reminding the Jews and the Greeks and the Barbarians, in Big Religious Texas, that “our country runs on Christian time.” Just mind, if you will, what Herman has to warn, um, to explain (to you and to me and to us and to them) in parentheses:
(Warning: Jews-only reference ahead. Non-Jews should skip it or consult oukosher.org for necessary background.)
For UT Jews, what could be a bigger sacrifice than missing a game involving the only kosher-certified college football team? Oklahoma is the only team with the OU on the helmet (and somebody want to explain how the University of Oklahoma is OU?).
And, since Herman is reporting on “news about Jews in the news,” he confesses (pardon him for his subjectivities) to reading ironies in one particularly objective, unbiased Texas article:
(My other favorite thing in the story: It quotes a Jewish student named Jordan Bagel. Next, a Bastille Day story quoting Bubba Croissant.)
So, to be fair, Herman brings us stories beyond Dallas Texas and beyond questions of just anti-Semiticism in racism. He gets to “More News About Jews in the News” and (I’ve already warned you a couple of times he ends with a couple of questions) gets to a once-news-worthy African American in Los Angeles California. You’re going to have to read Herman’s article for yourself to get his answers. But I thought we all might want to ask his questions. Make no mistake for yourself, and ask away:
As Rodney King famously asked, “Can we all get along?”
Are you kidding?