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Jewish people have forever been fans of the Super Bowl. That is the sport we love. Super Bowl. We take in Super Bowl. Most of us have no idea what football is, but we love the Super Bowl. We love the action. We love the atmosphere. There is cheering. We love it. Jews love to celebrate, and it sounds like a great dish to serve from, on the holiday.
Based on what I experienced again this year, here is what I know about why we love the Super Bowl.
Every other sport has Friday night and Saturday games. The NFL is the only league that loves Jews and is not anti-Semitic. You can celebrate Shabbat and love professional football. That is why religious Jews don’t like high school football, college football, or badminton. You thought the football was a weird looking ball? Try adding feathers to it.
It is a Holiday
We love days with no work. This is why we love Shabbat and Passover. If we had to work on Shabbat, think about how many less Jews would keep it.
We would love football more if we got a day off in the middle of the week, and it was called Super Bowl Tuesday. Better yet, make it a three day Super Bowl Yontif.
There is Food
We go for the party, the dinner. At first Jews had no idea the Super Bowl was about football. They thought it was the celebration of the kitchenware the guacamole was being served in.
Last Super Bowl party I went to, most of the people had no idea there was a game going on. They were too involved with the dips. I later asked my friend about the game and he gave me a play by play about the spread, and how the potato salad went perfectly with the cold cuts.
Yes. There was brisket. It is a holiday.
Only One Day of Commitment
You can skip the rest of the season and still consider yourself a fan. It’s like not going to shul the whole year and then showing up on Yom Kippur.
Athletes and Serious Competition
As long as we don’t have to do it, we love it. It’s very relaxing seeing other people working hard and getting hit.
It is good for our children to see these grown men flattening each other. These are the perfect role models to encourage our kids to stay in school and not get hurt. That is how you turn a child into a Torah scholar.
Two Armies Going at It
And the people being hit are not Jewish. It is like the old Jewish joke where the Jewish family is watching Ben-Hur and the mother is crying. The son tells his mom to not cry, as those are not Jewish people being eaten by the lions. A few minutes later the mother starts crying again. The son asks, “Mom. Why are you still crying?” His mother, all teared up, points to the screen, “That lion is not eating.” Great joke for the Super Bowl party. You can share it.
The Halftime Show
We love concerts. The show is the reason we watch the clock. Every Jew knows the two minute warning. It is imperative that everybody in the house hears that there is only two minutes left in the half, so that we know when the excitement of the five minute concert is going to start.
The halftime show is when everybody goes in to watch the game. We love entertainment that has nothing to do with the thing we came to see itself. Nothing is more exciting than going to a Bar Mitzvah, not having to listen to the boy give a speech, and seeing a band playing the whole time.
We Love Old Entertainers
Tradition. There is something about a laser light show with a geriatric entertainer that captures the imagination of our Jewish people. We love hearing thirteen different choruses, and no stanzas. Greatest show.
It’s the kindness of the Jewish people that gets us excited to see The Who, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen coming out of retirement to perform on a stage for a couple of minutes, and to not finish a song. We understand, they're too old to finish a song. Their energy runs out.
We even like seeing a heavy 50 Cent. Something to do with enjoying a concert from a place of Rachmanis.
Anything to distract us from the Super Bowl makes the game more exciting for us. Food, singing, commercials. Anything but people throwing pigskin. We don’t watch the Super Bowl for that. It's not Frum. It's against our better Jewish senses, to watch a pigskin.
I've never heard a Jew talk about the game the next day. But they know everything that happened to the Geico gecko. That lizard is a hoot. He sounds like a British chap. Love it.
You have to respect Coke. The only company in the world still advertising when everybody is already drinking their drink.
Referees are Like Rabbis
We look to the referees for ordinances. It's a very religious experience for us. We like to see them in black and white, as that is more traditional garb. They are our rabbis, our leaders, the only older people in the vicinity to give a ruling. We listen to their decrees. Even when we don't agree with them, we listen to them. We have to.
Jews Love Tradition
We do the same thing every year. The same holidays, same prayers, same complaints about the rabbi. That's why we complain about the referee.
The Super Bowl is also the same, every year. Right there on the field, Tom Brady. That is tradition. Tom Brady is still there in our hearts. A committed Jew, only played for Jewish owners. He may not be in the Super Bowl this year, but you will here somebody in shul talking about how great Tom Brady was, tomorrow.
There is a Jew Somewhere
That brings us Jewish pride. It may not be a player, but we will find a Jew to take pride in. It may the owner, it may be an announcer, it may be a fan sitting there with a Kippah. It is all good enough for Jewish pride.
We will find a way to make the Super Bowl Jewish, even if there are no Jews on the field. It could be a commercial that sells something that a Jew patented. Maybe even a commercial about something Jews like. We eat chips, and there was a chips commercial.
We will find a way to take pride in this Super Bowl, even if it is Cincinnati. I heard Jews talking about how Cincinnati and LA are cities with a fine Jewish history. If we have to go back two hundred years to find a shul there, we shall.
We love the halftime show, but if it was Yaakov Shwekey it would be so much better. Just seeing another Jew there.
We Love Throwing Up Our Hands and Saying “Come On Ref!”
Jews love expressing disappointment. It's part of our tradition. To all of the Rams and Bengals fans out there, half of you will be experiencing this.
We love the Super Bowl because it is a Jewish holiday and there is food. Even if it's Mexican.
Super Bowl Sunday Sameach!
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The Falafel of Etan
Israelis are very possessive of their falafel. Even when they have a shop, they don't like to share it… That's Etan. Standing over them while they eat. Making sure they don't run away with his falafel.