Judge puts Orthodox Jewish basketball team back in playoffs.
Why are Jews Often Left Out of Diversity Concerns?
On March 1, 2012 it took a judge to bring fair play to a basketball court in Houston. This story really touched home because I spent almost 30 years coaching numerous sports, and every time an event was scheduled for the Jewish Sabbath, I faced a real problem. As an Orthodox Jew, I don’t drive then. I couldn't participate. Thus it was with great pleasure that I noted the story about the Beren Academy in Houston. Their basketball team made the semifinals, but they were asked to forfeit the game because it was scheduled for 9 PM on Friday night. It took a judge to change game time to 2 PM on Friday (Sabbath starts at sunset). Beren then defeated the Dallas Covenant Knights by a score of 58-46 on Friday afternoon at Nolan Catholic High School's Hartnett Arena; however Beren lost the finals to Abilene Christian by a score of 46 to 42 on Saturday night, so the 73-student Jewish high school with 13 students on the team, finished the season as runners-up. On the matrix below, the axis term HOUSTON is at the same skip as BASKETBALL. JEWISH shares a letter vav with HOUSTON. Between two letters of HOUSTON is Exodus 35:2 which states, “THE SEVENTH DAY THERE SHALL BE TO YOU A HOLY SABBATH, a Sabbath of rest by the LORD: whosoever does work on it shall be put to death.” We don’t kill Sabbath violators, but it would be nice if Gentile sports authorities would try to not kill Jewish sports participation by scheduling important events on our Sabbath and holy days. True, there are areas of this nation where our population is too low to worry about this way, but Houston isn't one of them. In 2000 there were 42,000 Jews there, more than enough to support Beren. Any league scheduling them should automatically consider dictates of the Jewish calendar.
Judge’s order puts Orthodox Jewish basketball team back in semifinal game.
By Joshua Rhett Miller, Published by FoxNews.com, March 1, 2012.
An Orthodox Jewish school in Texas has been reinstated to its state basketball tournament following a judge's order to reschedule the game so it doesn't conflict with the Sabbath.
The Houston-based Beren Academy Stars stormed into the semifinals of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools' 2A tournament and was set to tip off against Dallas Covenant at 9 p.m. Friday. Beren players, however, observe the Sabbath between Friday evening and Saturday evening and will not play basketball during those hours, coach Chris Cole told FoxNews.com.
"We're excited that we get to play," Cole said Thursday when reached by phone.
"We feel like it's something that our kids have earned."
Cole said he was disappointed that it took a judge's order to switch the game time, but feels the right outcome has been reached. The team will hold a closed practice tonight.
"We just really want to get back our focus and get ready for the game," he said.
"We'll be ready."
TAPPS officials had rejected appeals from Beren to reschedule that game, but a group of parents with boys on the team subsequently sued the organization. A judge on Thursday now issued a temporary restraining order requiring the agency to reschedule the game.
TAPPS director Ed Burleson told FoxNews.com on Thursday that the association will honor the restraining order and allow Beren to play 2 p.m. Friday. An exact location had yet to be determined, he said.
In a statement to FoxNews.com, officials at Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills High School -- which was to play in Beren's absence -- said they support the scheduling change.
"As Beren Academy expressed support for us playing in their stead, we share our support of them in their earned Semi-Final game," the statement read. "Good Luck Stars!"
Cole told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that he was hopeful a last-minute compromise could be reached.
"We know that every day gets later and later, but we feel like things could be changed," Cole said. "We operate in a world of sports where things do change - the Daytona 500 was changed, so things are possible. It's an inconvenience, we know that, but it's really a matter of desire to want to do it. That's what it comes down to."
STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MATRIX. Thr axis term HOUSTON is only at the 143rd lowest skip, which normally is higher than what I consider, however HOUSTON is only 6 letters with this transliteration. There are surely many events that could be encoded in a city so large (population about 2.1 million in 20120). As per my standard protocol, no statistical significance is assigned to the axis term, but what caught my eye here was that the 6-letter word for BASKETBALL is at the skip absolute skip as HOUSTON (although in the opposite direction). Before considering the rank of the axis term, odds against such a match at a special case skip (+/-1 or the absolute skip of the axis term HOUSTON) would have been about 1,303 to 1. JEWISH shares a letter vav with HOUSTON. No extra value is assigned for that, but odds against it being on the matrix were about 62 to 1. Of Exodus 35:2 words, only THE SEVENTH DAY is considered in the calculation. It was the most important a-priori open text term sought. Odds against it being there were about 34 to 1. Had this been all based on the lowest skip of the city's name it would have existed against odds of about 2,833,987 to 1, but dividing that by 143 to account for the city's ELS rank, I arrive at odds against the matrix being due to chance alone of about 19,818 to 1. The name of the school BEREN, is also on the matrix, but it is only 3 letters in Hebrew, and it sits at a non-significant skip, not statistically worth expanding the area under mathematical consideration here.
I don't know how the playoffs will turn out, but BEREN has already won the only action that counts - the one in court.
ONE FINAL WORD ABOUT SCHOOL SCHEDULES AND DIVERSITY. My son (David) just graduated with a B.S. in physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He did not play any sports, although he did earn his degree while only 18 years old. What troubled me most during his time there was the insistence that final exams always be scheduled on the Jewish Sabbath. True, he could ask his professors for alternate dates, and he did just that. But how did he feel about the need to do so? At least one of his teachers was a Muslim. Jews don't like to ask Muslims for any help because we never know how much they will hate us for the Israeli-Palestinian problem. One of my son's advisors was also a Muslim. When David asked him about a summer study program in Israel, he perceived a hostile response, "Why would you want to go there?" he was asked. When David asked one professor (who taught my son three courses) about an alternate test date because of a Jewish holiday that prohibited work, the professor had the balls to ask my son to consider changing his religion! This is the anti-Semitism that sadly still exists in America. By the way, Embry-Riddle has a large Muslim population, and one of its biggest flight simulators was donated by Saudi Arabia. Tests are never scheduled on the Muslim Sabbath (or on the Christian Sabbath), they are always on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. I discussed my concerns with their diversity specialist, but the Sabbath testing schedule remained unchanged.
I should note that throughout the United States, college admission SAT, ACT and GRE subject-area exams are always scheduled on Saturday. This inconvenience for Jews and Seventh Day Adventists results in great difficulty. It requires early registration, with letters from clergymen testifying about the religion of the student. Alternate dates are often in places requiring a good deal of travel and hotel expenses, in addition to missing classes at the student's school.