Beren’s Kiddush Hashem


Much ink has flown over the principled stand the Beren Academy basketball team took in choosing its priorities in the incipient conflict between playing basketball and shmirat Shabbat, or the observance of the Sabbath (“Houston’s Champions” Editorial, March 9).

To be sure, not enough can be written about the Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of God’s name) displayed by both the members of the team and the school’s leadership throughout this ordeal.  Nevertheless, it was not until Saturday morning, March 3 (the day after they played and won the rescheduled semi-final game on Friday afternoon), that I realized that there was yet an additional dimension to the players’ laudatory principled conduct.

That was when I saw the Saturday New York Times sports section in which was featured on the top of the front page a picture of the team members with their backs to the camera, each wearing his yarmulke clearly and, no doubt, proudly. It underscored a lesson in courageous and proud religious behavior that I doubt I will ever forget.

Your editorial put it well: “They reacted with only dignity, the peace that comes with knowing that to live by the code of one’s integrity makes one invulnerable to temporal pressure.”

Would that we adults would emulate such courage and pride in our daily life.