This is one of reasons why I love America so much. The recent controversy over the refusal by a Texas athletic association to change their Shabbos playoff date for an Orthodox school has generated sympathy from across the country. And as the New York Times reports - all of the concerns cited by TAPPS officials for their intransigence have in essence been addressed:
Three of the other schools that would be directly affected by a schedule change have agreed to reschedule, said Samantha Steinberg, director of admissions and marketing at Beren Academy. She added that Beren Academy agreed to pick up costs related to changing the time of the game.
“There has been a nationwide outpouring of donations and support,” Steinberg said. “Hundreds of letters have come in from people of all denominations.”
Representatives of the Covenant School, the team that Beren Academy was scheduled to play Friday evening, said they were open to rescheduling.
Hundreds of letters and donations. From non Jews. Imagine that. Only in America.
And as if that weren’t enough here is more from the New York Times:
Mayor Annise D. Parker of Houston said she was “very disappointed” about the decision in a letter to the association’s director Tuesday.
“It is also my understanding that Tapps teams are not allowed to play any sports on Sundays,” Parker wrote. “Which I presume is out of respect for the Christian Sabbath.”
What was the response by TAPPS? Read it and weep:
(TAPPS) was adhering to its bylaws, which were written in the late 1970s, when “the member schools at that time all recognized Sunday as the day of worship.”
I see. As long as the Sabbath of the TAPPS team members at the time the charter was created was honored, that is enough. What about the Sabbath of teams who joined after the late 70s? Not important. I get it.
Jeff Van Gundy, the former coach of the Houston Rockets and the Knicks, said he left a phone message with Tapps representatives this week expressing his concern.
“I called because when you’re the head of an association like this, the only thing you should worry about is doing right by the kids,” Van Gundy said in a phone interview Wednesday. “This decision has nothing to do with the kids. I feel like they made a mistake and they don’t have a vice president of common sense who will tell them that this is silly and it’s O.K. to change your mind.”
I guess the world of Daas Torah isn’t the only place where some people have abdicated their common sense. There are some Texans who think that their own ‘Daas Torah’ is also inviolable. Christian Sabbaths? Sure. Jewish Sabbaths? No way!
I do not see this group changing their minds. They are going to ‘stick to their rules’. Common sense? Sympathy? Doing what’s right? Not for the Jews.
On the other hand, maybe they aren’t anti Semites. Maybe they’re just... MORONS!
The silver lining in all this is the public reaction to it. I have yet to see any sympathy for TAPPS rigidity. Americans see the inherent injustice here and they are protesting it. Some of them with money. What a country!
Update: The Houston Chronicle reports:
The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools has received a temporary restraining order that will allow Beren Academy to participate in the boys 2A state semifinals.
That is good news. Unfortunately for TAPPS they are only doing it because they are being forced to, not because they think it is the right thing to do. Which does not speak well for them. Nor am I sure what they meant by the following comment:
"Unlike many people TAPPS does follow the law, and we will comply..."
Which ‘people’ are they talking about? Hmmmm...
Hat tip: Mendy