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Apr 19, 2009

New York Jets obligate the Jewish fans

From the website of the New York Jets.... (emphasis mine)

04/16 — The Jets have formalized their request to the NFL regarding the team's schedule, announced Tuesday night, to move the kickoff of the Jets' Sept. 27 home game against Tennessee from 4:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. to avoid conflict with the Jewish observance of Yom Kippur.

The club has been in behind-the-scenes communications with the league office for the past two days. Today, Woody Johnson, the Jets chairman and CEO, sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"I understand the challenges and complexities associated with creating the NFL schedule each year," Johnson said in his letter. "However, I am extremely disappointed with the League's decision to schedule us to play at home on consecutive Sundays that are in direct conflict with the Jewish High Holy Days. There has long been an understanding that neither the Jets nor the Giants fans should have to bear completely the brunt of this issue since we are in the largest Jewish market in the country."

The Jets owner explained that the club feels the best solution is to change the time of the Titans game. "This would give our Jewish fans the opportunity to arrive at home before sundown for Yom Kippur," he said.

"Those who suffer most are our fans," Johnson concluded. "The NFL has been the leading proponent of improving the fans' gameday experience. I feel making this change will further that goal."

Of course it is purely a business and marketing decision and not one based on religion or love for Jews.... but still, you gotta love it...
It does bring to mind the gemara that Hillel obligates the poor because he studied despite the great destitution, so that cannot be used as an excuse. Reb Elazar ben Charsom obligates the wealthy by his not letting his business decisions and concerns divert his attention from Torah study. Yosef HaTzaddik obligates the handsome because despite his attractivess he did not let it get in the way of his righteousness.
So do the New York Jets now obligate the Jewish sports fans?


  1. This would never happen in Israel. People would be screaming religious coercion etc.

  2. bluke you are חושד בכשרים the country shuts down before יום כיפור and no one complains

  3. Tamar I wish that were true, but the Israeli national soccer team played in Israel this past Rosh HaShana


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