Make your way into my off - campus Marquette apartment, and you will be amazed at what you see. Many college students have a collection of some sort - stamps, beer cans, magnets, and I am no different. When my friend once described the apartment as "Sports Heaven", he was partly referring to my large collection of sports Bobbleheads. So it shouldn't surprise you that I published a post on a bobblehead forum asking for Jewish themed Bobbles. What may surprise you are the responses I received. Within a day, I was offered a Sandy Koufax, Al Rosen, Ryan Braun, Shawn Green, Amar'e Stoudemire.... What?
Ever since Stoudemire informed his Twitter followers of his spiritual trip to Israel which happened earlier this month, the 6 foot 10 Power Forward is being included in "Stars of David" conversation.... the list of the best Jewish athletes of all time. Stoudemire admitted in multiple interviews that he is a spiritual person, and believes has Hebrew Roots on his mother's side. He said his trip to Israel was to learn more about his history, the language, and the Jewish people. One must wonder, why now? In a time when antisemitism is increasing in many parts of the world, and Israel is condemned on a nightly basis on biased media channels, celebrities are still looking for their Jewish roots.
Remember when Madonna suddenly began following Kabbalah, going to synagogue, and wearing Jewish jewelery? Remember when Britney Spears was interested in Kabbalah, wore a star of david necklace, got a Hebrew tattoo on her neck, and was rumored to be considering a conversion to Judaism? Remember when Lindsay Lohan visited a synagogue right before admitting that she was considering a conversion to Judaism to show her devotion to girlfriend Samantha? You should remember all of these! They all happened somewhat recently. What's their motive? And when is it "in" to want to be a Jew?
Some skeptics out there believe that the New York Knicks somehow convinced Amar'e that he is Jewish. Since they didn't get LeBron, they might as well get a superstar who is not only excellent on the court, but who may also connect with the large Jewish audience in NY. Yeah right... as if there aren't enough Jewish New Yorkers who want to go to sports games. But then again, it is possible that the Mets reached in and said: "Hey, ever since we got Ike Davis at first base, Citi Field is exploding with Jews. We are thinking of adding a Home Run Honey to complement the Home Run Apple." It is possible that the Knicks wanted to make sure that their five year, $100 Million investment in Stoudemire was being used to the fullest (Because as every New Yorker knows, a good investment involves a Jew)
In reality, we welcome Amar'e with open arms and will teach him everything he needs to know about being a good Jew (We forgot to tell him that tattoos are forbidden before he got the Star of David on his hand). Think his NBA friends will follow suit? Recently, LeBron James has been spotted holding hands with a Rabbi on a private yacht. As reported, James was meeting with retail executives and payed Rabbi Pinto six figures for "Spiritual guidance". King David, King Solomon, King James??? If Stoudemire's desires to be a Jew were strengthened in NYC, we can expect the South Florida Jews to work their magic on James.
When I was young, I was once asked: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "I don't know", I answered "But my mom wants me to be a doctor." Mom, don't be surprised if in the future you ask my son the same question and he replies with " I don't know, but dad wants me to be a Power Forward."