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Jewish school to give up shot at state championship to observe Sabbath
February 29th, 2012
03:50 PM ET

Jewish school to give up shot at state championship to observe Sabbath

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - With a shot at high school state championship glory on the line, a Jewish basketball team in Texas is opting for the sidelines, aiming for something a little higher.

The Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston will forfeit its semifinal playoff spot in the Class 2A basketball championships this weekend because the game falls on a Friday night, the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

The private Orthodox Jewish school observes the weekly Jewish day of rest, called Shabbat, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

"You get put in adversity and the way you handle things says a lot about your character. So this is an opportunity to show our character," Chris Cole, coach of the Beren Stars, told CNN Houston affiliate KPRC.

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The playoffs for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) are set for this weekend. Beren Academy's semifinal game and the championship game are both scheduled during the Sabbath observance.

"If we give up this opportunity for our religion it just shows how much we deeply care for it," Isaac Buchine, a player on the Beren Stars, told KPRC.

"We are hopeful that the TAPPS league will move the games a few hours so that we can compete," the school said in a statement posted on its website.

"This is a testament to our school and to Coach Cole for his support and dedication, that, independent of the desire to compete, is the desire to uphold our Jewish values,” the statement continued. “We are proud of who we are, and have the courage to act accordingly."

By Wednesday, more than 5,000 people had signed an online petition, supported by the school, to move the Beren Stars’ semifinal game to Friday morning.

Over the weekend, school officials appealed to the league to find another time for the game, but the league said in a statement Wednesday the appeal was unanimously voted down by the league's nine-member board.

Cole is holding out hope that the TAPPS board will change its mind and reschedule the Stars’ games.

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The Jewish observance of the Sabbath comes from the book of Genesis. In the week-long creation story, God creates the world, and all that is in it, in six days. After seeing that it is "very good," God rests on the seventh day.

How Jews practice that rest varies, but in Orthodox sects, it often means no working, driving or cooking. Many observant Jews also attend religious services on Shabbat.

Observance of the Sabbath can pose a challenge for observant Jews living in a culture on a different timetable.

Yuri Foreman , a champion boxer and rabbi in training, postponed a major fight in 2010 because it fell on a Saturday night. He took the ring once the sun went down.

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, has been known to walk miles to his Washington home when votes on the Senate floor run into Friday night.

Lieberman wrote a book about Shabbat and told CNN's Belief Blog last year the stringent rules around the observation serve an important part in preservation of the Jewish faith.

Founded in the late 1970s, the TAPPS league is made up of 220 schools. In a statement posted on its website by the TAPPS executive board, the league said at the time of its organization, no member schools observed the Sabbath on Saturday. At the same time, the bylaws forbid games on Sunday, a nod to Christian Sabbath observance.

The league statement also said Beren Academy first met with league officials in June 2009 to discuss joining TAPPS.

"At that time, the Board pointed out that TAPPS schedules its team sports championship on Fridays and Saturdays, which would conflict with Beren’s observation of their Sabbath,” the statement said. “The Board pointed out that the posted schedule for the state tournament would be followed and no changes made, unless weather related or similar conditions existed."

The league also pointed out another rule in its bylaws stipulating that if a team cannot follow the playoff schedule, it is up to the school to remove itself from the playoffs.

Our Lady of the Hills School in Kerrville, Texas, will take Beren Academy's spot in the playoffs Friday night, the league said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism • Texas

soundoff (946 Responses)
  1. Grandma

    When Sunday is a non-working day in Jewish state of Israel – I will say NO game on Jewish sabbath.
    Christians make up 2% of Israel population, and Jews make up 1.7% of U.S. population. Fair deal!

    February 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • phelonius

      good point

      February 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Dave

      ummm.... most major businesses are closed on Sunday in Israel as well. For a number of years now they observe the same 5-day work week we do.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Shlomo/Tel Aviv

      I'm from Israel and it is not true. Our workweek is Sunday – Thursday (Friday half day). Some politicians proposed 5 day workweek with Sunday being non-work day but was declined because many said 'We're not Europe, We're Jewish country'.

      Very few private businesses are closed on Sundays. Most are closed on Jewish sabbath and main Jewish holidays.
      Christmas and Easter will pass and go without even noticing it here.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • billy madox

      Ummm, Dave, why would you post a lie?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  2. Colin

    Anyone ever wondered why an all-powerful, all-knowing god, capabel of creating the entire Universe, needed to "rest" after 6 daýs' work?

    It is so obvious to me that we create the various gods in our image and not visa-versa.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  3. harinder

    are they allowed to make love sabath??? just checking

    February 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Jimmy

      No, it's a sin. BTW Jews have séx thru a hole on sheet if you did not know that.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Dave

      Of course dude! There's no biblical prohibition "You shall not make love on the Sabbath"... actually its quite the opposite: You're home all day, no TV, no radio, no internet... Already read the Bible portion for the week. Now hmm what to do, what to do.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Dave

      And Jimmy – you're a moron. That's about as true as suggesting that I'm controlling your bank account with my special team of secret "illuminati" troops. Go git yourself an education http://www.snopes.com/religion/sheet.asp

      February 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • gerry

      Making love on Shabbat is considered a Mitzvah, hole in the sheet or not. Have rarely missed an opportunity in 22 years of marriage. Have missed a lot of sporting events.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • billy madox

      Haha, Jimmy. I love the sarcasm, even if most fail to recognize it here.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • DK

      The myth of "hole through a sheet" comes from a misunderstanding- Jewish men wear tzitzit, which is a white four cornered garment with strings on each corner that is worn over the head. If you hung it out your window to dry after washing it, it would look like a sheet with a hole in it. And now you know...

      March 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  4. Colin

    It truly is a pity that they are so infected by the superst.itions of their parents that they will sacrifice what could have otherwise been a wonderful memory for the perceived wishes of some hokey Iron Age sky-god. Once they are old enough to realize that the gods do not exist, including the one they happen to have been indocrinated with, they will regret this decision.

    Poor kids. Reason number 10,000 I disdain supernatural belifefs, including the various religions.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • gerry

      Isn't American sports just another sky-god? It's a freakin' game. They're learning to observe principles, whether those are the principles they will observe in their adult life or not. IMHO, no religions in this country is more dogmatic than sports.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • billy madox

      Gerry, what are you talking about? Sports are not a religion at all, they are meant to be fun and show off athleticism of real and living human beings. There is nothing dogmatic about them, unless you think going to the movies, watching American Idel or playing a video game is also dogmatic? It's entertainment for the masses, andm part of the entertainment provided by the organization in question happens to be a Saturday, (just one random day in a grouping of 7, with nothing sacred about it for the majority of the population) If these Jewish students wish to be performers in the organization that does put on shows on Saturdays, they should have known they might be expected to perform on a Saturday... If you get a job, you don;t usually get to decline work because it is a Sabbath day. I've worked Christmas, Thanksgiving, Saturdays, Sundays, whatever my boss tells me to work, because, when I took the said job, I understood that I might be expected to work on a Friday night (my individual Sabbath evening according to my own religion that deserves just as much respect as any other made up religion such as Islam and Christianity) And, these student athletes who took the part/job on the team, should be expected to perform when they are scheduled to, otherwise, the School should not be allowed to be a part of the organization. Sometimes I think people just need to read more and maybe they wouldn't be so ignorant. Live for today, live for now, and make decisions on what you want now and for your future, not based on what some old guy who refuses to believe in evolution tells you. John Lennon had it right..."imagine no religion...and the world can be as one."

      March 1, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  5. harinder

    can someone explain the difference between friday in isarael and friday in us. about 8 hours apart. how cam god rest in different time zones. just imagine if these guys were sick on friday and the doctors said he is on sabath and resting. no wonder religion has torn this world apart

    February 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Daniel

      Judaism/Jews is all about making money, control the media/government and cause problem with non-Jews. That's their goal!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Dave

      Ignorance my man. Go get an education. Go to Aish.com or other Jewish website and at least learn a bit before you speak out of your **s. Time differences were discussed and debated by Jewish sages all the way back in Jesus's time.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Dave

      And Daniel – you're a vile hater and you know there is no goal like that in the Jewish bible or subsequent literature. Its a stupid thing to say. I bet you curse out your Chinese doctor after getting treated for hep-C and cry like a baby that the Asians are taking over white-man's America.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Shlomo/Tel Aviv

      72% are White in the U.S. and only 4.5% Asians. How will Asians be the majority?! LOL get educated

      February 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  6. Jeremy

    Haha, looks like the mental midgets are out in full force tonight!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  7. Barbara

    I fully respect this team and school for not changing their beliefs to conform to the rest of the world. I used to respect University of Notre Dame for turning down bowl bids because bowls were during Christmas holidays, and they felt that the students should be home with their families at that time. To change your beliefs to conform to this world just means that you weren't a true believer to begin with.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes Barbara, Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology is a wonderful thing to sacrifice one's adolescent sporting dreams for, isn't it? How impressive.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • billy madox

      Why would anyone be a true believer when non of it is true? The bible wasn't even commissioned until after 300 AD (over ten genetrations after any of the fictional stories in the bible took place, and was commissioned purely for political use...It would be like Obama deciding just now, to write the history of the French and Indian War, and expecting everyone alive today and to be born to forever believe the story he made up to be the word of God... There is scientific proof that man evolved from single cell organisms, just as all life on earth and there is proof that our earth is much, much, much, much older than any of the religious writings claim...Why allow yourself the ignorance of believing in Peter Pan, Jesus, Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny or Moses, when there's a whole world of historical and scientific fact to explore and discover?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Margaret

      Barbara, I completely agree with you. I highly respect this team.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  8. Daniel

    I work in retail and two days ago an Orthodox Jew let me return an item and rebuy it again (which will take 5 min to do) for only 15 cents. If I was allowed to give it to her from my own pocket, I would. OMG they are so cheap!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Sharp

      Daniel, were you dropped on your head as a child or do you just have really low self-esteem?

      February 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  9. Akila/Hindu

    Jews needs to shut up and respect that they live in predominately Christian country where 80% are Christians and observe the day of rest on Sunday, and NOT on Saturday. If they don't like it, they should move to Israel where Sunday is a regular working day and be happy with their own holidays and culture!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • billy madox

      Wow, so you're obviously a very ignorant human being.... Try reading a book sometime, any maybe stop watching Fox News as it appears to be making you slightly retarded....By the way, there is no way 80% of this country is Christian... Like I said, IGNORANT!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • billybone

      can i rub the red dot off your forehead so see what prize i won>

      February 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • djsjksj

      Moron. They are not complaining ... just saying it is what it is ... once again you are a moron.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • BD

      Aside for the obvious ignorance of your statement, I would point out that the team went out of there way to say that they would have no problem if it wasn't changed and accepted that it was their responsibility....... I may not share their beliefs but I respect the dignity with which they are facing this situation, something others could learn from when dealing with a percieved slight to their own religion or culture.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • boston

      Showing no respect for other people's culture and beliefs... spoken like a true Christian. In fact, what you said is a direct quote fro Jesus, right?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Sharp

      A little ironic you're talking about respect, don't you think? The great thing about this country is it is built on principles of separation of church and state, religious freedom, reasonable accommodation, and tolerance for minorities. Maybe you should shut up and respect THAT!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • D

      247 million, which is around 79.5% of Americans are identified as Christians (Search on google/CNN).
      1.7% are Jews
      0.6-0.8% Muslim

      February 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Dave

      I just threw some meat into my friend Sanjay's Rasam soup. He doesn't even know he's eating meat. Oh well Sanjay, that's what you get when you live in a *Christian* country right? (And they say Indians are smart??)

      February 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  10. Corey

    "If we give up this opportunity for our religion it just shows how much we deeply care for it," Isaac Buchine, a player on the Beren Stars, told KPRC.

    Ridiculous. If your religion was meaningful you wouldn't need to sacrifice a great achievement like that just to prove its worth.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • billy madox

      Exactly!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • BD

      Christian Holidays are statutory holidays in most of North America, being willing to accept sacrifice to provide the same level of reverence to their own culture is admirable in my opinion and not to be admonished.

      Do you have to make a conscious decision to be that much of a bigot or does it just come naturally?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • gerry

      It would not be an achievement for an Orthodox team to win a championship on Shabbat. No one would show up. Not their teammates. Not their families. It would be a shonda (shame) to even play. It's not the same as playing on Sunday. It would be like playing on Easter morning.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  11. Subnx

    Move the time so they can play.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • gerry

      Or don't move the time. The rest of the league cannot play on Sunday. These kids don't want anyone else to compromise their beliefs any more than they want to compromise their own. They're already champions, even if they're just quarter final champions. Shabbat, and everyone else's most personal observances are more sacred than sports.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  12. Miceal

    Why wasn't this sorted out at the beginning of the season? Did they not realize this was going to happen? Sounds like there was a bit of a screw-up that allowed this to be blown out of proportion. If this team knew at the start of the season they might be asked to play on the Sabbath, could other arrangements not have been made or was that even attempted? More information needed.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • gerry

      If there are 220 teams in the league and you are the one Orthodox Jewish team, would you really try to "sort things out." Imagine coming to league leaders, in Texas of all places,( Okay, I'm a bigot too) saying "Hey, what happens if we make the semi-finals? We're Orthodox Jews. We can't play from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday." Nobody is complaining. Read the article again. They are okay with dropping out. They didn't write this article and post it on CNN. Somebody else did. (Probably some other Jews, don't you think!)

      February 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  13. billy madox

    This is stupid and very selfish by the coach and the athletes as it shows a total lack of respect for the sport, the championship and the league as a whole. THhe NFL plays it's games, including championship games and superbowls on the Christian Sabbath,and college football is always played on a Saturday, and, any player, including Tebow, who refused to play on a Sunday or Saturday due to religious beliefs, would be immediately kicked out of the league. Either the school should be banned from participating in the future if they are unable to participate fully and fairly, just as everyone else, whether Jewish, christian or muslim, is expected to do, or those who made the decision not to participate should be fired from the school for a lack of professionalism, sportsmanship and respect for others. Sorry, but the world doesn't revolve around orthodox Jews. Play by the rules or don't play!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • djsjksj

      You are confused ... if this is was trully a christian country there would be NO NFL on Sunday.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Margaret

      Billy,
      you don't understand what you are talking about. Observing Shabbat is the highest priority in Judaism, and there is no way that a religious Jew would consider any sport more important than Shabbat. And it's more likely the coaches would be fired if they decided to play on Shabbat.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • gerry

      Nowhere in the Christian bible is it forbidden to work or play in a sporting event. Judaism explicitly states "You shall do no work of any kind." The ignorance expressed in this thread is really surprising. Tim Tebow would be ashamed.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • D

      It is NOT forbidden to work on Sundays for Christians and it never says that on the bible, unlike Judaism in Torah.
      BTW 99% of stores/malls open after 11 AM on Sundays (if even open) because church in the morning.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • billy madox

      Hey Gerry, sorry pal, but you are the ignorant one, as there are some sects of Christianity that do prohibit activities on Sunday, Mormonism, for one. Everyone has the right to believe in what they want, but, if you're playing college football, you're going to be playing on a Saturday, and if you are playing in a league or organizations that has scheduled games on a Saturday, then, you should expect to play on a Saturday. Not playing in a championship game shows a complete lack of respect and sportsmanship to the rest of the teams. It's not an orthodox Jewish organizations, and therefore, orthodox Jews should not expect the organization to bend order backwards for them. I am not Christian, by the way, I am of Jewish heredity, I just don;t think I'm better than other people because I am Jewish, and I don;t think I'm special because I'm Jewish, and thus, I do not think I, or anyone, deserves special treatment. It's not about this being a christian or Jewish nation, it's about the fact that the sports organization in question is a secular organization, and should not be taking into account any religion's Sabbath day.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • billy madox

      Hey Gerry, sorry pal, but you are the ignorant one, as there are some sects of Christianity that do prohibit activities on Sunday, Mormonism, for one. Everyone has the right to believe in what they want, but, if you're playing college football, you're going to be playing on a Saturday, and if you are playing in a league or organizations that has scheduled games on a Saturday, then, you should expect to play on a Saturday. Not playing in a championship game shows a complete lack of respect and sportsmanship to the rest of the teams. It's not an orthodox Jewish organizations, and therefore, orthodox Jews should not expect the organization to bend order backwards for them. I am not Christian, by the way, I am of Jewish heredity, I just don;t think I'm better than other people because I am Jewish, and I don;t think I'm special because I'm Jewish, and thus, I do not think I, or anyone, deserves special treatment. It's not about this being a christian or Jewish nation, it's about the fact that the sports organization in question is a secular organization, and should not be taking into account any religion's Sabbath day.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Mormons are less than 1% of the Christian faith. BTW most Jews are secular/atheists anyway.... just look at David Silverman

      February 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • billy madox

      D, not sure where you live, but your numners are way off for most of the country. In California, the state with the highest population in America, everything, except some banks, open at a normal time on both Sundays and Saturdays....Often, restaurants will be closed for Monday's however, but yeah, there is no such 90% number of stores that open late on Sunday...maybe in hickville, but not in places people live.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • gerry

      Whatever Billy. Say what you want about "some Christian sects. Tell me what you want about American sports. This is an Orthodox school that happens to have a basketball team. They won more games than they expected, but no way is any Orthodox Jew going to play in any sporting event on Shabbat, ever. Not in any culture or country. Not even Texas. Sports is not a religion everywhere. It is expressly forbidden to play sports on Shabbat. They are not in disrespect of anything. They are observing one of the most fundamental laws of their faith. The "laws" of sportsmanship in this culture do not go nearly so far back or so deep as Leviticus and they are not as important to our people. We are not all this observant, but we respect those who are.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • billy madox

      But Gerry, does it not concern you at all that there are so many sheep in this world who choose to believe the fairly tales of the Torah over respecting the reality of the contemporary culture we live and breath in. Anyone who does not choose to live in ignorance knows that there is no God and there there was no Jesus and no Moses, and that all those stories are simply that, STORIES. No more true that the Jedi religion of Star Wars. Just as we mock Scientology, al queda, and the Waco Texas cult, orthodox Jews and Christians should too me mocked as they are simply choosing to live outside reality and in the ignorance of a made up reality. Foolish traditions should not trump the traditions of a SECULAR sporting organization, whether those traditions be biting of the head of a bat, lighting some candles, or bowing down to the sunset. If those traditions are more important that the traditions of the SECULAR organization they have chose to take part in, they should not be taking part in that organization. The world does not revolve around Jews, despite the fact that so many of my brothern seem to think it does.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  14. phill A.

    Are Americans supposed to be impressed?
    When Jews start joining our military instead of the Israeli army I,ll be impressed,but we all know that won,t happen until pigs fly.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • gerry

      3400 American Jews have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Have you?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Bradley Stevens

      Hey Phill A. I am Jewish and am a Lt. Col. in the USAF. Have you served your country?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • truth

      Jewish" does not always equal "Israeli". Israeli's are required to join the IDF after high school for a minimum of two years. During their time, every last soldier is taught basic medical skills and hand to hand combat so that they can defend and protect. They support not only the mission of Israel, but all countries in need. Israel was the first country on the ground after the earth quakes in Haiti. There is a story of an amazing local dancer. He lost his leg during the earthquake and Israeli doctors flew him to Israel and, without cost to him, replaced his missing leg with a cutting edge prosthetic. These soldiers know the true meaning of honor, country, and freedom – just as every last soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine knows in the US military.

      There are plenty of Jewish American's serving in the US military. All branches. Look through the aisles of Arlington Cemetery. The Jewish star marks just as many tombstones. There are even active duty Rabbis that serve both at home and in combat zones. There are Jewish service men and women at all levels of rate and rank, distinction and honor. There are even Israelis who have become American citizens and enlisted in the US military.

      Think before you type ignorance. Take a few moments and do some research. The world is a very large place and I fear that your small-mindedness will hold you down.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • gerry

      Phil, if you ever served in the US military, you would know better.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  15. Mark

    This is just stupid.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  16. Keyla

    NO way Jews wasting time playing basketball rather than focus on making money $$$ ????!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • djsjksj

      Moron

      February 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • aJew

      Jealous much? Moron!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Sharp

      Does posting racist comments online make you feel good about yourself? I hope not. That would be very sad.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  17. Atheist

    I bet they have all big nose

    February 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • gerry

      Bet they can spell and punctuate.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Sharp

      I bet you have small brain

      February 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  18. joe Barnathan

    The players on the stars are a true reflection of their name each player is a bride star. in Gods book you have already won

    February 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  19. larry

    american was founded on ideas and beliefs. It is that spirit that allowed these kids forgo the glory of sports for the glory of a higher attainment. our country needs to return to respect, humility, truth and reverence and then we will be the greatest nation on earth. We need to impress all our youth in reverence and respect.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • generalizationsarebad

      Its the picking and choosing which parts of the law to observe that I find hypocritical. Allow the children to join a Gentile basketball league and punish them by having religious restriction that you know in advance will cause problems. The responsible thing to do is not join the league at all if you're really going to commit to your religious convictions.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  20. Darmonx

    is mayweather coaching this team? what a cop out. using religion as an excuse to duck the other team. i want to see the tournament rescheduled so we can hear what the next excuse will be.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • treblemaker

      Sandy Koufax, the Hall of Fame LA Dodger pitcher, and an observant Jew, did not pitch on a Sabbath. Your comment is inexcusable, and un-Christian-like. My hats off to that team for bucking the norm. BTW, Jesus Christ, the messiah, the Prince of Peace, etc. etc., grew up as an observant Jew, preached the Gospel of the Lord as a Jew, had Jewish disciples, and died on the cross as the Lamb of God in a vicarious atonement for the sins of all mankind as a Jew. Be careful with your comments.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Pet Rap

      I am an atheist and I get offended by your comment. Why "cop out"? Why "excuse"? Where are you getting this ideas? How about because they believe in something. Even that I don't believe in this crap of not playing in Christmas, not working on Sunday or Saturday I respect them and usually they respect my not believing and the mutual RESPECT makes us humans. Try to be human and accept differences.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • billy madox

      Hey Treblemaker, it shouldn't be about Jew or Christian, as making it about that is being racist. NFL players, many who are Christian, are expected to play on Sunday, which is the Christian Sabbath, and players like Steve Young and Alex Smith are actually forbidden by their Morman religion from playing on Sundays, yet, the NFL does not change the football schedule to appease these players, and nor should there be a reschedule here. When you decide to play a sport and join an organization, whatever religion you are, you should not expect that organization to bend over backwards because you don"t want to work on Saturday. Especially since God is a made up story to begin with, there really is no reason for this lack of professionalism and sportsmanship by this basketball team. They should not be allowed to participate in the organization next season since they can not play by the same set of rules and schedulers everyone else in the league is expected to. It's stories like this that make me shake my head at my own people (yes, I am Jewish, though not religiously) Why is that so many of us think we are better than others and deserve special treatment? It's like some of us really do believe that we are God's chosen people or some BS falsity like that... Jews are just like everyone else, and we are not special and do not deserve special treatment If we want to play sports, than we might have to play on the Sabbath at time, just as Christians do. I repeat, Jews are not better than nonJews!!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.