Sports

Now for something completely different, I don’t think I’ve ever written about sports before. Israel is a quite a sports-loving country, but not usually thought of in the top leagues. Apart from basketball, in which Maccabi Tel-Aviv have won the European championship several times, few Israeli teams are considered top notch.
But, in the UEFA soccer qualifying cup matches, Israel has managed to achieve a repectable level. Last week the Israel national team managed to draw 0-0 with an admittedly below par England team. However this week in quite a strong performance Israel defeated Estonia 4-0. What a strange universe it is to think that the grandfathers of the current Estonian players were probably out killing Jews 62 years ago. The Estonian pro-German fascists were notoriously brutal. But, then the Estonians suffered similarly when about one third of their population was decimated by Stalin after WWII because of their support for the Germans. Ah well, let’s try to forget the terrible past and focus on the fact that now the only aggressions are on the football field. My youngest grandson saw the game with his father at the Ramat Gan stadium. Nice.
In another sport, Shachar Pe’er, our national tennis phenom, is now ranked no. 15 in the world and reached the semi-finals of the Sony Classic tournament in Miami. She had a rather easy time of it until she played Serena Williams, who had also defeated her in the Australian open only a month or so ago. She will have to raise her play at least another level to make it into the top ten.
In Australia, the Israeli swimmer Michael Malul came sixth in the breast stroke finals of the World Swimming championships. So little Israel is producing sportsmen that are competing at the highest levels. So different from the prejudiced view of Jews in the diaspora who are supposed to all be nerds.
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Chag Pesach sameach to all my loyal readers. I hope you all have a wonderful Seder and we will be together in spirit (and in spirits).
Note: I have posted a picture of my latest painting on my web-site: www.geocities.com/jackcohenart
Please check it out in the “Recent Paintings” section, and let me have your feedback (note that I could not crop the corners properly).

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