I hate defending the Lakers (especially because they have no idea how to play it. Zing!). I would like to issue a disclaimer before I continue with this post affirming that the Los Angeles Lakers are the root of all evil in the world, Kobe Bryant is the spawn of Satan and all Lakers fans are bandwagoners who know nothing about basketball. Done and done.
I’m not sure if anyone who reads Mixed Multitudes reads sports blogs but freedarko.com had an interesting piece today about Laker’s guard Jordan Farmar and his Judaism.
Farmar is my boy (we’re Facebook friends!). He was a great player at UCLA and when he was about to be drafted I told myself that as long as he wasn’t drafted by the Lakers, I was going to buy a Farmar jersey. Obviously, God hates me.
Today, freedarko.com was kind of hating on Farmar. Not on his game. But on his Judaism.
Butâ€”and this is more about our society than my own feelingsâ€”I don’t think Farmar reads as Jewish, on at least two levels. For one, there’s the Obama principle. Our real life FBP also happens to be half Heartland, and yet that other half is what defines him. Perhaps because of the context, Farmar is more likely to be recognized as “mixed” (which, of course, still ends up being primarily about black blood), but his Judaism is a technicality, or at least not readily apparent, even if he claims it quite regularly.
Buddy, do some research. This kills me that just because Farmer isn’t wearing a kippah and has tattoos that all of a sudden his Judaism is a “technicality.” Yes, Jordan’s father is not Jewish. But his step-father, Yehuda Kolani is and he raised Jordan from the time he was two.
I think a lot of young Jewish kids look up to Farmar proving that its possible to get onto the largest basketball stage on earth. I’m also pretty sure that the fact that Farmar is half-black has nothing to do with anything. Not all Jews look like Woody Allen. Maybe everyone to needs to read this MJL article about Multi-Racial Jewish Families.
Still think that Farmar’s Judaism is a technicality? Check out this video of Farmar in Israel this summer (and if you want a stereotypically looking Jew, check out his sister in the vid):
Pronounced: KEE-pah or kee-PAH, Origin: Hebrew, a small hat or head covering that Orthodox Jewish men wear every day, and that other Jews wear when studying, praying or entering a sacred space. Also known as a yarmulke.