Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
Welcome back to Mensch Madness! We’re already at Game 5.
Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher, put up a good fight in his preliminary match. But he has a tough game ahead against his opponent, the one, the only, the hapax legomenon “Azazel” himself: the Scapegoat!
Today, Manishewitz Arena is packed – even though both competitors hail from farms, these are no farm teams!
Now, of course, Baxter is a tenacious pig. He will stop at nothing to go for his goals, even when they seem impossible. He is not intimidated by the press saying there is no way he can win. He’s also heard that “pigs aren’t kosher,” but even that did not deter him from achieving his dream to become the first
The Scapegoat is the favorite going into the game. Famous for saddling the blame for the Israelites in the Days of Awe, the Scapegoat is a lucky guy. He seems to always win the lot drawing, narrowly escaping the sacrificial altar. Many ESPN commenters have been so bold as to say, “I-bex the Scapegoat will run away with the game.” Further, the energy is in his favor tonight as many of his fans are here sporting tournament goat-ees.
Baxter, tournament-tested, is eager to correct the mistakes from his first match up. Guest referee, Jason Kidd, tosses the jump ball and Baxter takes advantage. His early game performance is
fic! That pregame pickle eating ritual seems unusual, but sure is doing the trick.
The Scapegoat, used to travelling in the wilderness, gets called, and Baxter makes his way to the net. And it’s good! He jumps and whoops, though his excessive celebration does not get called. Baxter milks the moment so much that the Scapegoat gets feta-ed up!
BZZZZ! That’s the halftime buzzer—Baxter is leading and feeling good headed to the locker room. But the Scapegoat is not afraid. He is used to being a second half player, improving upon the tres-passes he made during the first half and promising to be better in the second. After a rousing halftime speech urging him to “caper-diem,” the Scapegoat is ready for a comeback.
After Baxter makes a “go at” him, the Scapegoat does some fancy hoofwork, and escapes down court. Play after play, the Scapegoat steadily gains ground. He missed the mark a few times in the first half, but as the clock winds down, Baxter’s getting nervous that Scapegoat will steal the bacon.
The game is tied at 72, with just 4 seconds on the clock…
3…Baxter shoots, no good…
2…Scapegoat gets the rebound and is marked, for once, for victory…
1…Scapegoat hits center court, goes for a “hail-Aaron” shot at the horn, and takes a hard fall to the hardwood. IT’S GOOD! He sure sacrificed his body for the win. The coach shepherds the team to cut down the game net, but Scapegoat is too amped to wait for scissors and chews it down instead.
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 For more, see Rabbi Micah Peltz, “Let it Go: 5775 Yom Kippur Torah Discussion.” http://www.tbsonline.org/site/files/833/154654/510031/715071/YK_Torah_Discussion_-_RP.pdf
 See Leviticus 16:8-10
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.
Pronounced: yohm KIPP-er, also yohm kee-PORE, Origin: Hebrew, The Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and, with Rosh Hashanah, one of the High Holidays.