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!
Here we are in the Mensch Madness semi-finals, with both opponents having vanquished their morally-inferior opponents in order to earn their spots here tonight. This tournament is all about
and at least when it comes to teaching important lessons about right and wrong… both have a lot going for them.
On one side, we’ve got a co-ed pack animal with more awareness of the Divine than any human – the little underdog of this tournament, the DONKEY.
On the other side of the court is a 24-karat ruminant whose mere existence causes “retribution for every generation[i]”, the controversial crowd-constructed cow baby, the GOLDEN CALF.
If left to logic alone we’d clearly have a draw, but fortunately we can use athletic competition to discover the ultimate altruist. Formidable opponents to be sure, but they are not without their weaknesses. In addition to being an affront to God, the calf has a real maturity deficit coming into this round. But will the donkey’s wisdom be enough to overcome her treyf little un-cloven hooves?[ii] Folks, we are in for quite the contest tonight!
The players are out there on the court and it’s obvious the fans are pulling for the calf in this contest. The roar is deafening here in the arena. I’ve never seen anything like it: they are worshipping this calf. It’s got to be discouraging for the donkey facing this crowd.
And the game begins!
Well, this is a quite a surprise. Sure enough, despite some fancy hoofwork, the donkey has poor ball control. She’d be out of this contest if it wasn’t for the calf’s performance tonight. We knew his 6.5 tons might pose a problem but this is just ridiculous. I swear he hasn’t moved since the whistle. He is literally a statue out there on the court!
This game is all about the crowd. They’re giving everything they’ve got, but it just doesn’t seem enough to get the calf to actually moo anything—er, DO anything. Meanwhile the donkey is running circles around him. Actual circles! Still, she seems unable to get that ball into the basket. Going into the half, we’ve got a very close game, tied 0-0.
The Golden Calf remains frozen throughout the halftime show, forcing the cheerleaders to dance around him.
The second half begins!
Wait…something’s happening! We’re seeing donkey domination this half of the game. Where is this coming from?! I’ve never seen moves from a player quite like this before! We’ve got a dunking donkey here tonight folks! It’s almost like she’s possessed.
Going into the final buzzer, it’s amazing to see the crowd’s mood change. They have switched their allegiance ever since the donkey gained possession in the second half. I never thought they’d see past the bovine bling but they’ve clearly been inspired here tonight. Let’s hope that whatever inspired the donkey here tonight stays with her as she advances to the championship!
As the buzzer sounds, the Donkey makes a final dunk, winning the game 18-0.
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[i] Rav Yudan in the name of Rav Assi (B. Sanhedrin 102a)
[ii] Deuteronomy 14:3-6.
Pronounced: TRAYF, Origin: Yiddish, not kosher