I’ve always been committed to learning. Countless school classes - and afterwards the university lectures - were often based on different historical events. While the lessons of history for some were extremely boring, I often caught myself following the words of speakers with deep attention, seeking to understand their true essence.
I do believe that very essence of being Jewish is composed of similar paths of finding the truth. Continual studying of historical happenings has led us to a moment in which we can respond better and overcome problems in the present. This is the mark of an entity that has survived more than anyone in the previous 3,000 years.
How can we not say that we are “people of the book” when we have this commitment to learning? We have proven ourselves countless times walking down the road of “religious” studies. I am sure that without the commitment to the events that have marked our past we wouldn’t be a nation with such modern-world, democratic qualities.
Actually, that modern-world society has brought us some new things too, sport for an example. Respect for a corporal and physical expression of ancient Greece and medieval chivalry is nowadays, an entertainment of billions. Unrelenting professionalism, incredible dollar figures and uncompromising commercialism have taken sport to the point where it completely lost its meaning.
But, the whole absurdity of the “historically” fresh appearance of sport, acquires real meaning in the Jewish milieu. The Jews themselves, which have a well-known stand on sport as unnecessary sacrilegious bravado, managed to grasp its true essence.
The Maccabi games, as a reflection of Jewish Olympism, are the true manifesto of the development of sport between Jews. It is a blend of professionalism and amateurism, competition and friendship, chivalry and historical charity packed into a story of support for Israel and world Jewry.
The Maccabiad represents the whole Jewish history in miniature, the whole essence of a nation. That’s how the sport as a form of social entertainment has transformed into a meaningful and well shaped among Jews.
Unfortunately, you can’t find Jews from Serbia and the Balkans in this story. The question is whether the small number of people who might be involved in sports and / or lack of basic funding are the main obstacles for assembling a team that will represent this region in Israel next year?
One thing is clear, the lack of basic organizational skills and planning on the long run, has left us on the fringe of the Jewish world sporting events.
Don’t misread this one! Athletes we do have, even very talented ones. It might be possible to win the first medal for this ex- Yugoslavia area. However, with such a lack of financial assistance, it is likely that most of them won’t go to Israel. Those that will go forward to the “holy land” will arrive as tourists, because the criteria aren’t prospects for a good result, but ones abilities for sightseeing, nights out and drinking.
Tell me that this is twisted! Someone should really put a stop to this.