by Josh Barkin
In my childhood home, baseball was a religion. Sandy Koufax was the chief deity.
My dad is a huge Dodgers fan. My sister is a huge Dodgers fan. My mom and my Bubbe are huge Dodgers fans. My brother and I know our way around Dodger Stadium better than we ever knew the way to school, and since I was three or four years old I attended almost every Opening Day there. (When I spent a year studying in Jerusalem, my dad emailed me a picture of his Opening Day tickets, just to mess with me. I didn’t talk to him until he apologized.) When I was growing up, my dad told me, “Josh, your mom and I would be very upset if you marry a non-Jewish girl. But we’d find a way to get over it. We’ll love you anyway. But if you marry a Giants fan, I’ll say kaddish.”
An autographed picture of Sandy Koufax adorned the dining room in my parents’ house. My Bubbe calls him “Sandyleh.” When I’m having a bad day, I listen to Vin Scully’s call of Sandy’s perfect game in 1965. I own a Dodgers jersey adorned with number 32.
Suffice it to say that I’m a Sandy Koufax fan.
Soon, Torah Aura will publish a Instant Lesson about Sandy Koufax as part of our “Jewish People” series. Rabbi Ron Isaacs wrote the lesson, and I edited it.
I have to admit that it kind of bothers me. While Sandy Koufax is certainly a Dodger hero, I’m not so sure if he’s a Jewish hero.