I was delighted to read Karin Tanabe’s October/November cover story on baseball and religion, “Is the Nation’s Favorite Pastime Pitching Jesus?” What a wonderful tone she was able to weave in while addressing the charged issues of Baseball Chapel, religious exclusivism and the need for wholesome support groups for at-risk young adult males. Tanabe’s handling of Waddy Spoelstra’s motivation for establishing Baseball Chapel was quite sensitive, and I appreciated the wonderful humor and constructive proposal at the end of the article.
I was also engaged by Tanabe’s essay, “After Night in Sighet” about visiting Elie Wiesel’s house in Romania. For me, Night continues to be a work that I can use to help my students develop sensitivity to others, to experience the depth of darkness and horror of the Holocaust, while embracing memory without suppressing it, and to move toward an affirmation of life.
Joseph L. Price
Professor of Religious Studies, Whittier College
I enjoyed “Is the Nation’s Favorite Pastime Pitching Jesus?” by Karin Tanabe. One small correction: The article says that 21 owners of professional sports teams are Jewish. I count 33. And that doesn’t include teams like the Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Thrashers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, which are owned by groups that include Jews. The NBA seems to have the most Jewish owners, with 15 out of 28.
I was blown away by Moment’s October/ November issue. My eyes were opened wide reading Karin Tanabe’s article about baseball pitching Jesus. I laughed myself silly with Mark Pinsky’s “Do You Know This Family?” about the Simpsons and rejoiced at the beauty and creativity of the Reconciliation Bowls featured in Gallery.
What a treat to think about something else besides conflict in the Middle East, internal struggles in Israel and who is a Jew.
Ann R. Haendel
St. Pete Beach, Florida
Let’s Get Serious
The editor writes that Elie Wiesel named this magazine for Warsaw’s Yiddish daily Der Moment (1910-1939). At a time when Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose rhetoric is not much different from Hitler’s, is threatening the state of Israel and Jews everywhere, you publish articles about baseball and a homosexual playwright? That’s fine, but will it help this generation of Jews to be better educated about the approaching danger than Elie Wiesel’s family was in the 1940s?
In the October/November 2007 article on playwright Tony Kushner by Ted Merwin and David Zax, “The Playwright’s Politics,” Kushner is quoted as saying that “the founding of the State of Israel was for the Jewish people a historical, moral, political calamity.” Kusher also says that he “is not anti-Israel.” I believe it would be of interest to know why, then, would he support a “historical, moral, political calamity” for the Jewish people?
David L. Bruck
San Juan, Puerto Rico