Friday, July 23, 2010

The Triatholon Conspiracy

A great post by Lulei Demistafina on crying antisemitism
Tisha B'av next year is on a Tuesday. The NYC Tri is the Sunday prior. Again.

I checked the dates for previous triathlons, and to my surprise and dismay, in four of the past five years, the NYC Tri always fell out the Sunday before Tisha B'av. The English dates were in a broad range; but on the Hebrew Calendar the dates were eerily consistent. What could account for that? Even I, a red-white-and-blue blooded American Jew, was beginning to wonder: Was it actually possible that the organizers of this event were discouraging Orthodox Jews from participating? What else could it possibly be?

So I emailed one of the organizers of the event. Why were the dates of the Tri so varied?, I asked. Her answer surprised me. The currents, she wrote back, have to be favorable between 6 and 9 in the morning. And you know this so far in advance? I asked. Years in advance, she responded.

It turns out that calculating the currents has a lot to do with the lunar cycle, the same lunar cycle that sets the Jewish calendar. So the organizers can not create the event around a certain date on the Gregorian calendar—as they do for the New York City Marathon and the U.S. Open tennis tournament; they have to take into account the moon’s position. Nothing to do with Jews.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

There is a tendency among some Jews to suspect anti-Semitism at the first whiff of anything that remotely interferes with, or even inconveniences, the Jewish community, a feeling that anything that can be chalked up to anti-Semitism should be chalked up to anti-Semitism. This mistrust is misguided—and potentially dangerous.
Read the full article here.

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