Thursday, October 2, 2008

Frosh des Habitants...

israel ice hockey In anticipation of the commencement of the High Holy Days, Sammy Rapps, family patriarch and former president of family-owned and operated Calego International Inc. (for whom I work), invited his greatly respected friend, Rabbi Fine, to share some insight on the meaning of Rosh Hashanah and of the Jewish faith. Curious, I sat in on Rabbi Fine's discussion, which I would learn was meant to assist in the traditional process of self-examination leading up to the Day of Judgment and the New Year.

Rosh Hashanah, Fine explained, is a time to reflect upon one's relationship with God. The only things over which a person has any true control, he suggested, are their dignity and their relationship with God, which is a perfect reflection of their character and actions.

Similarly, the character and actions (or more specifically, the abilities) of NHL hopefuls come to be scrutinized in the days leading up to their own day of judgment and, concurrent with the Hebrew calendar, the latter part of September (Elul) opens this process. In that time, the Montreal Canadiens, among others, gathered their prospects and perennials for physicals, training camp and the start of a series of evaluations.

Following a concentrated schedule of practices and 6 preseason games in 7 nights, Montreal's players and personnel were finally granted a day of rest on the first eve of Rosh Hashanah this past Monday. In following with the traditional interpretation of the holiday, Monday was also a day of judgment for the Canadiens as 16 players were re-assigned to Montreal's AHL affiliate in Hamilton and 2 others returned to their respective Junior clubs in the team's first major round of cuts.

It is told that Rosh Hashanah is marked by the opening of three books of account, into which the fates of three classes of people are written: the righteous, whose names are inscribed in the Book of Life and are sealed "to live"; the wicked, who are immediately blotted out of the Book of Life; and an intermediate class, who are given a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to prove their worth and become righteous.*

Hab hopefuls, too, were effectively divided into three groups on that day: the righteous, comprised of the established stars and veterans of the group alongside the key young players who had proved their worth last season and who by conventional wisdom are locks to hold their spots on the big team; the wicked, who are not 'wicked' so much as they are just not ready to compete at the highest level and were effectively blotted out of the team's starting roster by being immediately re-assigned; and the intermediaries, made up of the few prospects who made an early impression and were granted at the very least a longer look in the preseason.

Aptly called the 'Days of Awe' (Yamim Noraim), the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur provide a true test of these intermediaries, at once holding the potential to strike 'bubble' players with utter trepidation or, conversely, to allow them the opportunity to absolutely astonish the management and coaching staff. Maybe, just maybe, one or two of these players can find their way into the Book of Life on that opening night roster card, but in this instance they'll have to make a case strong enough to displace somebody already on that list to do so.

For Gregory Stewart, Matt D'Agostini and Ben Maxwell, last night marked the end of their stay with the big club, for now anyways, and with it the end of their days of awe in the midst of 21,273 screaming fans and unparalleled media attention. Survivors Max Pacioretty, Kyle Chipchura and Yannick Weber will live to fight another day and will be granted a longer interlude during which to forge a lasting impression, including one final preseason game this Saturday against Minnesota.

pacioretty

All things being considered, final judgments and roster decisions will be passed from on high just prior to the observance of Yom Kippur on the 9th of October and the official debut of the Canadiens' 2008-09 Season on the 10th. Between now and then, the process of self-examination undertaken during these high holidays will represent gut-check time for three young men aspiring to don the bleu-blanc-rouge in particular.

Whether Rosh Hashanah or Frosh des Habitants, reflection and renewal are in the air. Past strengths and deficiencies have been identified and, hopefully, addressed. It's October--the start of a new year and a new hockey season... here's hoping it's a good one--Shana Tova!

17 comments:

charlie said...

Good vort :)

Gmar chasima tova to you...

Anonymous said...

Sorry dude...you should keep religion out of the sports world...

Anonymous said...

??? What the fuck??? This is a sports blog..not some kind of jewish/pseudo-sports page (and no i'm not anti-semitic i would have said the same thing had you been talking about any religion)

Justin Crowder said...

Guys,

Believe me, I'm far from Religious... I just found it interesting to draw the analogy...

Anonymous said...

this is a zionist conspiracy

charlie said...

Haha, wow. Mention the word religion or Jew and suddenly Hitler's not dead anymore! You people are pathetic. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

@charlie: Why am i pathetic because i don't want a bunch of religious crap that has nothing to do with hockey on a "hockey" blog???

charlie said...

It's just a little just how much this bothers you. There have been other non-exact hockey articles and no complaint. This, an interesting article with hockey in it, suddenly it's the biggest crime on earth. I mean come on, don't read it then.

Anonymous said...

@ Charlie : Biggest crime on earth?? Are we not being a bit dramatic?? And could you explain to me how i could know what the article is about if i don't read at least part of it??

And you wrote this: "It's just a little just how much this bothers you" What are you trying to say here??

It really seems to bother you that i don't want to read about religion on a HOCKEY blog?? Why is that??

Anonymous said...

Can we keep the posts non-religious please!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Charlie go read some religious blog or fuck off!!!

charlie said...

Little pathetic is how it's to read.

This is honestly funny. Someone mentions religion in a blog and look how touchy you get. You have some negative experiences as a child? Your priest molest you? You know you should really seek help for that.

Anonymous said...

Charlie is a stupid little religious faggot......wooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Anonymous said...

Go write a blog in Israel or something...

charlie said...

Hahaha... go write a blog in Israel? Wow, so very profound. What is with people and being so scared of religion.

Anonymous said...

Its not about being scared of religion its about that this is A HOCKEY BLOG!! GET IT, HOCKEY!!!!HOCKEY!!! Leave the religion out of it!!!

there our many other forums and ways to speak of religion which is a personnal matter...Lets stick to hockey and leave the religious bullcrap at the door!!!

Charlie your probably a right wing conservative that always has to equate everything to religion..your in the wrong place!!

charlie said...

Wow, you're way off.

The blog WAS about hockey. Just because it had a religious spin means nothing.

And like I said, there have been other blogs on this site that weren't "strictly" hockey and nobody seemed to mind.

Anonymous said...

Charlie is a fuckin' douchebag........wooooooooooooooooooooo

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