In America, the story about Sandy Koufax not pitching on Yom Kippur has entered Jewish folklore. For those not living on our shores, let's quickly recount: Koufax, a star for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was scheduled to open the 1965 World Series (that's the baseball championship of the United States, yes, it's called the "World" Series, we know, we know). However, the opener fell on Yom Kippur. Koufax decided to skip the game, and American Jews had their eternal hero.
So why do we open a profile of an Israeli soccer star with a story about baseball? Well, that star, Haim Revivo, arguably one of the best Israeli soccer players (and, by extension, Jewish soccer players) of all time, signed with Celta Vigo, a club in Spain, in 1996. Early in his first season, Celta had a game scheduled on Yom Kippur.
HA! Says faithful reader. I know what's coming! Revivo refused to play on Yom Kippur! Well, not exactly.
The game was moved.
That's right, Celta moved the match up a couple of hours to accommodate its lone Jewish player. And this is in Spain, not exactly a country with a tradition of embracing its Jews.
So when will Revivo enter Jewish folklore? Maybe one day... When Americans start caring about soccer.