Tailgating with a Side Serving of Torah


Tailgating with a Side Serving of Torah

As they pulled into the Meadowlands parking lot, one group of fans came prepared for a different type of tailgating experience.

Tens of thousands of fans from throughout the tri-state area gather in the Meadowlands parking lot each Sunday during football season to enjoy the pregame rituals of tailgating. Amidst the flipping of burgers and the tossing of footballs, fans discuss details of the upcoming game and pray that their favorite team will emerge victorious.

But what if you are an Orthodox Jew and a special day of fasting (which includes required recitation of both morning and afternoon prayers) falls on the same day as a Jets home game?

Fiercely loyal to their favorite team, these fans did not want to miss cheering the Jets on in person despite their strict adherence to the customs of their Jewish faith. After considering numerous solutions (including coming to the game late or leaving early to accommodate their local synagogue prayer schedules), they came up with a compromise to fulfill both obligations. On this day, their prayers would extend beyond well wishes for their team — they would conduct a service in the parking lot.

Thus, as their fellow tailgaters opened car trunks filled with beer and chips, they popped their trunk to pull out a Torah, the sacred biblical scroll from which Jews read their daily prayers. A local community site posted information about the parking lot location for the service.

The prayers of all Jets fans came true that day. Hungry but happy, they drove home grateful that their prayers were answered.

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