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    Joshua

    "Normal athletics was something few Jews ever shone at"

    Jews that you have known? Jews in general?

    Judy

    Oh, both, Joshua. I know of Harold Abrahams, Fanny Blankers-Koen and a few others in field athletics, but relative to the high proportions of Jews in other fields of endeavour...

    On a purely personal basis, I think I had the world all comers games and physical education avoidance record at school. But I do now enjoy my fitness centre. And it is full of local Jews. However, I don't think any of them would claim to shine at athletics.

    Joshua

    I'm afraid you have internalised the prejudices of others (a common occurrence with oppressed minority groups). If you perform a Google search (Google is your friend!) and widen your search to include all sports, you'll be simply amazed to find the high percentage of Jews not just involved in such activities but winning honours and medals at every level.

    Here are just a few links to get you started:

    Try the Sydney Olympics

    http://www.jewishsports.com/jewsin/olympics.htm

    Jewishsports.com

    http://www.jewishsports.com/

    Jews at the Olympics (400 Olympic medals in all, more than 100 of them gold)

    http://www.ajn.com.au/pages/archives/editorial/editorial-01s.html

    Jews in boxing

    http://www.jewishsports.com/jewsin/history/boxinghistory.htm

    http://www.jewishpost.com/jp0404/jpn0404f.htm

    Marty Glickman

    http://www.jewishsightseeing.com/germany/berlin/olympic_stadium/19990702-glickman.htm

    Medal winners at the Nazi Olympics

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/olympics.html

    http://www.jewishsports.net/BioPages/EndreKabos.htm

    http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/olympics/zcd070.htm

    http://www.jewishjournal.com/archive/09.15.00/coverstory1.09.15.00.html (Hungarian Jewish fencers were especially dominant in the Olympics, winning a total of 20 medals.)

    Jewish medal winners who were murdered in the Holocaust

    http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/olympics/zcd078.htm

    http://www.jewishsports.net/BioPages/Netherlands1928OlympicChampions.htm (Of the Netherlands’ champion Jewish Olympic gymnasts, only Elka de Levie did not perish in the Holocaust)

    http://www.jewishsports.net/BioPages/AlfredFlatow.htm

    http://www.jewsinsports.org/olympics.asp?sport=olympics&ID=9

    The world famous 1930s Jewish swimming club Hakoah Vienna (women)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/fridayreview/story/0,12102,1439803,00.html

    Mark Spitz

    http://www.ncsu.edu/ligon/olympics/Spitz/MarkS.html

    Israel and cycling

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/633831.html

    Some further points:

    1) Just because over 20% of Jews have won Nobel Prizes, this does not mean one should ignore other activities in which Jews have been prominent.

    2) If still you don't believe Jews can be good athletes, I suggest you check out many of the IDF's combat units.

    3) There is a huge difference between "not being good at" and "choosing not to take part in for other reasons". Thus, Jewish boxing and fencing skills did not simply evaporate, it's just that we moved to other arenas. In addition, the heartland of our Jewish sporting world was obliterated by the Nazis and their many accomplices during the Holocaust.

    4) Your commonly held prejudice puts me very much in mind of so many others like "Jews didn't fight in the war" when in fact 1.5 million Jews (a huge percentage given the Holocaust) fought in the armies of the Allies and as partisans in the forests and cities of Europe. Call me a Jew-boy and I won't argue with you, but I will break your nose.

    Steve M

    "And I neither endorse nor dissent from the interpretation of my dream as being due to blogging anxiety. How could anyone know?" - Norman

    I was one of those who responded to Norm on the subject of lucid dreams but I didn't make any comment about specific interpretations.

    No one can know. However, it seems to me that a 'true' interpretation is likely to be one that has some resonance with the dreamer himself.

    Anyway, dream interpretation can be fraught with difficulties. I tend to avoid it. However, if I was to comment I'd follow one who did seem to know and say that there are going to be seven years of plenty followed by ...

    Steve M

    "1) Just because over 20% of Jews have won Nobel Prizes ..." - Joshua

    Just my luck to belong to the 80% of Jews who haven't.

    Judy

    Joshua-- I'm well aware of the Jewish sporting achievements you mention, and the historic and current Jewish sporting organizations. Despite that, I still think that what *I actually said* remains true, which is that normal athletics (eg running and field sports) is something few Jews excelled at.

    As I've said before, please cool it.

    Judy

    Steve-- I think the most sensible way to treat dreams is what's in the little prayer.. If they seem to be for good, use them to strengthen your vision, if not, try to heal from them.

    Judy

    Joshua-- it would actually be wonderful if 20% of Jews had won Nobel prizes. That would make over a million Jewish Nobel prize winners in Israel alone. Well, I expect there could be over a million who could tell you why they deserved a Nobel prize...

    Joshua

    "Despite that, I still think that what *I actually said* remains true, which is that normal athletics (eg running and field sports) is something few Jews excelled at."

    Within your narrow circle perhaps. However, if you had travelled extensively within the US and observed the large participation of young Jewish males in high school sports, you'd have changed your tune very rapidly.

    "As I've said before, please cool it."

    I don't believe I've written anything that would justify such a comment. I was of the opinion that you made a quite silly comment based on a very widely held prejudice and I tried to correct it (where do you imagine the prize-winning sportsmen and sportswomen came from, thin air? Jews dominated boxing in many places for decades, do you think they were raised on Venus and transported to the East End in a spaceship when fully-formed?). I think the problem is that you are overly sensitive to criticism and shy away from tough debate which are not ideal traits for a blogger. However, if you wish to delete my posts, you should do so.

    Joshua

    "Joshua-- it would actually be wonderful if 20% of Jews had won Nobel prizes. That would make over a million Jewish Nobel prize winners in Israel alone."

    You know exactly what I meant. As I said before, you are far too sensitive to criticism.

    Cynic

    Joshua,
    "However, if you had travelled extensively within the US and observed the large participation of young Jewish males ..."

    Judy makes the point about Jews from Rhodesia and South Africa.

    The US with its constitution and due process is a completely different kettle of fish when considering Jewish participation in sports.

    Has there there been the equivalent of a situation where a Jewish cricket umpire would take his tea out on the grass instead of going into the clubhouse, in the US given that cricket is not played and that there are no tea breaks in American sports :-) ?
    The racist basis encountered in Southern Africa was something quite different and propelled people along different ways.

    mark

    Both of you cool it!

    I think Israel's best Olympic performance ever was the last one - two golds was it? So things are looking up - enjoy!

    Judy

    Mark -- I don't think either of Israel's golds (or other medals) has been for athletics.

    There is of course a strong Jewish tradition in weight lifting, which one might say goes back to Samson and possibly earlier.

    But my comments on athletics were in the context of South African/Zimbabwean schools which were imitation English public schools, and which Jewish boys of Norm's vintage would have attended.

    The English public school system only recognised as respectable sports: cricket (highest prestige), field athletics, rowing and rugby. Weightlifting would have been seen as unspeakably beyond the pale, as would have been soccer.

    I was commenting purely on that environment, though I do think it is true that though there have been some Jewish field athletics world class performers (eg Harold Abrahams), they are so few as to be insignificant even compared wiht Jewish achievements in other sports, such as swimming and weightlifting.

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