God Bless the Caps
Come October 8th, the observant from around the world will gather to partake in rituals and traditions that have been passed down for generations. They will pray and shout to the heavens asking God to look kindly upon them. A leader from the congregation, a holy man and inspiration to all, will sound the clarion call for the faithful to join together as one, to sacrifice and to serve the higher power.
And for Jews, it’s an important day too, Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days on the calendar. The Caps regular season happens to kick off at Verizon Center as the Day of Atonement is wrapping up. And ask any Caps fan – there’s plenty of atoning to do after last season. Our boys in Red will face the Hurricanes that night. Gai kukken afen yam!
Now that the 2011-2012 schedule has been released, we can view the 82 games of the regular season side-by-side with the holidays on the Jewish calendar. Later that month on October 20th, the Caps venture to Philly on Simchat Torah, the day that marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of readings from the ancient text. And there’s just nothing funny about that holiday.
Then it’s time for presents, eight of them. Chanukah comes late this year, overlapping Christmas (BFD), and four games are played during the Festival of Lights. The Preds at home on December 20, back-to-back road games on the 23rd and 26th against the Devils and Sabres, then back at home on the 28th to host the Rangers. (That team also hails from a town that’s fat with Jews we’re told). Our Chanukah wishes this year are simple: four more Swedes and four more Russians. We also know the kind of lights we’d like to see lit up – make that lamps.
Come springtime, it’s Purim. We don’t recall much from Sunday school, but we think Purim centers on some really brutal 5th Century BC empire and an evil despot named Haman. So on March 8, it’s more than appropriate that we host the Lightning that evening. Er zol kakn mit blit un mit ayter.
Only one game falls during Passover; on April 7th the Rangers host us. (Expect a lot of available tickets in Hymietown for that game). As we recall, Passover has something to do with animal sacrifice (lambs we think), and lots of blood. Plagues too, nasty ones and a lot of suffering. Sean Avery and Henrik Lundqvist – Gut zol oyf im onshikn fin di tsen makes di beste!
Then it’s the playoffs and our run to the Cup. We’ll certainly need God on our side to smote and smite our enemies. The power play too, could use some divine intervention or some good old-fashioned faith healing. We’re not above snake handling and speaking in tongues if that’s what it takes.