This week Omri Casspi, Cleveland Cavaliers NBA player, uploaded a picture of himself wearing Tefillin to his Facebook page. It’s nice to see a young basketball superstar that earns millions of dollars a year to still be connected to his roots and to still be putting on Tefillin. Ga’avah Yisraelit.
There was another moment like this last year when Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Itai Shechter scored a goal against Austrian football team Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League qualifying rounds. The match was being played in Austria and when Shechter scored Hapoel’s third goal to make the score 3-1, he took a kippa out of his socks, put it on his head and said the Shema in celebration. Shechter was given a yellow card for his celebration, but it was a proud moment for Israel. Shechter wearing his kippa proudly in Austria, a country where many Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust a mere seventy years ago. Hapoel went on to win the game 3-2 and qualify for the 2010 Champions League. Here’s the video of the celebration: