This Christmas the Israelis were generous enough to give me permission to go to the other side of my country. So I figured the best thing I could do with the permission is… watch sports on the other side of the wall.
First I went with my fiends to a Basketball game in Tel Aviv. Never mind that we got there in the middle of the game soaked with water after Boaz (Rachel’s car – long story) broke down in the middle of the highway to Tel Aviv and me and Jason tried to fix it in the middle of the rain! The game itself was awesome. I found myself watching a basketball game for an Israeli team with 10000 crazy Tel Aviv fans dressed in yellow in the Middle of Tel Aviv. You think this is awkward? Wait till the next part.
Last week we decided that rather than watching NFL playoffs in my house, we would go to a sports bar in Jerusalem! So we did! The place was packed! I mean packed! We got there early so we found a relatively good table. You see, the game was for the New York Giants, and we discovered that there are actually lots of NY fans in Jerusalem. I found myself watching Football in a very small and crowded room in an American Sports bar in Jerusalem – with at least 50 conservative young Jews who spoke only English, and cheered really loud for the Giants. I say conservative because they all dressed like conservative Jews and wore the Kippah. Yet the irony is that most of these “conservative” young people were drinking beer (a lot), smoking, and cussing bad! Awkward?
Which brings me to my question: What is a conservative? What makes a person religiously conservative? This country is crazy! The Jews seemed conservative from the outside. For the guys I found myself watching the game with, “conservatism” is how you dress and look from the outside. Never mind the smoking, heavy drinking, and bad language. I went to that sports bar. Did I act “conservatively”? I actually took with me some Westminster students who are in Jerusalem for a month to the bar to watch the game and we had some really nice conversations! After the game me and my friend talked a bit about what makes a person conservative! We compared the different religions of the world and how they looked to the issue! You know for some you can beat up your wife and still be considered a conservative!
My point is: Thank God for grace! Thank God that He paid all for us. Legalism is everywhere. It comes by nature in us humans. Funny thing is that we define it as it pleases us and we end up with different sorts and shapes of conservatisms!! Saved by Grace I am, and Praise Him for His grace.