August 15, 2012
By Dr. Misha Galperin
You don’t have to be a sports fan, to appreciate the Olympics. Every four years, we are treated to two-weeks of the epic, heart-stopping dramas acted out by athletes, most of whom have given everything imaginable to be there, and who probably won’t strike it rich. But this year, it was a little harder for me to work up the excitement. Not only did the Israelis return without a single medal, but The International Olympic Committee turned a cold shoulder to the memory of the Munich 11. For many of us, it took a teenager from Boston performing a floor exercise to Hava Nagila, to pierce our veil of ambivalence.
I want to be honest with you: I hate Hava Nagila. It’s a stereotype and a cliché. But Aly is neither. And in her golden moment, when asked about her music selection, her answer will define the London games for me: “I am Jewish.” She went a step further, honored the slain Israeli athletes and clearly voiced her support for a moment of silence. And during a time when so many athletes won’t risk future endorsements by courting controversy, Aly was too connected to her Jewish identity, too in tune with the feelings of the global Jewish collective to care about playing it safe. Read more