Kosher Bratwurst, Minyans, and the Packers

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the extremely minor yet extremely interesting phenomenon of Orthodox Jewish tailgating at Packer games. On one hand, this should be a nonstory: Tailgating at Packers and Badgers games is a Wisconsin way of life, and it only makes sense that every distinct group would bring its own spin to the tradition. On the other hand, a tailgate that includes Hebrew prayers, kosher bratwurst, a complete lack of ButterBurgers, and a former Packers lineman (Alan Veingrad, now known as Shlomo Veingrad) does tend to attract a bit of attention.

‘What’s the point?’ [Rabbi Shais] Taub said. ‘Number one, Judaism is not relegated to the synagogue or the study hall. When you’re a Jew, you’re a Jew everywhere. If a group of Jews want to go to a Packer game, we do it like Jews.’

‘Number two, Jewish pride,’ he added. ‘Some Jews should see this and say, ‘You know what, there is nothing to hide.’ I can be openly and boldly Jewish and do that anywhere on earth and go where I want to go.’

The men faced east toward Jerusalem, which also happened to [be] the direction toward Lambeau Field. They prayed, rocking forward and back. Their voices mixed with the more familiar sounds of pre-game rituals at Lambeau.

And while the piece doesn’t specifically mention it, the fact that 10 Jews showed up for the Orthodox tailgate means that they had a minyan, a quorum of 10 or more adult Jews assembled for the purpose of prayer.

Quoth commenter Tatsuma on the forums connected with news aggregator site Fark: “That’s pretty awesome. I wish I could find a minyan for my tailgates, too.”

And commenter Nanookanano comes in with the obligatory West Side Story reference:

‘When you’re a Jew,

you’re a Jew everywhere.’

From the blood of your Bris

To your last Kaddish prayer

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