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