If Tevye were asked who will win Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night, he would undoubtedly begin, “As the Good Book says…”
The renowned Jewish dairyman might be onto something. When the Kansas City Chiefs line up against the Philadelphia Eagles, they will do so the day after the weekly Torah portion of Yitro (Jethro) is read in synagogues.
Eli Freedman, of Rodeph Shalom (Reform) in Philadelphia told NBC10’s Matt DeLucia that “Chiefs” and “Eagles” show up in this week’s parsha. “So, do the ancient texts have anything to say about the final score?” NBC asks.
Freedman, whose congregation dates its founding to 1795, directs NBC to Exodus 18, which contains several permutations of the Hebrew word sar, usually rendered “officer” but which he translates as “chief.” In the next chapter, 19, eagles, nisharim, appear.
“This is the only place in the Torah where the two, eagles and chiefs, appear in the same section,” he said. (Eagle eyes–or is it ears?–will hear him mispronounce a word at the end of the verse.)
The rabbi tells the reporter that his guess is the hometown team will win 19-18, given the chapters.
Sounds like reading the kosher tea leaves? Sure. But the weekend before the Eagles trounced the New York Giants in the divisional round, Freedman pointed out that the Torah portion stated, “Have no fear of the giants, for they are our prey.”