The international news was alive as excitement was rippling across the media news channels. The hot topic of the global news was “Basketball” and the “The Jewish Shabbat”. What an incredible combination of news, but it focuses on the facts that the G-d of Israel has a way to change how men perceive their world.
The focus of attention was a small team of high school Jewish teenagers who were going to be banned from competing in the Texas regional championship games governed by TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) for only one reason; they were Jewish and they refused to play on the Jewish Seventh-day Sabbath.
Like the Egyptian Pharaoh of old, TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) was sticking to its bylaws, for it was “Their Law” and refused to consider the options that America is still a free country governed by the principles of the freedom of religion, and protected by the American Constitution that is based upon the rule of Torah law and justice.
The students, school and parents disagreed with TAPPS. It is their belief that “The Torah Law” given by the G-d of Israel stated very clearly from the Mount called Sinai with these words in the Jewish TaNaKh (Hebrew Old Testament):
Exodus 20:8-11 (parts) - “Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Sabbath to HaShem, your G-d; you shall not do any work…for in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is within them and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, HaShem blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.”
It so happened that that a group of Jewish attorneys in Dallas and New York City happened to agree also and willing gave their time and money to help these young students in a small private school sports league controversy that was quickly gaining national attention.
Nathan and Alyza Lewin, the Washington based father-daughter legal heard about the case on Monday, February 27, 2012 and contacted the Dallas based law firm of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal who agreed also to give their time in support of the young basketball Houston “Stars”.
It was their opinion as reported earlier on Destination Yisra’el:
Destination Yisra’el – “The complaint says that the basketball team is "being denied, solely on account of their religious observance, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in their athletic conference's state basketball championship tournament. That is an irreplaceable opportunity…and its deprivation constitutes irreparable harm attributable to disqualification of Beren and its team because of their Jewish religious beliefs and observances."
The legal team interviewed several of the basketball team players plus parents and then filed a restraining order against TAPPS. With receipt of the “restraining order” TAPPS quickly agreed and allowed the Friday evening semi-final game to be played before the Jewish Shabbat at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.
Beren Academy's Zach Yoshor (21) shoots as Drayton Ratcliff (55) looks on during a high school semifinal basketball game against Covenant, Friday, March 2, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. Beren Academy won 58-46 in a game that was rescheduled so it wouldn't conflict with the Sabbath. - Photo: LM Otero / AP
To the delight and amazement of the supporting and cheering crowds, the intense game finished with the Jewish Houston Beren “Stars” winning against the Dallas based Covenant Academy in the TAPPS Class 2A boys basketball semi-finals.
As Huffington News reported on the sports controversy over sports between religious and private schools:
Huffington News – “Everyone knows Jews don't dribble on Shabbos. Everyone, apparently, but the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS). The Stars, a basketball team from the Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, were forced to forfeit from the state tournament after their semifinal game was scheduled for March 2, this Friday night -- the Jewish Sabbath -- and an appeal for a time change.
Chris Cole, the coach of the Stars, hoped their appeal would succeed after a similar accommodation was made in a Texas state soccer tournament for a Seventh Day Adventist team a few years prior, according to ESPN.
Had the Stars received a new game time -- which seems unlikely after TAPPS changed its official bracket and credited the Stars' opponents with a victory -- this would have been their first trip to the semifinals.
In a statement on the TAPPS website, the organizations notes that when Beren joined the league in 2009, they were informed that schedules for state tournaments would only be changed for weather or related conditions. The TAPPS Executive Board voted unanimously to keep the tournament schedule intact. Ironically, it is official TAPPS policy to not schedule games on Sunday in deference to Christian schools.
The Stars continue to practice in case of a new decision from TAPPS, which is facing criticism from, among others, the mayor of Houston, the New York Times reports. By Thursday, a Change.org petition in solidarity with the Stars has garnered close to 7,000 signatures.”
According to Jewish beliefs, the rule of justice centered upon Torah Law must prevail in any future society of peace and justice. As proclaimed through the Prophet Zechariah by the G-d of Israel:
Zechariah 7:8-10 – “And the word of HaShem, Master of Legions came to Zechariah, saying: ‘Judge with truthful justice and perform kindness and mercy towards one another. Do not oppress the widow and the orphan, the strange and the poor, and do not think in your hearts of wronging one another.”
Interestingly, the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle kept the Jewish basketball team on front page news for the two days leading up to the championship game held in Dallas. In an intense final championship game, the Beren Jewish Orthodox Academy basketball team called “The Stars” lost to Abilene Christian, 46-42, on Saturday night in the state championship game. As the New York Times reported:
New York Times – “The final, originally set for Saturday afternoon, was played at 8 p.m. at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth.
Beren Academy (24-6) trailed for much of the first two quarters before tying the score at halftime, 19-19. But Beren failed to keep pace with Abilene in the second half, trailing until the final buzzer.”
Regardless of the final championship result, the basketball team representing the Jewish Orthodox Academy in Houston Texas was the final champion. Years from now, this one game will be remembered of that day when truth and justice prevailed, and sportsmanship was restored. Even more than that, the world for a small moment of time was cheering those students who believed the Hebrew-Judaic Sabbath was a higher calling to observe than winning or losing a sports championship. Their testimony created what would have been a forgotten game within a small state sports league where instead thousands in the international world were cheering them on with their hearts.
When history replays this mini-drama of the fight for justice, truth, righteousness and the sanctity of the Ten Commandments highlighted by the Seventh-day Shabbat, the True One G-d of Israel with honor these students by placing their testimony in the archives of the heavenly court of justice.
The prophecies are clear that the G-d of Israel will fulfill what He has promised to fulfill so that peace can restored to all the earth. One of the roles the Sages of Judah are participating is a conduit for the Divine to give us hints as to HaShem's role in bringing forth the "Appointed Time" and the revealing of the Messiah. The great theme in all of this is the restoration of All Israel. This is not a conditional prophesy and neither is it a Jewish prophesy, but a Hebrew-Israelite prophesy. We will be restored back into brotherhood and fellowship with our cousins, the Jews of the House of Judah for that is G-d's will (Ezekiel 37).
This Biblical portrayal includes Prophecies that the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel are about to return to the Land of their Biblical Inheritance. This is Divine Destiny in living reality as the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel return to their Homelands first in Shomron (Samaria), Israel. If you want to learn more, Contact “Kol Ha Tor Vision”, the Voice of the Turtledove.
Here is a joint Orthodox Jewish and 10-Triber Mission to bring awareness of the imminent fulfillment of the Biblical Prophecies regarding the Redemption of all Israel (12 Tribes Re-conciled and Re-United). This super Event of all Times will entail Establishing the Shomron (the Ancient Bible Heartland of the Patriarchs) and the Judean Wilderness as part of the Land of Israel, and preparing the “Land” for the Return of the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel and then the Redemption of All Israel.
For inquiries about Kol Ha Tor Vision for the Lost Tribes of Israel, Visit – “Shomron Lives!”, a Spiritual Retreat and Guest House in Samaria, that is hosting a Shomron / Samaria 13-day Succot Tour in October 2011 to reacquaint the Returning Lost Tribers of the House of Israel.