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Aug 8 2012

Aly Raisman: Our Golden Jewish Gymnast

By at 10:04 am

aly raisman jewish hava nagila floor routine gold london olympicsWe can–and should–all kvell over Aly Raisman today.

Not just because the 18-year-old American is a truly amazing gymnast–her teammates like the young phenoms Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber also can claim that title. But Aly Raisman is, in the parlance of our Jewish people, an “aishet chayil“–a woman of valor.

Traditional Jewish families sing the song “Aishet Chayil” to the woman of the house on Friday evenings as they welcome in Shabbat, praising the lady of the house for all the work she does. But I’m going to take it a step further and say that a woman of valor is far more than someone who makes the dinners and sets the tables–it’s someone who sets an example by way of her actions. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 31 2012

Are Aly Raisman’s Parents Stereotypical Jewish Parents?

By at 4:00 pm

aly raisman parents qualifiersAmerican Olympic gymnast–and, by all appearances, nice Jewish girl–Aly Raisman qualified for the womens individual all-around gymnastic final at the Olympics Sunday night (doing her routine to Hava Nagila, yet!). Big news–but apparently not as big as her parents’ reaction.

The video of her parents’ reactions as Raisman was doing her qualifier round has gone viral, and was posted here at Kveller as well as everywhere else in the world [ed. note: the IOC has blocked all footage on copyright grounds]. Raisman’s parents are transparently stressed out as they watch their daughter. They constantly fidget in their seats, looking, as one commentator noted, as though they were in dire need of a restroom. They move back and forth as though being shaken in a kaleidoscope, their eyes 100% trained on their daughter. They mumble and mutter encouragements (possibly dropping one f-bomb) in a Tourettes-like stream of words. Vanity Fair called their parental reactions “hilarious” and “SNL-worthy.” When watching them, anyone can see that they are clearly completely focused on and invested in their 18-year-old daughter’s performance, finally letting loose with a relieved yell at the end of the routine (thank you, Mr. Raisman). Read the rest of this entry →

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