I was ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED (and honored) to receive an equally PITHY response to my eighteen-point blog piece about ice hockey in Israel from a VERY IMPORTANT (holy?) Israeli HOCKEY DUDE named Paul Shindman. He is originally from Toronto (!) and (in my mind, based on what I’ve just read) is a “founding father” of ice hockey in Israel. You will find his comments delightful, as well. And I bet you’ll find my comments to his comments (which will be italicized below), equally delightful. I’m all about balance!
Let me preface Mr. Shindman’s comments by saying there were a number of “holes” left in the WSJ/Millman article that I held myself back from commenting on in my original essay. This is because it’s a nicely written article, and I did not want to criticize a fellow writer. However, several inaccuracies and omissions in the article did cause me great frustration. These were private thoughts, but (as Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau would say), “Not anymore“.
And herewith, Mr. Shindman’s commentary in bold print (with my occasional comment italicized):
1. Chopped liver is expensive. Please send your check for $175,000 (new Zamboni plus spare parts plus shipping/insurance/customs/etc).
2. Women are already playing in Israel, ranging from age 8 to the bubbie who plays goalie in our Thursday night league. There is no mikvah on the premises, but an indoor pool and jacuzzis (optional). Men and women allowed. (The WSJ article raised the question in my mind as to whether or not women were playing hockey in Israel. I Inferred the wrong answer, and would have liked to see a quick comment clarifying this within the WSJ article.)
3. Like, thanks, eh? Send more beer.
4. We’re working on synthetic ice backyard rinks (the technology has improved, but it still ain’t ice). Sadly, the rink in Eilat is NOT being built for hockey. (Another serious omission in the WSJ article, IMHO.) The owners musta taken a slapshot in the head, cuz they could’ve made more money if they offered hockey too.
5. Funny how us Canucks and the Russkies still sit around and talk about….the ’72 series, eh? (Alot of us Americans do, too.)
6. Nope. Don’t got no funny Israeli hockey names for you.
7. The Ice Devils are the country’s biggest hockey club. The guys who run it like me look normal.
8. Ice time is not that bad…it’s just the cost for the minibus to drive you 3 hours each way to get to and from the ice…
9. Oh come on! You didn’t think of the weekly Kiddush Cup ??!?!?!? (I am ashamed. Lord, forgive me.)
10. Yeah, well, they actually did intend to put it in Metulla. (Yeah, well, thanks again, Millman.)
11. Thanks. I think it’s the 3rd or 4th emblem, but the best so far. Dunno who drew it.
12. Len is actually a podiatrist, not a dentist (WSJ printed a correction the next day). I wish him luck, but out of those million former Soviets, I’d say only 30-40,000 are potential players/fans. However, that’s still something to work with. Now all he has to do is get them to move to Netanya.
13. Hockey, jacuzzi, shower, daven maariv, shawaarma on the way home. You and your husband should come to the annual recreational tournament and try it out! (Maybe THIS is how I’ll get my husband to travel to Israel!)
14. They’re real dudes!
15. Great idea for Levav to sell cider at the rink! Please tell him to do it! (It actually does get a tad chilly in the rink, or downright f!ing cold if you’re not a Canuck). (Could you mention it to him, Paul? It’s a toll call for me.)
16. Just wait and see. The Druze are cool dudes and great athletes (especially downhill skiing) when they put their minds to it.
17. Quebec City. (Thank you for clarifying another serious writing omission in the WSJ article.) And we’re talking about Israeli Arab citizens. Don’t forget that Bedouin Arabs, Druze (and some others) not only are full citizens, they serve in the IDF. Not enough of ’em play hockey. Yet.
18. There are several Arab countries that belong to the IIHF. It’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens….and the IIHF suspends them for defaulting instead of playing Israel.
Want to play hockey hockey in Israel? www.israelhockeyassociation.org
Wanna see what it’s like to play here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78R6uz1Zsc
Is this the longest comment ever posted to any of your blog entries? (YES! And I could not be more delighted.)