Praying for a Futsal Minyan Miracle
BY: Michael Monheit
Rydal resident Michael Monheit is coaching the futsal open division at the 19th Maccabiah Games.
It's 7 a.m. here in Israel. We play Argentina tonight — tough game for us, as they are one of the strongest countries for futsal. In both Argentina and Brazil, kids grow up with the game similar to how we grow up with baseball or basketball in the United States.
Our 3-1 win against Cuba in our first game gave us a chance to qualify, and we almost made the most of it on Monday against Australia. We had the first goal and trailed by only 2-1 at half. But in the end, the team from down under won, 10-2. Since Cuba plays Australia just before our game, we will know if our game against Argentina will have any potential impact on the standings. Either way, this seems like a good time to reflect on my experience coaching the men's futsal team for Maccabi USA.
The young Jewish men that I coached also make a minyan — an assembly that derives its power from the coming together of 10 Jews. Thinking about this reminds me that each of us have power, that we each play a necessary role in complement to the others around us. Each one of us is needed by the whole. Each Jew counts and even more so when we come together.
Now, to qualify, we need one more miracle in the Holy Land. Well, actually two more: We need to beat Argentina and we need Cuba to get at least a tie against Australia. I won't say it can't happen. Maybe when our 10 players come together for our game tonight one more prayer can be answered.