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Thread: The Maccabiah Games - A Jewish Olympics

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    Default The Maccabiah Games - A Jewish Olympics

    This just opened yesterday. They claim it will be the largest sporting event of 2013. I don't know. Maybe! Maybe not!

    A sort of Jewish Olympics. Jews from all over the world meet in Israel for a Hebrew version of Olympic Games.

    The Maccabiah (Hebrew: ?) is an international Jewish athletic event, held in Israel every four years under the auspices of the Maccabi Federation, affiliated with the Maccabi World Union.

    Originally conceived by Yosef Yekutieli, a 15-year-old inspired by the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games, the Games were first held in 1932 after 14 years of development by Yekutieli and the Jewish National Fund. During the planning stages, the games were nicknamed the Maccabiyon, and 1932 was selected as the year to host the first games, marking the 1,800th anniversary of the Bar Kochba revolt.
    One asks why Yosef Yekuteli felt the need to have Jewish games rather than participate in the Olympics were were open to Jews from the beginning - except for the brief 1936 games. And even then, some Jews did participate in the Berlin games. (obviously some were blackballed)

    Why the need for Jewish games?

    The third Maccabiah, scheduled for 1938, was delayed until 1950 due to the rise of Nazism in Europe and the outbreak of the Second World War. The Maccabiah has been a quadrennial event since 1957.

    Maccabiah is open to Jewish athletes as well as Israeli athletes regardless of religion. Arab Israelis have also competed in it.[/QUOTE]

    Their Website

    I wonder what the term Maccabiah means. I suspect it means Maccabi warrior taken from the Maccabi revolt against the Greeks in the 2nd century before Christ, from the which the festival Hannukah derives; but I cannot be sure.

    Interesting. I am usually a font of odd facts, but I only found out about this about 30 minutes ago. I was never much of a sports buff.

    Mark Spitz, the Olympian who won a plethora of gold medals in the 70s, participated in this -- so it is not a game of nerdy geeks.


    But I doubt 18 million Jews worldwide could have the biggest sporting event of 2013. That seems like an over the top claim.

    The Copa America (especially if it is between Brazil and Argentina) has to have the attention of all of Latin America (about 600 Million)
    Last edited by CuriousAmerican; 21-07-2013 at 12:12 AM.


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