Friday, June 20, 2014


This post is not about genealogy, history, Judaism or Eastern Europe. Not exactly.

8 months ago I moved from the US to Brazil, and it so happened it coincided with the World Cup. I love soccer, or football, but never thought I'd have the chance to watch any World Cup game - ever. I did it on June 18th, Holland x Australia.

Many thoughts ran my mind during and after the game, as I saw Australians, Dutch, Brazilians, Argentineans, Uruguayans, French, Americans, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, Russians, all chanting in their own languages, cheering and making their own combined gestures. It was surreal to think that millions of people traveled so far, some even with their children, to watch a soccer game.

Australia lost, but at the end everybody was cheering together, holding each other, taking pictures.

That day it was obvious to me that the World Cup has very little to do with just a game or patriotism. I used to think it's kind of stupid to hoist a national flag only in a soccer match situation, like many Brazilians do. And it's not my intention here to dwell on the political and economical implications of hosting such an event. I could go on and on and criticize it, like many are doing, but my impressions of attending a World Cup game were not bad. I felt it's about the meeting of people from different corners of the world, it's about celebrating difference.

Radical groups or schools of thought, being religious or not, don't understand that. They don't understand that difference is what makes it all interesting, fun and vivid; it's what makes us human. Soon the World Cup will end, and meetings like this will happen only in 4 years from now. I hope that in between then we can still keep the magic feeling that difference is what makes us survive in this planet.