Maccabee's Wars

A venting rage against the ills of our society with some hopeful observations.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stephon Marbury vs. the Jews

Marbury, for those who don’t know, is the self-proclaimed ‘star’ point guard for the New York Knicks. The job of a point guard is to lead your team in a selfless manner and make the players around you better, similar to Jason Kidd of the Nets who actually was traded at one point for the very same ”Starbury.”

Unfortunately, wherever Marbury goes, chaos seems to follow. This year the chaos has been found off the court with the verbal diatribes between Marbury and his coach, Larry Brown, who happens to be Jewish.

Now this factor has nothing to do with the title of today’s blog. There is no apparent anti-semitism being espoused. The title has more to do with Middoth. Though, both the coach and player have tremendous egos and both are speaking Loshon Horah about each other, B’rabim, that too is not the issue.

The issue is that Marbury has always been selfish. The expression of “there’s no ‘I’ in team” never got through to him. He must have failed spelling very early on.

Even his ideas of Tzedakah have been warped, as for example, when he sponsored a poetry/rap contest for inner city public school kids whereby the main event was the appearance of a ‘gangsta-rapper’ who was cheered to no end and was emulated through the verbiage of the ‘poetry’ used by these kids.

In Judaism, however, selflessness has been one of the higher attributes of Yahaduth. Tzedakah has always been in the forefront. But there are all kinds of causes. Where does one give to and how much does one give?

I received the following note by email today. I have edited out the names as a matter of privacy. I’m sure what happened to this young girl could happen to any of us. I leave it for your perusal.

>March 12, 2006
>Dear Friends:
>Will you join me in helping “X” in her time of need?
>As you may be aware, “X” has been sick for over a year. Her illness
>has been so debilitating that she has spent much of the past year
>relegated to bed rest. “X” has been suffering from severe vertigo and
>balance problems (falling), audio deficits, and distortion of vision.
>She has gone from doctor to doctor, and has been in and out of the
>hospital for numerous procedures and tests, trying to get a diagnosis
>for her illness.
>After a year of tests and doctor visits, “X” has finally been
>diagnosed with neurological lyme disease (for information visit
> ). Now “X” has
>a diagnosis and a plan of treatment, but she can't afford the treatment.
>In fact, she can't even afford to pay the basic costs of living.
>”X” 's treatment for this disease will require a minimum of eight weeks
>of at-home IV antibiotic infusions, which will require home nursing. She
>will also need neuro-cognitive testing, which she is scheduled to do at
>the Lyme Disease Research Center at Columbia University. She will also
>require cognitive and vestibular rehabilitation as well as vision
>The home nursing is not fully covered by her insurance, and the IV
>antibiotic treatment is only covered for half of the necessary
>treatments (the treatments cost about $150 a day for a minimum of 8
>weeks). The cost of the neuro-cognitive testing is not covered by her
>insurance (the cost is $3,250 for the two days of testing). Her
>physical and other therapies, testing and hospitalizations are at best
>only partially covered.
>Therefore, as a concerned friend, I am trying to help her with the costs
>of fighting this disease. To give you some idea of what this has cost
>so far, doctor and hospital costs alone for the past year totaled over
>$22,000 in out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. those expenses not covered by
>Blue Cross), plus more than $2,500 in co-payments for medications.
>I urge you to join me today in supporting this worthy cause. There can
>be no better use of your "Mayser Kesofim" dollars then to truly help
>another survive. In order to help, you may send a check payable to
>"Zichron Shmuel" (tax deductible) and mail it to:
>Chesed Fund – S.L.
>PO Box 20922
>New York, NY 10025
>Together, we can make sure “X” receives the treatments that she
>needs without the additional stress of worrying how to pay for it.
>Thank you & Tizku L'mitzvoth,