American Teens Choose Fast over Basketball
A group of Jewish teenagers from Washington state made headlines when it turned down a state championship meet in order to fast. The Northwest Yeshiva girls team was scheduled to play Thursday in a consolation-bracket game, but bowed out after realizing that the match was scheduled to take place on the Fast of Esther.
The fast commemorates the original Fast of Esther, when the biblical Esther called on her people to fast for three days before she approached King Achashverosh in an attempt to spare the Jewish people.
The Northwest Yeshiva team asked if the match could be moved, but sports officials said they were unable to change the time of the meet because doing do would affect the entire tournament schedule. The girls were unable to play during the fast out of concern for their health.
The team informed sports officials that it would be unable to play. However, the girls showed up at the time of the scheduled match in order to congratulate their opponents.
Northwest Yeshiva's girls team was the first Jewish girls team to make it to the state championship, and the first Washington state team to forfeit a state tournament match. School administrators expressed pride in the students for demonstrating loyalty to their values.