Three insights from basketball star Doron Shefer

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

"So what is more difficult, playing in the European basketball championship or being a good father to five children?" This is the question basketball player Doron Shefer asked hundreds of girls as part of the Nifgashot series. Yesterday evening, some of the girls asked Shefer questions and here are a few ideas that I took away from the meeting:

• "My journey to Jewish observance was not a change, but rather a renewal of choice in my wife, in my work, in myself. To find renewal in something that already existed. This is a major principle in the Torah, to be renewed again and again. It's not by chance that the first mitzvah in the Torah is sanctification of the new month which is connected to the moon that renews itself each and every month."

• "I got cancer, and this caused me to change my way of life. We are living today in Moshav Amirim in the north. trying to connect ourselves to nature. During the pandemiic, I was reminded of my disease. My hope is that just as I changed due to a health crisis, the world will not continue as before, but change. We say 'the year has ended with its curses,' but by 'end' (in Hebrew) we also mean 'purpose.' What was the purpose of the curses that we endured? What did we learn?"

• "When I was at the height of success as an Israeli basketball player abroad, they judged me according to every basket and every move I made. One moment they would praise you, and the next moment they would curse you. The world of sport, like the world of business, the world of mass media, and other worlds, can enslave you to the 'golden calf' of honor, money, and so on. Today I really love basketball, but in a different way. Today, I play without keeping score and, at first, people do not understand how I can do that. But the feeling afterwards is a great joy, since what remains is nothing but the game itself, and the feeling of having played it together."

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