World Cup fever is gripping Israel right now with Israelis paying extra to their cable companies to be able to watch games or scampering to find a café or restaurant airing the games. One game of particular interest in the Jewish State will be played tonight (Friday): Germany vs. Argentina.
Coincidence, or perhaps fate, has Israelis looking seriously at the underdog, Argentina to take the title. First of all, the Torah portion for the week of the final (July 9) is “Balak,” coincidentally the name of Germany’s captain, Michael Ballak. Balak, in Numbers 24:10 called upon Balaam to curse his enemies, the Israelites. Instead, they were blessed. Well with both a Jewish coach (Jose Pekerman) and a Jewish captain (Juan Pablo Sorin), surely, the Jerusalem Post argues, Argentina represents Israel in this Biblical example.
Also, the Hebrew term for “defender” in soccer is “balam,” and the Argentinean defender happens to be Sorin, the Jewish captain. Balaam blesses the Israelites three times and naturally, Sorin wears number three on his jersey. There is also the fact that the Argentinean team wears blue and white uniforms, the colors of Israel’s flag.
Based on all this, one Jewish writer predicts there can be no other outcome than this: Argentina will win the World Cup with three goals and will defeat Germany tonight.