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September 04, 1981 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-09-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

14 Friday, Saptaudier 40E1

THE NTROIT. 1111 Si us


• •

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Two Jewish Players Help Wolverine Football

Last September, Jeff
Cohen faced one of the
biggest decisions of his life.
The 19-year-old college
football star was about to
realize a dream come true.
He was_a starting defensive
halfback for the University
of Michigan, and the Wol-
verines were about to
square- off against Notre
Dame, a battle that would
pit college football's two
most storied teams.
But the game was to be
played on Yom Kippur.
"Playing for Michigan
against Notre Dame at
South Bend was some-
thing I've always
dreamed about," says
Cohen, now starting his
junior year at Michigan.
"When it finally hap-
pened it was a Jewish
holiday. I didn't know
what to do because I hail
never played on a Jewish
holiday before, either in
high school or college.
But this game was spe-
Mike Boren faced the
same dilemma. Last year
Boren was a backup



linebacker for Michigan but
he was good enough to make
the travel squad to Notre
Dame. Quite an accom-
plishment for a freshman.
If it was any other game I
wouldn't have played,"
Boren says. "But it's hard to
pass up a chance to play
against Notre Dame."
Like Boren, Cohen-
played, too. First he dis-
cussed the situation with
his parents, David and Syl-
via Cohen of Farmington
Hills, before making the de-
Even Notre Dame's last

Thunder in My Heart


Can't you hear the rumble rumbling
As my heart shrieks out in protest
Bounding swiftly back and forth
Ever beating in its loudness
Ever more and more increasing
'Till the thunder stuns my thinking
And I can hardly breath at all.

Like an avalanche it started
Downhill in its spread so quickly _
Gathering in full force advancing
Sweeping all my thoughts before it
In a course of complete abandon
Detstroying all the thoughts I gathered-
Until there is no time at all.
Scarce can I breath no longer
So constantly it beats against me
All the history of the ages
Of my people, sorely trodden
In the lands thru out the nations. .

Seeking just a place to worship
The rules of God to honor
Driven from forbidden lands
With their all upon their backs
In their shredded tatters waiting
Driven here and there and yonder
'rzeath the whip of utter scorn

Tortured, bloodied, broken, wasted
Untold horror devised by beast
Chambers, starvings, children, mothers
Grandmas, Grandpas, all were taken
Children butchered, shot and mangled
By the warriors with their armor.
By the millions they were horrored
Digging graves for their own bodies.

Far beyond all human feelings
Did the hordes descend on them
Burned their temples and their Torahs
Like the slaves they were in Egypt
With their bqdies stooped -with burdens
Hunger was Their daily menu
Bent and broken 'neath heavy strain.

'Tis the history of my people
O'er the ages in foreign lands
'Till my heart cries out with thunder
Against the ravages of the damned.

second "miracle," a 51 "football," Cohen says. -
yard field goal ;hat up- "That includes practice t,- -
watchini; gamg films,
ended the Wolverines,
couldn't diminish Cohen training room and
'.or Boren's excitement weights. I have time for
that followed their deci- littleselse but "school."
Even Cohen's grades
have suffered. A National
Neither player has to
Honor Society student at
worry about big games and
North Farmington, he has
Jewish holidays conflicting
seen his average drop to a
this year. It won't happen.
Both just have to worry 2.9, a' grade point that he
says would be higher with-
about big games.
out the demands of football.
Cohen and Boren will
Cohen is eyeing a career in
play major roles on .this
year's Michigan s11, a squad business or law.
Boren, too, foimd his time
that virtually all pretseason
was limited when he ar-
pollsters are saying will win
in Ann Arbor last
the national championship.
year "In high school," he
sir contribuTroT was
had time for Jewish
evident as far back as high
school. Cohen was an all- youth _groups, temple, but
state running back for.
Both players say that dur-
North Farmington, and also
excelled in basketball and ing their athletic careers
have been the only
track. Boren made all-state
and all American as a Jewish players on their
linebacker at Eastmobr teams.
"It has been an unusual
High School in Columbus,
Ohio. He was considered situation," says Cohen, "but
made a difference to
one of the top linebackers in
the nation in 1979.
Boren will face a major
challenge Sept. 12 when
•Michigan kicks off the
season at Wisconsin. The
6'2" 217 pounder will be a
starting linebacker.
"Mike is a tough, heady
kid," says his coach Bo
Schembechler. "He's fast,
he makes the big play and
he covers the pass well."
It is the forward pass, a
recent addition to Big 10
football, that has resulted in
Cohen playing second team.
"I'm bigger (5'11" 197
pounds) and stronger than
some of the_other guys who
are first team," Cohen says, anybody. At Michigan we're
all very cloiie.
"but Fm not as quick. You
have to be quick to cover - "Some of my Jewish
wide receivers. Fm working Mends couldn't believe I -
was a football player.
on improving my quick-
They are always asking
Cohen a \victim of a me what it is like."
Boren, too, says it has
philosophical change' of
been unusual. "But I always
heart at Michigan. He
it that way. It felt good
started two games at
strong safety early last _ and nide, and I was always
year and then- played prouchlo stand out _like
second team -and kick that."
team (a fumble he ref-
eovered in the Indiana Head of Ancient
game led to a touchdown) Family Died
as Schembechler shuf-
PEKITN (JNI) — Yosef
fled in different players "Zinati, the head of the only
to man the defensive sec- Jewish family in the only
ondary[. The changes led village in -Eretx Yisrael
to a Big 10 and Rose Bowl with an unbroken record of
championship for Michi- Jewish occupation since
gan but a spot on the sec- Second Temple days, died _
ond team for Cohen.
Aug. 26 at age 80.
"It was frustrating going
According to Galil tradi-
from starter to backup," tion, the Zinati family has
Cohen admits, "but that's lived in. ancient Peki'in
something that an athlete withmit _interruption since
has to accept. But I'm a the destruction of the Sec-
team guy and Flt do any- ond Temple. Zinati left the
thing to help the team win."
xillage for six months -only
Schemi.ehlersingled out 'once, during the War of In-
Cohen for praise at a recent dependence, but returned to
gathering of media from Peki'in as soon as the Galil
across the state. "Jeff pro- was liberated by Israeli
vides us with talent and •• forces.
leadership at a key spot. He .
The family maintains the
made a great contribution local Jewish shrines: the
to our team last year and we cave in which Rabbi Shimon
expect he'll rfialte an even sarYohai and his son wrote
greater contribution this the Zohar while hiding from
year." • Roman authorities, and the
It is that contributiOn ancient synagogue, today
that makes it difficult for used by dozens of soldiers
Boren and Cohen to pursue . serving in the area.
anything but running backs
The man most fit,fcir high
and books at Michigan.
_, "I, easily putln six to station, ts not thy man who
Hours "a day' 06' dein/Ind:A 1?. *1 ' 1 " "

Entire families torn apart
Child/en taken from their mothers
Fathers watched their children murdered
Oh what cruelty had they plundered
Far beyond the human mind.

_Now my heart is full with thunder
As the tragedies do gather
Shall I tell it be tranquil
To lie quiet while Pm seething
With a passiveness from history
To bow down my head in conquest
By the whim of hate run rampant.

Oh, no, never again, yes never
Will we walk in silence
To the horrors of the chambers
For my heart now. full of reason
Rumbles, thunders, shaking, pulsing
-Crying out in thunder, shrieking L
Wlzile -the pain in it is seething
Against the man-made hate of man. -..

3,000 years ago — from the glory of King Solomon
Our land of Israel, torn in strife
In the hands of the oppressors
With pain and blood freely flowing
thru these many years.

Even in our new land of hope
Hate pours in
unabated, undiluted
from all sides
It rushes inward in full horror to destroy.

Three score and ten, plus four anz ,l
My days rush on a blistering pace
My yesterdays stumbling forward
Pushing violehtly against the tomorrows
Rushing past me in a blurr.

Still hoping e'er my days
Upon this earth are over
That my heart
Will stand quiet and be comfort_
Till the rambling in full gather
Thunders out
And Rumbles no more.

NOTE: Several people have asked me "Why do you write poetry so sad?"
"Why don't you write happy things?"
I am trying to reflect what has gathered in my heart, namely
the history.of my people. When we shall have "happy days"
I will be the ,first to be delighted to write on it, s

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