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Jewish Journal

Boxing’s boychick Bernard Hopkins

by Brad A. Greenberg

April 11, 2010 | 2:24 pm

I hate to sound like a shill—that’s the job of my wife the PR pro—but there are at least four new stories at the top of jewishjournal.com right now that caught my eye. Each worthy of their own blog post.

There’s one about an Italian sentenced to six months jail time for publishing a “Jewish lobby” list (obviously); another about a survey showing that most American Jews support the way Bibi and Barack are managing the U.S.-Israel relationship (really?); and one about a documentary on the slow rise and quick fall of the Israeli Baseball League (fail).

But the real eye-popper was about Bernard “The Rabbi” Hopkins. That’s right: Yuri Foreman is no longer the only current Jewish boxing title holder. Sort of:

The former middleweight and light heavyweight boxing champ, famous for his “Executioner” nickname and persona, attended a Passover dinner just outside Las Vegas less then 24 hours after defeating Roy Jones Jr. on April 3, a rematch 17 years in the making. He addressed a crowd of about 150 people commemorating the story of the Jews’ crossing the Red Sea.

Most Passover programs advertise rabbis or other spiritual leaders, but the program at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev., featured one of the best pound-for-pound boxers.

“In life, whether it’s in boxing or religion,” Hopkins told the crowd, “you have to put in the hard work if you want to get somewhere or else you’ll just be waiting for something that’s not going to come.”

(skip)

Rabbi Sholom Jensen, from Great Neck, N.Y., asked Hopkins to say a few words to the crowd.

“Seize the moment, that’s what it’s about,” Jensen said afterward. “I think [Hopkins] brought some kedushah [holiness] to the crowd, and in a small way, I think we brought some kedushah to him. This is a Passover everyone will remember.”

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