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Jewish Journal

Denver rabbis love Tim Tebow

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 11, 2011 | 4:04 pm

It almost wouldn’t be a Sunday this fall without a post about Tim Tebow. He’s made a lot of recent appearances here and had a lot of winning performances on the field.

Today against the Bears isn’t going so well for the Broncos quarterback. But that doesn’t mean that Tebow, a polarizing player because of his evangelical Christian beliefs, isn’t “Denver’s new favorite mensch.”

Huh? Don’t ask me. Ask Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal:

Around 10 p.m. on a recent evening, the rabbi at Denver’s Temple Emanuel was asked if he would ever sermonize about Tebow. Joe Black responded as if he had just chugged an espresso.

“Oh, absolutely!” he said. “Here’s the sermon I would deliver and probably will deliver: Tim Tebow is broadcasting the fact that he believes in God. God is actively involved in his life. We call ourselves people of faith. Is that how we perceive God? And if not, how do we perceive God?”

Another Denver rabbi, Temple Sinai’s Rick Rheins, said he might feel “compelled” to preach about Tebow if the Broncos sneak into the playoffs. Then he reminded himself of this week’s Torah portion. It’s about Jacob wrestling with uncertainties of his own. “He’s not the most accurate thrower in the world, and he obviously has questionable NFL quarterback skills, and yet he doesn’t doubt himself,” said Rheins, who roots for the Bengals, Colts and of course the Broncos.

The story goes on to talk about how Tebow, the new patron saint of Broncos wins, is loved across religious communities in Denver. And why not?

Just because Tebow has strong religious beliefs that he has not been shy about sharing publicly does not mean that he poses a threat to members of other religious communities. Tebow certainly sees his performance on the gridiron as an opportunity to glorify God but, like Kurt Warner before him, he’s never been about making this an us (evangelical Christians) versus them (everyone else).

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