Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Family.

On a recent trip to Phoenix to see the Knicks play the Suns, I met a most inspiring family.

Traveling with the New York Post's writer covering the Knicks, the great Marc Berman, we had lunch after practice but before the game. Two brothers joined us; I had met one of them on an earlier Knicks "roadie", but the younger I newly met. These gentlemen were patent attorneys, but that only was their "day job."

One previously played professional tennis; the other, the younger, lived in Israel for about six months researching and writing an impressive historical book. Among other things, he interviewed over 60 individuals whose remarkable stories of sacrifice were probably not previously known. He had also published about 20 articles in the Arizona Republic on Israel. Oh, and his wife is a rabbi.

Their real passion, however, was sports. Season ticket holders for the Suns and Cardinals, these two demonstrated an encyclopedic knowledge of sports that even amazed the professional sports writer. While I can spout statistics with the best, they took the skill to Himalayan heights. For example, one year when the Cardinals were not statistically elimininated from the playoffs by game three or so, the younger ascertained all of the permutations that could have landed the team in the post-season. He then delivered the news to a Cardinals beat writer, who admitted he was unaware of the Cardinals' playoff prospects still having a pulse.

Since their office was close, we went there after lunch. At their office, we met another brother with whom they practiced law. In all, four brothers practiced in the firm their father founded many years earlier. Notably, they also practiced with others who were not brothers and managed to have a seemingly harmonious practice. In any event, this brother, who I think is the oldest, also played tennis professionally in an earlier career.

He is orthodox, and they described how he kept kosher during the tour. Amazingly, he even played on fasting days, which meant he did not consume food or water while competing. Impressive dedication. He also talked about a sports book idea he was working on in his "spare time."

Walking into the younger brother's office, I observed three gold plated plaques by the door, and asked about them. He explained he was also an inventor, and these represented his patents.