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Monday, December 15, 2008

Rally Rabbi Brings The High, Hard Chabad To Giants Fans

Great story in the San Francisco Examiner Sunday on bearded, motorcycle-riding holy man Yosef Langer, better known to San Francisco Giants fans as the Rally Rabbi.

My favorite Jewish Orthodox baseball fan will be presiding over the annual lighting of the menorah on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Union Square in San Francisco, if you'd like to stop by and see if he has any plans to intercede this season on behalf of that mensch, Barry Zito.

Langer's been a fixture in the Bay Area since he founded a Chabad house of teaching in Berkeley in 1975. He began bringing the word of God to sports fans at Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Giants games just recently. Craig Solomon, a ticket sales executive with the Giants, first met him in 2005 after a trip to Israel.

In 2006, the two met up again, this time after Solomon suggested that Langer blow the shofar — a ram’s horn that is used as a signaling trumpet in the Jewish religion — behind home plate during the third inning of the Giants’ annual Jewish Heritage Night at AT&T Park.

Langer agreed to the premise and blew the horn to such immense fan appreciation that three innings later he was out behind home plate again. The Giants lost that night, but club officials deemed Langer the “Rally Rabbi” — and soon thereafter issued their own special rabbi bobblehead doll giveaway at the park.

He's the only rabbi I know who wears a Giants logo on his hat and an orange Star of David. He is also often followed by Rabbi Yehuda Ferris, who is lead singer of the Ferris Wheels, shown here performing outside of AT&T Park. Be sure to watch the the end, to see the Yidd’n dance.

That's Sunday at Union Sqaure. Be there or be a nebbish.

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