It comes to our attention that Drake — the hip hop artist lauded by Jews and Jewish media the world over for being Jewish — is booked for a concert in Brooklyn (Brooklyn, of all places!) on the night of Kol Nidre — and then a second on the day of Yom Kippur itself.
As Tablet, which reported the item, so aptly questions: What would Sandy Koufax do?
Last year, on the 50th anniversary of Koufax’s brave stand not to play the opening game of the World Series on Yom Kippur night, the IJN published an editorial entitled, “Sandy Koufax’s proud statement.”
“Koufax’s decision 50 years ago still empowers many Jews who face hard choices today: a university exam, a professional conference, a debut concert, on Yom Kippur or Shabbat. Many can still hark back to that proud moment,” we wrote.
Who knew how prophetic we could be? It seems Drake, unfortunately, was not empowered by Koufax’s decision to take a similar one. And Koufax’s decision was far more difficult: It was the World Series, not one of the many concerts Drake is certain to perform this year.
We’re willing to give Drake the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t know, when the gig was booked, that Oct. 11 was Yom Kippur. (Although even that is problematic. If the holiday were important to him he would have had it blacked out.) We’d be willing, at quite a stretch, to say that maybe, just maybe, he forgot that Jewish holidays begin after sunset the evening prior. Yet, Drake is also book to play on Oct. 12, at 6:30 p.m., before the holiday ends.
If any of the above “benefits of the doubt” happen to be correct, we can only hope that Drake will change his plans once the Tablet item is pointed out to him.
But this news about Drake’s Yom Kippur concerts is reflective of something else: That our attachment to “Jewish” celebrity is as vacuous as celebrity itself.