Friday, February 19, 2010

Torah Bright Gets Gold

In synagogues, Jewish people put bright gold on the Torah (gold breastplate and crown). As we saw tonight in Vancouver: In the Olympics they put GOLD on Torah Bright (a gold medal).

Torah Bright has to be the best name for an Olympian who just won a gold medal. As she ascended the highest part of the podium to receive her gold medal during the ceremony, I'm sure many Jewish people noticed the symbolism of someone named "Torah" being displayed to the people atop the heights, as it is reminiscent of the Torah being displayed atop Mt. Sinai.

The Australian Torah Bright, a devout Mormon, was surprised before her snowboarding competition (half pipe) that her parents drove six hours, flew 20 more, then hid in a closet at her home in Vancouver so they could celebrate her gold medal with her.

I'm sure that after the Olympics, back home in  Australia they will have a parade for their Gold Medal snowboarder. No doubt, the Jewish community in Australia will refer to the day as Simchat Torah!


Anonymous said...

There's no intended "symbolism" here at all. As you say, the Aussie gold medallist is from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Perhaps lucky since Deuteronomy 22 would not allow her to wear pants like the male boarders.

Rabbi Jason Miller said...

See Renee Ghert-Zand's blog post about Torah Bright aptly named "Torah! Torah! Torah!" on her Truth, Praise and Help blog.

I agree with Renee's claim that "there's really no mistaking [Torah Bright] for a Jew, given that Torah is simply not a name that members of the tribe give their children."

Anonymous said...

"Her parents named her Torah after Marion Bright learned the word meant “bearer of great message” in addition to referring to the five books of Moses. "

Bright is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "For me it's just a way of life – I don't drink, smoke, drink tea or coffee, or have sex before marriage. I've never drunk or smoked but I'll go out to dance and stay up late and then drive home at the end of the night."

Rabbi Jason Bright said...

I too wondered whether she was Jewish. My last name is Bright and there is a Jewish legacy of Brights. For example Isaac and Philip Bright were the first Jews to settle in Sheffield England and founded the Jewish community there which led to the establishment of two synagogues- primarily the Great Synagogue. Of course Bright is an English surname and not inclusive of only Jews. I have five kids and never considered naming one of the Torah but now I wish I would have thought about it. That's a great name and unique too.