As the 2010 World Cup inches closer to crowning the year’s best national soccer team, fans in the host country of South Africa are getting unique religious-themed souvenirs in addition to the event’s signature vuvuzela noisemakers.
Rabbi Dovid Masinter, a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary who is coordinating communal activities in conjunction with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, and a team of rabbinical students can be found around the clock at a booth set up in Johannesburg. There, they’ve been helping Jewish men don the black prayer boxes known as tefillin; in addition, they’re handing out 50,000 inflatable soccer balls along with flyers explaining the biblical principles known as the Seven Noahide Laws and applicable to all mankind.
“We are on a natural high at the moment,” said Masinter of his country’s pride at hosting the games. “So why not use this energy to better our own lives as well as the lives of others, particularly the youth, in terms of setting goals and living a meaningful life?”