A Gift from a Rabbi to a Raven

brief_rabbi_ravenFor as long as Rabbi Jessy Gross can remember, her dream has been to give the Baltimore Ravens a benediction before one of their home games at M&T Bank Stadium.

Gross, senior director of Jewish learning and life at the JCC of Greater Baltimore, used to imagine sitting down with former Ravens great , known for his spiritual pregame pep talks, to discuss their shared bond of biblical theology.

While neither of those two fantasies have become reality yet, Gross has been creative in finding ways to combine her passion for the Ravens and Judaism.

After learning one of her favorite Ravens, linebacker Terrell Suggs, has a weakness for gefilte fish, Gross recently ordered him a gefilte fish recipe book, “The Gefilte Manifesto.”

“I love Terrell Suggs, the Ravens and gefilte fish, so when I was buying the book for myself, I thought it would be cool to get him one as well for all those reasons,” Gross said. “The best-case scenario is that he responds, and the worst-case scenario is that I know he gets the book to have some new favorite recipes.”

She said Suggs has yet to receive the book but that an acquaintance with direct ties to the Ravens’ all-time sacks leader is working on delivering the book to him personally.

Suggs, 34, who just finished his 14th season in the NFL — all with the Ravens — made headlines when he cut his consumption of the Jewish holiday favorite this past summer.

Fortunately for Suggs, that sacrifice may have paid dividends as he led the team in sacks with eight and made 35 tackles despite playing with a torn left bicep most of the
season.

jsilberman@midatlanticmedia.com

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