By Rochelle Bergman
I am in Israel right now visiting family. The weather is sunny and warm. I am not only a sister, aunt, and daughter but a writer for a hockey website.
Hence, I look for hockey everywhere I travel! This means I searched the Holy Land. The Middle East gives us images of hot weather, no water, and sand dunes bigger than camels! But, is there hockey in the land of mircles? Can there be hockey night in Israel?
You betcha! The ”Ice Hockey Federation of Israel‘ is alive and well! The website (yes, Virginia, there is an Israeli Hockey Federation!) is full of different teams and levels. Club names include: the Hawks and Devils. “Dragon” is a hockey school and one of their teams are called the ”Vampires.”
On the front page of the site is a help wanted poster for hockey instructors. The land of milk and honey needs instructors, because the league is expanding. Here is your chance future instructors! Explore new avenues in a new league in a place where snow is a miracle and ice is only found in drinks! If interested, please check out the website: israhockey.co.il
It would be mind numbing (in a good way) if all the problems here would be fought out on the ice rink. Where a weapon was a hockey stick instead of a gun. A game of skills would be played where the winners would get a cup and the losers would have next year to try again. That, my readers, is only a dream, maybe in the future peace with a puck might even happen.
On the other side of this coin is the United Arab Emirates Ice Hockey League. The first ever game was played on October 7th, 2009 and, with 5 teams only, the season can be short. The teams’ names include: Vipers, Scorpions and, my favorite, Camel.
I still think hockey should be played and worshiped in a land where snow falls and ice is made by itself. Maybe it is my upbringing? For me the game is meant for you dressing in enough layers so you never feel your arms nor legs at the rink during the entire game. To get to the rink, the sky was full of snow clouds and the temperature was in the minuses! Maybe I am from the old school of hockey, can I be out-of-the-loop when it comes to league homes?
I guess the international language of Hockey is everywhere now. The game is played in backyards all over the planet. I guess it doesn’t really matter if the clouds above your head never snows. Maybe it is all about the spirit of the game, the friendships that it brings, the laughs, the losing moments where a smile from the coach counts and all the positive things Hockey brings out in people. That is the legacy of Hockey, no matter where you play it!