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February 8, 2016 / 29 Shevat, 5776
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From the NFL to Judaism and Israel



Yishai and Malkah present the third segment from a crowded Jerusalem café to introduce Yosef and Emuna Murray, a couple from the United States that are in the process of finishing their conversion to Judaism and visiting Jerusalem. Yosef is the Hebrew name of Calvin Murray, an American football player (retired) who was a star college player for the legendary Ohio Buckeyes under Coach Woody Hayes and went on to play in the NFL (Philadelphia Eagles) and USFL (Chicago Blitz). The Murrays tell their beautiful story of spiritual journey from being youth leaders in a Christian church to choosing Torah and Judaism and visiting Israel.  Don’t miss this interesting and insightful segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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About the Author: Moshe Herman has been actively involved in Israel activism since founding the first pro-Israel student organization at Boise State University in 2007. He has been a member of several panels and discussion groups with topics ranging from interfaith dialogue in the Middle East to Israel’s importance as a Jewish state. Herman joined The Yishai Fleisher Show at the beginning of 2012 and currently resides in Jerusalem after making Aliyah in July 2013.

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3 Responses to “From the NFL to Judaism and Israel”

  1. Greg Smith says:


    Interesting interview but have to disagree on a couple of points. I'm sorry Calvin's experience made him think Christianity discouraged asking questions because I've found the opposite true. In my experience it's been Judaism that, while not discouraging questions from being asked, it's the answers they're not so eager to find.

    The other striking point was Yishai's quote of Talmud saying the reason Israel went into exile was to reach the gentiles… let's not confuse the sin of Israel (and subsequent punishment) with the righteousness of Joseph and use of him to save many during the famine that saved many.

    The Murray's story doesn't sound all that different from several Mormon's or Jehovah's Witnesses I've met over the years…

    Toward the end of the interview, I think Yishai lost the thread and started trying to be profound instead of just letting the conversation flow more naturally.

  2. Andee Goldman says:

    Calvin and Jeri are personal friends of mine and are truly a light. Their journey towards Judaism has been a long one, over 10 years. It is not easy to convert when you have children and family. When your soul is searching for the truth, you need to listen.
    I asked them, why do they want to be Jewish… and be hated. Calvin told me he was hated growing up black. Recently a white man told him he now has two strikes against him ~ being black and Jewish. His response, when you have G-d in your life, who cares what people say.
    They are sincere and know when they convert they must be held to a higher standard. Today, Jeri covers her hair and no longer wears pants.
    Both of them want to leave this World a better place for the children.

  3. Greg Smith says:

    Andee, they sound like a nice couple, sincere as you say… but there are several questions I'd really like to ask them… that came up as I listened to the interview.

    JW's, Mormon missionaries, they sound just as sincere, and many of them are, but the more you ask questions the clearer it becomes who really is sincere and who simply wants to protect their tradition at all cost. I've been cussed out by Orthodox Jews because their tradition couldn't hold up to the slightest scrutiny of God's word, that's how threatened they were. (And I wasn't missionizing either, simply asking questions like Calvin said are welcomed)

    And while the Murray's are on the journey to full status, how would they react having invested so much time to find out they'd made a mistake? Sincerity is no seal of accuracy, just like the proverb says. Pr 14:12 (There is a way that seems right to a man…)

    I'm not sure how to reach them to ask, so if you could ask them to stop by and comment I'd really appreciate it.

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