Frigid weather, but warm hospitality on Super Bowl Shabbat

Members of a Minneapolis synagogue are opening their homes this weekend - even to rival fans

Darchei Noam synagogue in Minneapolis. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Darchei Noam synagogue in Minneapolis.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Wendy Khabie’s kids were not thrilled to hear that they might be sharing their Shabbat dinner this week with the enemy – Philadelphia Eagles fans.
The family’s Minneapolis synagogue, Darchei Noam, is offering to host any Shabbat-observant Jews who will be in town this weekend ahead of Super Bowl LII – no matter who they’re rooting for.
“We bleed purple around here,” said Khabie, the marketing chairwoman of the Modern Orthodox synagogue, referring to the color of the Minnesota Vikings. And local Vikings fans are still dejected after the team came so close to making the Super Bowl only to be defeated by the Eagles, who will be playing the New England Patriots in the big game.
But old-fashioned Midwestern hospitality is winning out, and the community will be opening its doors to fans – of either team.
“We are gladly and graciously happy to host these folks, at least for Shabbat,” said Khabie in an interview on Tuesday. She said about a dozen people have already requested hospitality, and she’s been gearing her kids up to be welcoming.
“When I made it known within my household that we may have some folks from Philly making kiddush with us, they were like ‘No, no, we have to be nice to them? We have to talk to them?’” But she made it quite clear that they’d be welcoming to anyone who needed a place to stay for Shabbat.
While all the meals will be in people’s homes – a good idea considering the frigid -10 degrees Celsius forecast – Khabie said there would be a big kiddush repast in shul to welcome the guests. She said she’s also grateful for the opportunity to spotlight the local Jewish community, which is much bigger than many might think.
“Despite what you think, there are frum [religious] Jews who live in the Midwest!” she said. In fact, within a mile radius of Darchei Noam, there are a Conservative and two Orthodox synagogues.
But the observant Jews watching from home – at least the ones who are worried the Justin Timberlake-headlined halftime show might be too scandalous – are also in luck. For the fifth year running, radio show host Nachum Segal will lead his own “kosher halftime show,” filmed in Jerusalem with singer Ohad Moskowitz, offering “a wholesome Jewish music experience.”
And no matter the outcome of the game, local Minnesotans are hoping fans of both sides will keep their rowdy East Coast behavior under control. After all, Philadelphia cops made national headlines last week when they greased light poles to prevent Eagles fans from climbing them to express their joy.
“Hopefully they’ll leave their shenanigans at home,” said Khabie, in true Midwestern style. “It’s not approved carry-on luggage to have that kind of behavior travel with you.”