A Sportsman’s Guide to the Torah

January 13, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Dr Antony Rebuck is a well-known medical researcher….but when he is not writing about medicine Tony becomes Shlomo ben Yitzhak HaLevi…a sports-mad member of the orthodox community who has just published a book titled  “A Sportsman’s Guide to the Torah”.

Dr Tony Rebuck

The London-born medico who currently lives in Singapore and Melbourne has recently published a book embracing two of his favourite non-medical activities…religion and sport.

From Genesis to Deuteronomy, Rebuck’s book draws parallels between two seemingly different worlds – sports and religion – by pairing stories from the Torah (or Old Testament) with modern sports anecdotes.

Like the Old Testament, A Sportsman’s Guide to the Torah begins with a garden, red fruit, and unfortunate case of satisfied temptation. The book goes on to connect Adam and Eve’s story to the relationship between diet and athletic performance in today’s world. Rebuck’s conclusion:  “A poor diet will almost certainly have a negative effect on the performance of even the most casual athlete… God was unambiguous in encouraging Adam to eat fruit – except the one forbidden one.”

Rebuck, a life-long sports fanatic, neglected Torah study in his early life in favor of watching, playing, and reading about sports. As an adult, he began to take a more active role in his religion and, finally, during retirement he wondered if he could combine his two interests by finding in each weekly Torah reading something that would strike a chord with sports-lovers.

In A Sportsman’s Guide to the Torah Rebuck discusses everything from athletic twins to disabled and gay athletes, doctors in sport, and Master’s champions. The connections he makes are creative, insightful, and, at times, tongue-in-cheek. A truly unique concept and fun read,  “A Sportsman’s Guide to the Torah” promises to capture the attention of sports junkies and religious devotees alike.

Shlomo ben Yitzhak HaLevi (“Solomon son of Isaak the Levi”) is  Tony Rebuck’s Hebrew name.  A former medical professor at the University of Toronto and respirologist at the Toronto Lung Clinic, Rebuck is a life-long sports fanatic with a penchant for the Toronto Blue Jays.

He is now semi-retired, working as a consultant in clinical research strategy in Singapore. He lives in Melbourne part-time with his wife Bernice, where he attends (but sometimes daydreams about sports during) Synagogue once a week.
 He has also resided in Sydney.

Rebuck told J-Wire: “I live in Malvern close to the Chabad synagogue. My favorite sport is Rugby and I follow the Melbourne Rebels.
I love cricket too, and of course I was at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test this year.

I also spend time in Toronto where I worked for many years at the University and whenever we’re there, I’m a Toronto Blue Jays fan.
I’m too old to play sports any more, but I still go to the gym regularly and love to scuba dive with my sons.”

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