From: Community News Service
By COL live reporter, Jun 4, 2015
Pharaoh’s Jockey Victor Espinoza came to pray at the Rebbe’s Ohel (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s tomb) BEFORE the Belmont Stakes horse race. The Jewish owners, refugees from Egypt, were making a Kiddush Hashem. (A prayer to G-d ceremony with wine and treats — like herring and all the Manischewitz wine you can drink)
Victor Espinoza, the Mexican native who is hoping to make history by riding the first Triple Crown-winning horse in 37 years, turned to a spiritual source for blessing.
Espinoza, a jockey who will compete in the 2015 Belmont Stakes horse race in Elmont, NY, came to pray at the Rebbe’s (Schneerson, OBM) Ohel at the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Cambria Heights, Queens.
CBSNewYork reported that Espinoza visited the grave site of the Rebbe, “considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century” and where “hundreds of thousands come to the cemetery every year 24/7 to pray.”
Espinoza opened a prayer book, recited psalms, wrote out his own message and added his to a mountain of prayers at the sacred site, the TV station said.
He was flanked by Rabbi Efraim Zaltzman, Director of Chabad of Kingsborough in Brooklyn, Kabbalah teacher Rabbi Berel Lerman and Rabbi Motti Seligson, Director of Media Relations at Chabad.org.
Espinoza, who is not Jewish, said that after receiving a blessing from Rabbi Sholom Ber Korf Chabad of Delray in Florida last month, he scheduled the detour to the Ohel from his regular race prep for the Belmont, COLlive was told.
“So much energy right here,” he said. “It would kind of build you up right here. It’s like good energy drinks.”
Mike Weitz, Espinoza’s Jewish publicist, said: “He believes with G-d’s help and the Rebbe interceding for him that he’s going to be very successful and very safe.”
Meanwhile, the owners of American Pharaoh Thoroughbred racehorse, which Espinoza will be riding, have announced that they will be observing the Shabbos on the day of the race.
The Zayats were raised in Egypt as observant Jews. On race day, which is the Sabbath, the family will abstain from driving in observance and will camp overnight in luxury RVs on Belmont’s grounds, CBS reported.
“We have a value system in our life, and that is a priority in our family, said Ahmed Zayat, who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. “G-d comes first. (Then) family, country and all the others — all the others, you can put horse racing in with them.”
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