Saturday, September 09, 2006

Is Sharapova an American?

who just won the US Open Women's Singles Tennis championship, came to the United States at the age of nine and grew up in Bradenton, Florida. She speaks unaccented English. She owns houses in Florida and California.

But she maintains Russian citizenship and plays for the Russian Davis Cup team against, among others, the US Davis Cup team. She says she is a Russian.

So is she an American because she has been here a lot, or is she not because she has a fundamental identification and commitment to Russia, not to America?

Does immigration status make one an American? Or is it a commitment to, and identification with, the United States that does it?

It is a slight question for purposes of tennis players. It is a larger question for purposes of a still-growing Muslim population. Are people who despise the United States really Americans? Are they entitled to any consideration beyond the bare letter of the law?

According to an article in the NY Times today, more are coming now than before 9-11. Why are we still admitting them as immigrants?


  1. The Scorpion2:15 PM

    Reb Nahman of Bratzlav (1772-1810) would tell his Hasidim, "If you really want to pray, you have to at certain times put the siddur (prayer book) away. And you have to speak to G-d as one person speaks to another."
    He also said, "One must [also] daven (pray) in nature. One must forget the social universe and enter into the natural universe in order to be able to rediscover prayer."

  2. That works fine between dust and Hashem. But between man and man, putting aside rules is a formula for lynchings.