This is the Torah that Moses Gave to Israel: "Hook 'em 'Horns!"
No, not that Jesus, I'm talking about my buddy and colleague Jesus from south Texas. I went down there last week, and all I heard about was the Rose Bowl. But there's one curious University of Texas football tradition that puzzles me.
That is the "hook 'em Horns" gesture.
University of Texas at Austin cheerleader Harley Clark knew what he was going to teach football fans at a 1955 pep rally was going to catch on faster than poodle skirts and leather jackets. It had to. After all, the Texas A&M Aggies' "Gig 'em" gesture had been around for years.
Clark sold the student body on the symbolic approximation of the horns of Longhorn mascot Bevo and, thus, began the "Hook 'em Horns" hand signal.
The salute quickly took its place beside the university traditions of singing The Eyes of Texas and lighting the Tower orange.
Even President Bush has made this gesture.
(I guess he's not planning any visits to USC anytime soon.)
Now some say this gesture is satanic, but they are full of it.
I have seen this gesture in shul. No way it can be satanic.
Yes, in shul. And I've seen it not only in my local Conservative hotbed of apikorsus, but also in some very erlicher frum places. And I don't live in Texas, so it's not a case that the worshippers are Texas fans.
The gesture is made during the ritual of "hagbah'ah," when the sefer Torajh (Torah scroll) is lifted in front of the congregation, and the congregation chants"
"v'zos hatorah asher sam Moshe lifnei b'nei Yosrael:
Al pi adonoi v'yad Moshe."
(This is the Torah that Moses gave to the Israelites, spoken by the LORD and written down by Moses.)
And as the holy scrolls are lifted into the air, what does the Congregation do, it lifts it's hands and gestures as they point to the scrolls: "Hook 'em Horns!" .
Now they never used to do that in shul when I was a kid; this busines only started a few years ago. For the life me me, I can't figure out the significance of this gesture (when used in a Jewish ritual context), and I have not been able to find anyhting about this on the internet. Theonly thing I can think of is that using this gesture is a reminder of the sin of the Golden Calf. By reminding God of this sin, we are asking him to be merciful to us. After all, we might be sinners, but our sins are nowhere near as bad as that of the Golden Calf, and I God could forgive the Israelites for that one, then He can certianly forgive us for the little insignificant sins that we commit.
The only problems with this explantion is that (1) the Golden Calf was probably not a Texas Longhorn, and (2) calfs, even male ones, don't have horns.
If any of my readers has abtter explantion, I will certainly be interested in hearing it. Jesus will also appreciate it, too, so if you don't want to do it for me, do it for Jesus.