My Left Skate

  • Review
By – June 27, 2023

Eliez­er Sherba­tov was born in Rus­sia. His par­ents, per­se­cut­ed because they were Jews, immi­grat­ed with their three sons to Israel, and lat­er, to Cana­da. Pas­sion­ate hock­ey fans, they encour­aged Eliez­er’s inter­est and tal­ent in the sport and coached him through the ups and downs of a life ded­i­cat­ed to the play­ing of pro­fes­sion­al ice hock­ey. The downs includ­ed sev­er­al seri­ous injuries, most notably nerve dam­age to his left foot due to a fall that occurred off the ice. This injury seemed as if it would spell the end of his ath­let­ic career, but sev­er­al surg­eries, much reha­bil­i­ta­tion, and sheer deter­mi­na­tion enabled him to con­tin­ue play­ing ice hock­ey professionally.

Eliez­er became a mem­ber of the Israeli nation­al team and played for Israeli teams on and off through­out his career. His Jew­ish back­ground has always been impor­tant to him and has affect­ed his sports career many times; for instance, he had mixed emo­tions about play­ing pro­fes­sion­al­ly in the vicin­i­ty of Auschwitz. He com­pet­ed on rinks through­out the world and was in Ukraine in 2021 when the Russ­ian mil­i­tary invad­ed. He escaped, guid­ing a group of Israeli cit­i­zens across the bor­der to safety.

Sherba­tov’s sto­ry will be of inter­est to read­ers who love sports and has the poten­tial to inspire many oth­ers. It shows how chal­lenges that may seem insur­mount­able can be met with courage, per­sis­tence, and a strong will to succeed.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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