Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

Kosher Boxer

By David Luhrssen
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Dmitriy Salita is a young Rocky running to his workout along the streets and shoreline of New York. An amateur boxing champion by 18, he turned professional at age 20. What's interesting about Salita's story is that he is an Orthodox Jew, working his fight schedule around the pervasive rituals of Sabbath and synagogue.

Orthodox Stance, out now on DVD, is a documentary on Salita's pursuit in the ring and within his religious tradition. He sees no contradiction in the two sides of his life. Born in the Ukraine in 1982, Salita moved with his parents to Brooklyn at age 9. Like many immigrants before him, he was picked on and learned to fight back. As a teen he honed his skills in boxing clubs before going public. Orthodox Stance allows the articulate boxer to speak his mind about his choices, which involve finding a spiritual dimension in the rough and tumble of the fight game.

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