The first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years is tonight. Not surprisingly, I won’t be watching the game. I’ll be celebrating Shabbat with my family in West Rogers Park.
I’m sure there are many newly Shabbat observant Jews who will resist the temptation to switch on their TVs or radios before Shabbat starts.
And I’m sure there will be many Jews, who are on their way to keeping Shabbat who will be faced with a big test whether to watch or not.
The situation reminds me of my transition from being an avid rugby player and fan, playing and watching games on Shabbat, to a point where observing Shabbat became more important to me than watching a big game. It definitely was a transition. I remember in particular one occasion when I was living in Cape Town. I was invited to spend a weekend away with friends and to spend Shabbat with a family. I chose to go on the weekend, but it wasn’t an easy choice. By the end of the weekend, I realized that I was moving towards the time when I would observe Shabbat fully.
When the South African Springboks played the New Zealand All Blacks in 1995 in the World Cup Rugby Final on Shabbat, you couldn’t offer me free tickets on the half way line (the best seats). Today, I can’t imagine not keeping Shabbat.
This week we read the Torah anew from ‘the Beginning’, including the account of Creation and the words “G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it – vayekadaysh oto” (Bereishit/ Genesis 2:3). Wrigley Field may be a sacred place to many, but it is not kadosh.
P.S. For all those Cubs fans (and others) out there, check out http://www.aish.com/ci/a/The-Chicago-Cubs-Curse.html?s=show an article that makes the point that sporting success rests on solid teamwork, talented players, believing in yourself (and of course asking for God’s help) – not on curses and superstition.
(next week: Why are dinosaurs not mentioned in the Torah)
Rabbi Yehiel Kalish leading the Hoshanos at Shaarei Tzedek Mishkan Yair on Hoshana Raba
Alex (my new BFF – former rugby player and same birthday as me) shaking the lulav and esrog in our sukkah
A1 Steak and Torah class in Ben Weinschneider’s office (on the same night at Game 2 of the World Series)
A1 Deli and Torah at RSJ Moishe House in Lincoln Park