Question: What is G-d’s favorite sport?
Answer: Baseball, because the Torah begins: In the big inning.
As we prepare for Passover, there is no escaping the anticipation of the start of the baseball season as well. Baseball is and perhaps always will be the most literate and metaphorical of our major sports; it is certainly responsible for countless essays, books, poems and even works of art. There is an urge for comparison to our Jewish history.
Passover tells the story of reaching the Promised Land; the baseball season begins with the vision of our favorite team reaching its own promised land, the World Series in October.
As a temple president and lifelong baseball fan I, too, am struck by how both Judaism and baseball are rooted in history. According to an essay by Rabbi Richard D. Angler, just as every baseball game is part of every other baseball game that has ever been played, we say that when a Jew is born he is already 4,000 years old. Judaism, like family, like everything of value in life, works best when we make the long-term commitment to it.
I will resist the urge for further comparisons or bad puns (great American pastime and Yom Kippur’s great American fast time) to simply say that as in baseball, Judaism takes practice—daily practice. No matter whether we are a rookie to the faith or a wily veteran, we must continually practice the fundamentals.
In the film Field of Dreams, the off-screen voice announced: Build it and they will come, referring to the conversion of a cornfield into a baseball diamond. Fifty years ago our own field of dreams, Temple B’nai Abraham, was erected here at 200 E. Lothrop St. and what better place to practice the fundamentals of our faith.
We have an inspiring rabbi in Alison Adler, a beautiful sanctuary and a welcoming building and its members. What we need is all of you to join us, for a morning minyan (Sundays at 9, Mondays and Thursdays at 6:55 a.m.) or Shabbat service (Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.); you are all welcome.
For some of us, attending services on the High Holidays is as close as we get to coming to temple for services, yet for the rest of the year—unlike Fenway Park—we hardly ever sell out. Please, join us some Friday evening or Saturday morning: the seats are free, the view unobstructed and everyone will be a winner.