Friday, February 08, 2013

Does God Care?

The purpose of this blog is to help the family talk about the most important issues of the day. Please print and share.

gods-linebacker 2

This week, two Superbowl questions for your table.

The first question is one that I know is already on your mind:

Does God care who wins (or won) the Superbowl?

(The answer of course, is yes, which is why He's so happy this week.)
To make it a serious question for serious conversation, here are another couple factors to add to the equation.

1. For the sake of discussion, let's define "God" as "infinite, unlimited being".
2. "Care" is a very human term. But maybe what people mean by that question is "involved".

Looking forward to your family's answers.

This week's second question is no less pressing.

There was a parade in Baltimore and not in San Francisco - are you comfortable with that?

That question leads to a story, followed by the third question.

Here's the story, which has been going around the Jewish world for a few years.

It’s about a boy named Shaya.

Shaya was “special". He was slower than the other boys. His brain worked slower and his body worked slower.

Shaya attended a Jewish boys’ school and he played with his classmates on a Jewish baseball league. Their team was called the Allstars.

Shaya wasn’t very good. He couldn’t hit the ball, he couldn’t catch the ball, he always forgot which way to run.

But his classmates were nice to him, always gave him a high-five and he loved being part of the team, wearing the uniform and getting his turn at bat just like the other boys.

At the end of the sixth-grade season, the Allstars had made it into the championship game against the Whitesox. At the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, the Allstars were down by two points, there was one man on base and guess what....Shaya was up.

If I told you that they put someone else up in his place that would be untrue. His team put Shaya up in the normal batting order (rules are rules after all...). They all realized that they were not going to win the game, but they encouraged Shaya anyway, why shouldn’t he have fun? “Go gettem, Shaya!” Who knows, maybe there would be a miracle?

When the Whitesox pitcher saw who was up to bat, he smiled and walked halfway to home plate. Then he pitched the slowest underhand pitch he could. Shaya swung and missed.

“That’s OK, Shaya,” his teammates shouted. “Keep your eye on that ball!”

The pitcher took a few steps closer and pitched again, as gingerly as he could launch that ball. Shaya swung and missed.

Then one of Shaya’s teammates stepped up behind him and helped him hold the bat. The Whitesox pitcher tossed a third lazy ball, right over the strike zone. With help, Shaya made contact on the ball and it went in a lazy arch right towards the pitcher.

This is when the excitement started. The Whitesox pitcher dodged the ball and let it land on the ground. Seeing that it was a fair ball, Shaya’s teammates yelled, “Run, Shaya, run!!” Shaya started to run the wrong way and his batting-buddy steered him towards first base.

Meanwhile, the Whitesox pitcher picked up the ball and through it towards first base. But he threw it in such a high arc that it went way over the head of the firstbaseman and landed near the edge of the field. Shaya was still running, and his teammates were all yelling, “Run Shaya, run!!” When Shaya got to first, he hesitated but his coach pointed him towards second. Meanwhile, the firstbaseman had retrieved the ball and was throwing it towards second. But he, too, overthrew his teammate by a mile, allowing Shaya to make it to second. Already Shaya’s two teammates who had been on base made it home and the score was tied. By now, everyone, not only the Allstars but even the Whitesox, they were going crazy, yelling “Run, Shaya, run!” Shaya was running for his life!

The same thing happened at third – the outfielder who picked up the ball threw it over the head of the thirdbaseman and Shaya rounded third! He was on his way home and all of the parents in the stands were on their feet, everyone was yelling, “Run, Shaya, run!!”

When Shaya made it home, he was swarmed by both teams, the Allstars and the Whitesox, who lifted him up on their shoulders and chanted, “Shaya, Shaya, Shaya!”

Question for your table - How does the achievement of those boys compare to the achivement of the Ravens?

Those boys reached "sheleimut" that day. Same root as shalom. Maybe you can define it.

But the real home-run question is, can this value be taught? Or does it just happen?

Shabbat Shalom 

PS - To friends in the Bay Area, hoping to see you Monday night.

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