Robin Kahn's Blog (Our educational Director)
Does God Care Which Team Wins The Superbowl
As I was watching the Superbowl last night, I remembered a chapter in a book called I Have Some Questions About God by Rabbi Brad Artson. I thought it was timely based on the recent conversations I have had with many of you about God.
Does God Care Which Team Wins The World Series or The Superbowl?
Answer One: Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
The Red Sox Blow the Pennant on Simchat Torah
God cares about sports because it’s only one way that God teaches us how to care. As a young boy growing up near Boston, Massachusetts, I looked forward to two things every spring: Passover and opening day of baseball season. Two things that I loved more than anything were being with my family at the seders and being with 33.000 other Red Sox fans at Fenway Park.
Simchat Torah of 1986 came at the same time as a very famous World Series game. On Simchat Torah night, my beloved Boston Red Sox had blown the ultimate chance to win their first Series since 1918, losing the sixth game to the Mets in a heartbreaking fashion. I cried for half the night, wondering why God could allow this to happen. Then, the following morning, I caught myself crying again while dancing with the Torah.
At that point I stopped in my tracks. I wondered what I cared about more: a sports team of the Torah? For which one had people given their lives over the centuries? Which one had taught me how to live a good life? Which one had instilled people with hope during times much darker than these? I decided that it was time to stop crying over the Red Sox, and start rejoicing with the Torah.
But I also understood at that moment why sports are so important. My caring so deeply for the Red Sox is what taught me how to care for the Torah and other important things. That caring taught me how to be a good loser and a gracious winner, how to sacrifice for the team and how to feel for the guy who had just struck out. That caring also helped me to understand how God feels about us and how painful it must be for God to watch when we strike out.
Loving the Red Sox has also helped me to love other people. If the love of a sports team can bring so many different types of people together, simply because they happen to live near the same city, that teaches us that we’re not that different after all. For that reason, I believe that God does indeed care about who wins the World Series and the Super Bowl.
Answer Two: Rabbi Brad Artson
God Cares About Values
On the one hand, God doesn’t care who wins the World Series, because it’s just a game. There are no issues of justice, of righteousness or kindness at stake. God cares about those values and about all the players whether they win or not.
But on the other hand, if winning is the result of teamwork, of learning cooperation and hard work, then I suppose those are things that would please God. God likes to see people become the best they can be.
There is a Jewish way to play baseball—one that involves learning fairness, participation and honesty. God cares about that.
Answer Three: Rabbi Elyse Frishman
God Likes Sandy Koufax
I think that one of God’s favorite sports heroes must have been Sandy Koufax because he kept God’s rule about Yom Kippur. This meant that he couldn’t play in one of the World Series games. God’s rules matter more than anyone else’s rules, because God’s rules are for the good of everyone.
God cares more about how we play the game than who wins.
Taken from Artson, Bradley Shavit, Joel Lurie Grishaver, and David Barany. I have some questions about God . Los Angeles, CA: Torah Aura Productions, 2002. Print.
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