A Message from Rabbi Aft

Dear Friends,

There is so much going on that I was not able to share my "opening day" article in honor of the beginning of the baseball season.

One of the most impactful baseball writers IMHO Is Roger Angell. Please note the following comments from an interview with Angell conducted by writer Al Filreis, February 28, 2005:

 

To Angell, baseball means so many other things. Baseball means writing in the present tense: "baseball presents itself so clearly that there is a tendency to see it as it's happening again." Baseball means timelessness: every game is always the same as every other game, and yet always different. Baseball means facing history: players not only against their contemporaries, but against every player in the history of the game. Baseball means boxscores, the magical arrangement of names and numbers that when deciphered reveals the story of a game. Baseball means dealing with failure: "there is more Met than Yankee in all of us," says Angell, underscoring man's natural tendency to err.

 

As a child growing up, I had and continue to have a deep love of baseball. It provided a bond between my parents and me. My father, of blessed memory, and I could be unhappy with each other and yet, we would still make time for a game of catch.

 

My mother was my biggest fan and attended Little League games and took lots of home movies. Recently, three of our grandchildren and their parents joined us for the Nationals home opener and Juan Soto, who drove in the winning run, threw a ball to one of our grandsons. Baseball is an intergenerational gift that keeps on giving.

 

Why baseball? My Dad would remind me that one can fail seven out of 10 times and still make the Hall of Fame. We would quote American sportswriter Grantland Rice in saying, "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."

 

Finally, the essence of baseball is that one tries to come home and in the world today, how many of us long for special moments at home with people we love.

 

Play ball and enjoy an outing at a ball game this summer. It is conceivable that the game could go forever and so we are reminded that we are forever young and with faith, our hopes and dreams can go on forever.

 

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Bruce Aft

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