Nobility in Sports
Shabbat Parashat Terumah
Rosh Chodesh Adar 1 – Day 2
February 1, 2014 – 1 Adar 1 5774
Nobility in Sports
Believe it or not, as a kid, I loved participating in sports and following my favorite team(s). In addition to the fun, there was a certain nobility to sports. There were values attached to the physical endeavor – good sportsmanship, teamwork, striving for excellence, and for balance of health of mind and health of body – to name just a few. As a kid, I was both engaged and inspired by sports.
While I may not be the world’s greatest sports fan today, I do know that the 2014 Super Bowl is right around the corner and I still value and appreciate many sports to this day.
Yet, this year, there is a disturbing undercurrent in the news about the Super Bowl. There is a growing awareness that human trafficking is associated with this event. I invite you to click here http://www.rabbidebra.com/FreeingSlaves.html to learn more about the problem associated with the Super Bowl and about what some people are doing to help unfortunate individuals in our midst who are caught up in some of the most pernicious forms of modern slavery right here in our own country. Among other possibilities, tweeting a message of awareness at half-time, can help raise awareness and open avenues of response.
Our weekly Torah portion “Terumah” [contribution], describes how our people came together in ancient times to create, and to maintain, “holy space” in our midst. The Tabernacle was built of simple materials and of physical elements, raised up to holiness by our communal dedication, determination, and generosity of spirit.
This weekend, as we watch the Super Bowl, may the nobility in sports inspire us to own our values, to come together as a community of caring individuals, and to do what we can to lift up those who still struggle under the yoke of slavery.
This Shabbat is also the beginning of the Jewish month of Adar 1. In Hebrew, our sages say: Mishenichnas Adar marbim b’simcha. Loosely translated, this means: When Adar begins, we ought to do everything in our power to increase merriment, joy and fun in the world. I can only imagine the timing of the Super Bowl was meant to help us fulfill this spiritual directive.
Whether we watch the Super Bowl or not, may our lives, and the lives of those around us, be filled with much joy and laughter, merriment and fun, on this first Shabbat of Adar, in the coming month and in the months to follow!
Shabbat Shalom v’Chodesh Tov, Sabbath Peace and a Good Month!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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