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Let's Go Braves!

10/25/2021 02:58:47 PM


Rabbi Brad Levenberg

What a joyous time it is to live in Atlanta. With the Braves in the World Series, there is this joyous, festive spirit that permeates the city. For those of us who rarely pay attention to baseball, we can’t miss the fact that our hometown team has done well and help but marvel at the optimism of a city united in support and excitement.

There are some who find great meaning in baseball, specifically the Braves. It’s been heartening to hear stories from so many of you about what the Braves mean to you. I’ve heard about the matriarch of the family who was a die-hard Braves fan, who would listen to the Braves on the radio, who passed that love to her daughter who in turn passed it to her son-in-law. Though the matriarch is no longer physically with us, her descendants bring her to each game in their hearts, knowing how much she would love that a love of the Braves continues to bring her family together.

There are those who have been bringing their kids to the games, whose shouts of joy and glee with each Braves victory, now recorded for posterity, warm the heart. In our wedding liturgy, we ask God to bless us “with the sounds of young people celebrating and children at play.” Truly among the most joyous of sights and sounds is that of a young person reveling in the joy of their team’s success.

For a long time I believed that sports was, well, “for other people.” I couldn’t really appreciate the reliance on statistics, the rules which always seemed a bit perplexing, and the obsessive culture which captivated so many of my friends and acquaintances. Over the last few years, I’ve come to appreciate the athleticism, the narrative arcs, the ability of sports to bring people together. I’ve come to enjoy rooting for a team – while I’m super proud of the Braves, I’m a Hawks guy myself – and both the joy that comes from acts of glory and the oy that comes with defeat.

And this Braves run, providing a most exciting backdrop for Shabbat, has enabled me to hear and learn from so many about how special, how generational, is the love of this team. It is a joyous time indeed to live in Atlanta.

Shabbat Shalom, and Let’s Go Braves!

Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782