I am delighted to welcome Marty Lurie back to B’nai Israel for “Inning 2” a second visit connecting values and principles inherent in Judaism with analogies you find in life, i.e. particularly baseball. Last year we had a sizable gathering as we explored analogies between Judaism and Baseball in terms of the importance of community.
Thursday, August 9 at 6 PM radio personality Marty Lurie joins us again to explore the theme of Ritual. Both Judaism and Baseball are overflowing in ritual.
I suspect that as much as people enjoy and find comfort in Jewish ritual, many associate it with notions of rote, repetition, boredom and doing observances in a mindless way. In drawing analogies from rituals people find in baseball, we have a context and opportunity to look anew at Judaism’s ways of sanctifying time and through its rituals smoothing out life’s rough edges.
As we did last year, our guest and I will share dialogue, looking for connections even as we invite audience participation (as Marty does in his weekend shows on KNBR 680 before and after Giants games). Questions of what purposes rituals serve and how we each uniquely approach them will make for a lively and informative evening as we learn from each other how ritual brings alive life’s natural repetitiveness and allows us to realize that as many times as we have seen a particular moment, in reality each moment is a first. In baseball they describe that as the enticement of going to any game, for you never know what you may see…possibly the first perfect game in the history of the New York/San Francisco Giants, as was true this year. However the moments are different, the rituals, starting with blessing candles to welcome Shabbat or singing the National Anthem to welcome a game provide continuity from time to time and connecting the cycles in life.
The joy in drawing these analogies, whether Judaism and Baseball and their ways of creating community or how they both incorporate ritual, is in seeing more clearly that Judaism is not an isolated system. Rituals, practices, lessons and teachings are all intended to awaken us to life’s richness in all its varieties and nuances. If Baseball is America’s Favorite Pastime, i.e Game, then Judaism is God’s way (from the Jewish point of view) to appreciating Life as God’s Game for all of us to play, on our various teams, seeing and celebrating together life’s amazing blessings.
So come to the “ball park” at CBI and play the game with Marty and me on August 9, part of summer’s way of readying ourselves for the rituals of renewal, the month of Elul in mid-August, leading to the new year as we welcome it ritually with the Days of Awe, and who knows, maybe some scoreboard watching as we dream of the Giants doing what they did in 2010.