Monthly Archives: May 2012

Counting The Jewish Athlete (H)Omer Revisited

Last year I compiled a list of the days of the Omer corresponding to famous Jewish athlete jersey numbers. If I had not done so, we would be celebrating Lag Ba’omer as Larry Bird Day and not the greatest #33 Jewish athlete of all time, Gabe Kapler.

Here’s my post from last year:

A few thoughts:

a) A real discredit to those athletes who play sports without official jersey #s- shout out to Swimmers Dara Torres/Mark Spitz/Jason Lezak/Lenny Krayzelburg (amongst others), Gymnast Kerri Strug, Tennis stars Andy Ram and Shahar Pe’er, and Figure Skaters Sasha Cohen/Sara Hughes/Oksana Baiul/Irina Slutskaya

b) How could I omit two great QBS #18 player, Sage Rosenfels and #9 Jay Fiedler My apologies

c) Another omission at #10, Nancy Lieberman

d) Where’s the Jewish hockey presence? Lacking at #23 was Mathieu Schneider

e) Sid Luckman at #42!!!

MJGDS 50th Anniversary & Parshat Emor: Bein Kodesh L’chol

This week’s torah portion, Emor, outlines the special holidays in the Jewish Calendar: Shabbat, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.  We are also given an explanation of the omer (grain) offering that inspires the counting of the Omer- 7 weeks between the 2nd day of Passover (our liberation from Egypt) to Shavuot (the receiving of revelation at Sinai).  All of these yearly events (and in Shabbat’s case, weekly) deal with the Sacredness of time.  We can only appreciate these “holy”days, however, by understanding the regular, the mundane days; the work days.  Bein Kodesh L’chol is recited after each of these holidays as part of our Havdalah (separation) ritual.  We can’t have holy without the ordinary. And so the most difficult part is to transition from holy and awesome; to get back to work!

Each of these major Jewish holidays deals with the “day after” in a different way.  After Rosh Hashana, we encounter The Fast of Gedaliah and the 10 days of Repentence- a time for introspection and reflection.  After Yom Kippur, we are charged with having that renewal of faith and community charge us forward for the new year.  In every holiday mentioned in this week’s torah portion, we use the spices- the sweet memories of our holiday experience, to inspire our daily lives.

This morning we begin the difficult transition from our sacred experience from this past weekend to the holy and important work we must do from here on in. What an amazing weekend!  Such LOVE permeated our building- alumni, students, faculty, supporters.  One could argue that we could’ve just sat here all weekend and the love would be felt by all, but the events were perfectly orchestrated, the remarks poignant, and the music breathtaking. (For those who missed out on an amazing celebration at last night’s gala here’s a taste of the spices that occurred- feel free to sing along).

Today is a day we are charged with taking all of those good feelings, having marked this weekend as a holy one for our congregation and community, and spring forward to go back to work. If we ever question why we do what we do, we can look to this weekend for guidance and inspiration.  The sweetness that we shared will continue to enrich our schools and our community for years to come.  Yasher Koach and I feel so blessed to be a part of this holy community!