Sunday, October 02, 2011

The insignificance of baseball

I have been a baseball fan for a long time, since I was about 8 years old. For better or worse, the internet has made it possible to continue following baseball even when living in Israel.

This year Rosh Hashana came out on the last day of the season and continued into the playoffs. It also happened to be that both wild card races went down to the last day (as did the race for second place in the AL) and going into Rosh Hashana none of these were decided.

If not for Rosh Hashana this would have generated a lot of interest, speculation etc. on my part. However, due to Rosh Hashana from Wednesday until Saturday I was completely tuned out of all this. In Israel where I live, there is no outside information, period on Yom Tov. WW III could have started but if the bombs were not falling in Israel we wouldn't know about it. In a way this makes it easy to tune out the outside world and forget it because you know that simply aren't going to get any information for 3 days so you can simply shut it out and concentrate on what is important. I am very happy that over the 3 day Yom Tov I was able to do this regarding baseball. It's significance paled in comparison to what was going on. It was the Yom Hadin so who cared whether the Red Sox or Rays made the playoffs. Life or death, poverty or riches, health or sickness, etc. was being decided and therefore I had no time or energy to think about the Red Sox or the Rays. In fact, it didn't matter, when you really think about it baseball is silly, it is a game played by adults but it doesn't really matter.

Whether the Yankees win or lose is irrelevant on the larger scale of things, namely what we are doing in this world. When we die (after 120), no one in the next world will care whether the Yankees won the World Series or finished in last place. We will be asked much more important questions. If baseball helps us unwind and relieve some tension then it is fine, it is helping us in our ultimate purpose, but when it takes on a life of it's own, becomes important in and of itself, we need to take a deep breath and take a step back. We need to realize the place of things like baseball and what it's role is.

It is all too easy to get sucked into professional sports and take it very seriously. There are people who almost literally live and die with their teams. In NY there are 2 all sports radio stations that talk sports 24x7x365. We need to be able to take the good from sports (teamwork, passion, beauty, exercise, etc.) and not get sucked in to the all encompassing nature. We need to be able to put sports into perspective and I believe that this 3 day yom tov helped me do this.

1 comment:

SoMeHoW Frum said...