Go Cubbies (if not now, then when?)

So you want to know why the rabbi was wearing a Cubs uniform shirt on Simchat Torah, along with the rest of her family?

You mean besides the fact that they arrived in the mail from our friend Coach Jane today, and my wearing it would clearly make my spouse happy? And besides the fact that, next to Purim, Simchat Torah is the happiest/silliest holiday? And besides the fact that baseball is mentioned in Genesis? (“In the big inning…”)

Well, it goes like this: On Simchat Torah we read the end of D’varim (Deuteronomy) and start over again with B’reysheet (Genesis). At Berith Sholom, we unwrap the entire Sefer Torah around the Benjamin Social Hall, with the kids in the middle watching and the adults around the edge holding the scroll (and this year the 7th and 6th graders were pressed into service too as holders). Then we read the end of D’varim and immediately start over with B’reysheet which is at that point right next door; you can really see how it’s a cycle/circle.

So at the beginning of the Torah, everything is fresh and new, with great possibility. And at the end, Moses dies without every quite making it to the Promised Land. So too with the Cubbies. Every season starts out with great hope and promise, fresh and new; and every season, by the end, they peter out without ever reaching the Promised Land. At least not since 1908.

But every season, they start over again, fresh and new and full of hope. And if not now, when?

(P.S. I never really knew about the Cubs growing up, despite growing up next door to Chicago; my father followed college football, so that’s what I paid attention to. But if I were to follow baseball, underdogs like the Cubs would be a natural for me. And being a transplanted Midwesterner out here in East Coast-land, I’ve found new ways to identify with the Heartland of my birth and raising.)