Lessons from Lin: Chizuk from Linsanity?

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linsanity1By Rabbi Michoel Farkas

I know that we usually look in more spiritual places for lessons and chizuk. I know that sports is not the most Torahdike medium from which to derive encouragement or any sort of inspiration. So forgive me for doing just that.

Yes, I will be sharing inspiration from Linsanity. Forgive me. Please do. (Be happy I never caught on to the Tebow craze.)

Jeremy Lin is for all the people who have been told since they were kids that they wouldn’t amount to anything. His unfathomable emergence from the bottom of the Cracker Jack box is for the world’s walk-ons.

Lin is the 99 percent’s identity. His stratospheric success is encouragement for the one who thinks all is lost.

He is a rescue animal that nobody wanted, who stars in his own rescue and also winds up saving the cheerless family that took him strictly for companionship.

Jeremy Lin’s unfathomable emergence is an inspiration for all the people who have ever been told they would amount to nothing.

Lin is an inspirational speech for those begrudgingly given meaningless minutes or thankless tasks by bosses who expect meaningful results and unswerving fidelity.

He is for those belted to the bench of coaches who play short rotations regardless of score or time.

He is for those who never seem to catch a break.

Lin is for all the discouraged, the never encouraged.

He is for the baby-bears – too slow, small, undefined, young, old, under-qualified and over-qualified.

He is for the written-off and looked-off.

He is for the frozen out, passed over and brushed off.

He’s for those who start out anonymous and have stayed unannointed.

Lin is for those wearing choke collars on short leashes.

He is for the underdogs yanked after one mistake or missed shot.

He is for the permanently picked-on and never picked.

He is for the hopeless whose weaknesses are accentuated and strengths devalued.

Lin is for all the people who are browbeaten and not in the conversation in the huddle of office meetings.

He is the Poster Pioneer for the buried alive.

How many times in the last 10 days has the word “inconceivable” appeared in print or heard in the same sentence with Lin?

Yes, there is always hope. Never give up. You might be the twelfth man on the bench. You might have been sent down and told you won’t make it in the bigs. But if you stick with it and keep the faith, you might just have a chance. And not just a chance, but an opportunity to star on the world’s biggest stage.

Those are the lessons I’ve learned from Linsanity.

Again, forgive me.

{Rabbi Michoel Farkas-Matzav.com Newscenter}

19 COMMENTS

  1. “I know that we usually look in more spiritual places for lessons and chizuk. I know that sports is not the most Torahdike medium from which to derive encouragement or any sort of inspiration.”

    Lets stick to that Rabbi Farkas.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful post. There is inspiration to be found everywhere, and I now have a great thought starter for starting kiruv conversations around the office.

  3. What about the fact that:

    1) he went to Harvard and actually studied too
    2) In his own religion he espouses religious values and thanks his version of the deity and does not say kochi v’otzem yadi – modest

  4. To comment #1:

    Relax. Smile. Chill.

    If someone is going to follow sports or be aware of what’s going on in sports news, it’s not the worst thing if they find some inspiration in it instead of it being a total waste of time like it is for many.

  5. I agree with Rabbi Farkas.
    RABBI Farkas started his post with this disclaimer, and he added a good point.

    Don’t ourfrum yourself…

  6. It is inspirational. The difficulty lies in that it uses secular standards of amounting to something. We are about building great people in the eyes of the Torah even if there is zero fanfare.

  7. “Don’t ourfrum yourself…”

    You sound similar to the early Reform movement in Germany. Open your eyes and see what the Rabbonim have said about this sort of thing for our children.

  8. To #12 – “Open your eyes and see what the Rabbonim have said about this sort of thing for our children.”

    What would the Rabbonim have said to your comment itself? At least you copied my misspelling correctly when taking my words out of context.

    You are missing the point of the Rabbi’s vort and my comment. The fact that someone can gain Chizuk from a non-Torah event does not mean that he has to look for Chizuk from these players instead of Gedolim.

    If I had to pick one from the other, however, Kids should look for Chizuk from sports players instead of criticizing strangers on the Internet. I’m sure that your son was not sitting next to you when you disrespected a Rabbi and fellow Jew’s viewpoint.

  9. To #1- you realize the irony of your comment, don’t you? If not, here it is: why aren’t you reading Mesilas Yeshorim instead of Matzav if not but for same reason Farkas draws sanity from Linsanity.

  10. “To #1- you realize the irony of your comment, don’t you? If not, here it is: why aren’t you reading Mesilas Yeshorim instead of Matzav if not but for same reason Farkas draws sanity from Linsanity.”

    Matzav is a Frum, Kosher website. v Perhaps Matzav should consider some Cheshbon HaNefesh regarding this article and raise itself to a higher standard.

  11. “If I had to pick one from the other, however, Kids should look for Chizuk from sports players instead of criticizing strangers on the Internet.I’m sure that your son was not sitting next to you when you disrespected a Rabbi and fellow Jew’s viewpoint.”

    Firstly, I mean absolutely no disrespect towards Rabbi Farkas. I simply disagree. But the fact that my Rav holds the same as I do, yet I never declared Rabbi Farkas a Kofer or any other distasteful term says a large amount about you. Judge away (hey you may even be a lawyer) but I can assure you that I will hold Rabbi Farkas in high regard even if I disagree with him.

    And no, my son was not. He was in Yeshiva studying Torah and bringing the Geulah closer.

  12. To “#12” – Touche’. By the way, you should come up with a better name than “to #12” – I think that this is Jeremy Lin’s number…

    At any rate, we are entitled to disagree, but not every Rav will agree with yours. One of them happens to be the author of the article…

    Cheers – you have out-frummed me.

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