By Rabbi Yechiel Spero
Hello everybody, and welcome to Inspiration Daily.Today’s inspiration is going to be somewhat different, and I hope that it conveys the message that I want it to convey.
I will admit my sins before you today; I am a sports fan, a long suffering Cleveland sports fan. And for those of our audience that have been following the news in the last 48 hours, you are aware that the Cleveland Cavaliers were victorious, and won a championship, the first one for Cleveland in 52 years. And, again only because I am a sports fan, I have to tell you that it was a very good feeling, an incredible feeling. But what is triggering this Inspiration Daily segment, is that there is a school mate of mine, his name is Joe Puznanskey, a Hebrew Academy of Cleveland boy, who went on to become a world class sports journalist, a Best Selling New York Times author. He wrote an article that someone sent to me, where he goes back in time and he puts his arm around himself as a 12 year old boy, and he starts to talk to the boy who is doing the paper route for the now defunct Cleveland press. He starts telling the boy about all the heartache and suffering the he is going to have throughout the years. There are going to be times where the Cleveland baseball team – The Indians, the Cleveland football team – The Browns, and the Cleveland basketball team – The Cavaliers are all going to cause great heartache and pain. I know you will think that the championship will come, but it’s not coming for many, many years. But there will come a day (this past Sunday night) when the team is going to win and I am going to tell you that in that moment, everything, all the pain and suffering being the “but” of all the jokes, being embarrassed and discouraged, is all going to change in one split moment. Because at that moment all the jubilation and joy that your going to feel the tears of relief that your going to have is going to wash away all the bad memories.
And only because I can really relate in a very small way, I wanted to share the following. Lehavdil eleF alphei havdalos, and forget about sports for a moment, lets talk about people who have other frustrations in their lives. Let’s talk about people that have dated fifty boys or fifty girls wondering when will the “one” come? When will that “championship” come? When will they get engaged? What about people, couples, that have not had children for many, many years and the pain is indescribable. What about people that have so much illness and suffering? What about people that have never had good parnassah? What about people that are suffering with tzaar gidul banim? So the moment will come, Chazal tell us, when “Oz yemaleh tzchok pinu ulshoneinu rina”, when everything will be “hayinu k’cholmim”. It will be like a dream and it will be almost like it never happened. The relief will be incredible. That moment of joy, that euphoria, when the geula finally comes. When your personal geula, and yes the geula for the world finally comes.
There is precedence for this, to use sometimes even sports as a mashal. Rav Shalom Shvadron once had a young man come to him describing to him that he wants to watch a soccer game, or perhaps play in a soccer game. And Rav Shalom asked him, “What is the idea of soccer?” So he told him you have to kick a ball into a net to score a goal. So Rav Shalom said, “What’s the big deal”? The young man said back, “No, no there are people trying to defend you and there is a goalie”. So Rav Shalom said, “Well that is the Yetzer tov and yetzer hara. Your trying to achieve goals in life. And there are people who try to defend you, and it’s the yetzer hara who tries to stop you”.
So we can use sports as a mashal and especially when it hits home. And so yes, for those who follow sports out there and we can debate the issue, but that is not the point of this email and this inspiration. The point is that in one moment, all of the suffering will go away and the jubilation, the joy, and the euphoria will be indescribable, and that will be true for the final redemption.
I ask you to take this inspiration in the light and the tone that it was intended. I am sure that I will get emails and there will be those that say,”How can you even talk about it?” But listen to the message and not so much the message of sports suffering fans all around. Have a great day and a great rest of your week.