Next Thursday evening, June 1, will not be the first time my Jewish allegiance has clashed with my enthusiasm for sports. As a kid, my beloved Dodgers were playing in the World Series at the same time as that other fall classic, the High Holy Days.
While seated high up in the balcony of the huge church my Temple used for Yuntiff, I was able to surreptitiously listen on my transistor radio while Don Drysdale was on the mound.
In addition to the Dodgers, I was a big fan of the Lakers. In 1980, the Lakers were battling the Philadelphia 76ers in the Finals. The sixth game of the series began on a Friday night and I was on the bimah leading services. I jokingly referred to setting-up a scoreboard over the ark so we could follow the game. As I recall, that joke didn’t go over very well. Lesson learned: don’t mix Judaism and sports at the same time.
Now I would never suggest cancelling a worship service so people could watch the World Cup, the Tour de France, the World Series, or the NBA Finals. But the Golden State Warriors, the most exciting basketball team I have ever watched (including the Showtime Lakers), are playing the first game of the Finals next Thursday beginning at 6pm. Our Temple Beth Torah State of the Union meeting will begin that same evening with pizza at 6:30pm and the annual meeting at 7pm.
Oy, what to do?
Of course I will be at the meeting. I promise not to be following the game on my smart phone while we conduct important business.
But that’s not to say I cannot watch the beginning of the game on the television that the congregation graciously installed in my office. And watching sports is always more enjoyable with others, so dear reader, consider yourself invited to join me in my study at 6pm.
If you care to bring a beverage or two with you, all the better!
Following the meeting, we shall adjourn to my office. By my calculation, our meeting should end right around halftime. There’s still plenty of time to see the Warriors open up a mighty can of...... (oh, sorry, I need to rein in the sports fan in me and get back to the business of being a rabbi).