Moses said to the people in his final charge "I put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life...Be strong and resolute..for the Lord will not forsake you" Deut. 30 and 31. Former US National Debate Champion and Ordained Rabbi tackles issues of Public Policy, Israel, Islamic Terrorism, Antisemitism, Jewish Wisdom and the Chicago Bears
Here’s something I never thought I’d write: The Chicago Cubs just won the World Series. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life, though I never thought it would actually come. But here we are. I may have only gotten three hours of sleep last night, and I may be slightly hungover (it was a long game, OK?), but I can’t help but see connections between these two big identities of mine–Cubs fan and Jew. Here they are:
1. L’dor v’dor. For many, like myself, being a Cubs fan is not a choice–it is something you’re born into. It’s been passed on, from generation to generation. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to celebrate this monumental moment (if only via FaceTime/group texts) with FOUR generations–spanning from my grandmother, one of the biggest Cubs fans I know, to my 5-month-old niece, we’ve all been waiting our whole lives for this.
2. Pu pu pu. Jews are known to be superstitious, doing anything to ward off the Evil Eye including spitting and saying “pu pu pu.” Considering the whole “we’re cursed” thing, Cubs fans have been known to get pretty superstitious, too. I made sure to wear the same t-shirt and hat, and stand in the same spot in the same bar, to ensure a Cubs victory (you’re welcome). My mom will scream at my dad if he starts pulling out his W flag even one strike away from a win so as not to jinx it.
3. The Tribe. OK, so I know The Tribe is the nickname for the Cleveland Indians and not the Cubs, but one thing I’ve learned from being a Cubs fan who no longer lives in Chicago is that we really are a family–a community–and I truly feel like a member of the tribe. I walked into a Cubs bar in Brooklyn alone to watch the game and came out with a whole slew of new friends–all of whom I hugged so hard after the win that you might have thought we were lifelong BFFs.
4. They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat. The joke goes that any Jewish holiday can be paragraphed by this quip, and it can now finally be applied to the Cubs: After 108 years of trying to kill (our spirit), we won, and you better believe Chicagoans know how to eat. Hot dogs for everyone.
5. Wandering Cubs fans, meet your promised land. The Israelites had it easy–only wandering in the desert for a mere 40 years. Us Cubs fans have been wandering through this drought for 108 years (almost as long as Moses lived!) but, just as the Israelites eventually made it to Israel, we eventually made it to our promised land, too.