It’s religious

My friend, the rabbi, stopped by New Bedford with his family. They were on their way home from their vacation on Cape Cod. The rabbi, and his wife the lawyer, and I had all been in college together, but this was the first time I got to meet their children. Great kids, although unfortunately they’re Yankees fans.

As they were all leaving, my friend the rabbi held out a hat that said “Red Sox” in Hebrew, with the little red socks logo stitched on the side of the hat. “Would you wear this?” he said.

“Would I wear it?” I said. “Of course I’d wear it!”

“We got some for the kids,” he said, “but my oldest just won’t wear it. He’s too much of a Yankees fan.” His oldest had made pointed comments earlier about the Red Sox and their stupidity in trading Babe Ruth, so I could well believe he wasn’t going to wear a Red Sox cap, even if it was in Hebrew.

“I’ll even wear it in church,” I said devoutly. My friend the rabbi laughed, but his eldest child asked quite seriously why I’d wear that hat in church. “The Red Sox are like a religion up here,” I said. He took me literally, and wondered out loud how baseball could be religious. His dad and I had to hastily explain that I had been making a joke.

(Well, kind of making a joke. Except not really. Not that I believe in the efficacy of prayers when it comes to winning baseball games, but I do know the whole reason that the Red Sox won the World Series two years ago is because I refused to watch the games on TV, because every time I watch their post-season games, they lose. Maybe that’s more superstition than religion, but I’d say it’s a fine line in Red Sox Nation.)

Anyway, now I have a Red Sox hat in Hebrew — and if you’re really nice to me, I’ll tell you where you can get one, too.

10 thoughts on “It’s religious

  1. dude999

    Where did they find a Red Sox had in hebrew? My physics professor is Jewish and loves the Red Sox, i should get him one of those, he would love it.

  2. ms. m

    Oy! You KNOW that my first MFC question was about how being a fan of the Boston Red Sox relates to the practice of Unitarian Universalist ministry….a classic moment in UU history if ever there was one.

    And I do declare, that by the time a child can sit through 4 innings, the family ought to be sitting all together come Sunday, or Saturday, or Friday night worship hour. Yes, I do declare.

    How ’bout Boomer Wells? and What’s up with Manny?

  3. Reb Chaim HaQoton

    But I don’t get it because the World Series almost always falls out during the high holidays (around Rosh HaShanna, Yom Kippur, Succos), so we don’t have timr to pray. My Rabbi is also a big Yankees fan, maybe that’s why they seem to win the Championship every year. Personally, I’m not such a big fan of sports, but my father is a major Mets fan, so I root for them to please daddy.

  4. UU Jester

    I don’t want to know where I can get one (not planning to convert to that particular religion any time soon–baseball, that is), but I’d consider myself duly blessed if I had a picture of you wearing said hat in said church.

    It would just make my heart all warm and tingly.

    I might even put it up in my office next to the one I have of you hugging in church.

  5. Administrator

    dude999 — It would probably be easier (and cheaper) to study.

    ms. m — True story — competitive sailing is so big in New Zealand that the only way the former minister of the Unitarian church in Auckland could get people in church on America’s Cup race days was to put a TV in front of the pulpit with a promise to turn it on as soon as the sermon was over. Something to think about when the World Series comes around….

    Reb Chaim HaQoton — No way am I qualified to comment on the theological significance of why the World Series falls on or around the High Holidays — but there must be some significance there. I’ll ask my friend the rabbi if he can enlighten us.

    I do know that for many years, any duly ordained clergyperson in the greater Boston area could get a free ticket to any Sox game. They ended that policy right after to Sox won the World Series, and look what’s happened since then. Somebody call Theo Epstein and tell him the Sox need prayers again.

    UU Jester — I’m not going to send you said picture, because my doctor said a warm and tingly heart is probably a sign of heart disease.

  6. ms. m

    Let’s just say, there’s no way I’d go to the board meeting if the World Series had gone to 5 games…Yep, the first month of a new ministry and I’d not show at a Board meeting due to high Holy day obligations. But enough of that…Thanks for the link to the wedding gift I’ll be buying for my brother and his bride upon their wedding this October! Shalom.

    (and look for us in the stands when the Sox are in Oakland at the end of the month…probably chatting it up with Timmeh by the bullpen…)

  7. ms. m

    oh, but what I really meant to write about was how I think “we” missed the boat in our outreach efforts by not hosting more ‘watching” parties for the VERY spiritual and ritualistic Copa Mondial this summer…got a few years to plan for the next…

    Futbol and UUism: the next merger?

  8. Carol

    “but I do know the whole reason that the Red Sox won the World Series two years ago is because I refused to watch the games on TV, because every time I watch their post-season games, they lose”

    That’s funny….I always thought the Red Sox won because I DID watch the games on TV. Every time I watch the Yankees play, they are sure to lose. Sorry…I married into a diehard Yankees family…really a Twins fan at heart… ;)

  9. PeaceBang

    You know I’m gonna come getcha if you wear that hat in church.

    Okay, you can wear it for a MINUTE but you have to take it right off again!

    I began a sermon on the Salem witchcraft hysteria by explaining that we’re very rational, sophisticated people now … and then described some of my friends’ (Goody Markowitz and Goody Potenza) superstitious rituals around Sox games.

  10. Administrator

    Peacebang — Actually, you’re right, I couldn’t really wear that hat in church. Men should never wear hats in a church. Not that I’m superstitious or anything. It’s perfectly rational that men can’t wear hats in church (but women can) because… umm… I know there’s a rational reason….

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