I don’t usually talk about baseball in the Torah Minute!
Jewish tradition doesn’t usually have a compelling position on it!
I wanted to share what I think Jewish tradition has to say about the steroids controversy.
And George Mitchell’s Steroid Report.
We hear things like, “This isn’t only about baseball. About the integrity of the game.
These athletes influence our children.
They’re our kids’ heroes. Their role models”!
… What does Jewish tradition teach about that?
We have failed our children if their role models are athletes!
Sure. Kids need heroes. They need role models.
But they should be great people.
Not great athletes!
… What did Moshe look like?
Was he tall and handsome? Muscular?
We have no idea!
Because in Jewish tradition those things aren’t really relevant.
And they don’t make a hero.
They may make a good athlete. Or a good movie star.
What makes a hero?
… Jewish tradition has always had heroes.
Famous men and women who changed the world.
And “ordinary” people who made the world a little better.
We owe it to our children to teach them what a hero is.
To tell them stories about great people in Jewish history.
About great human beings. And great people in their family.
Let them enjoy a good game!
But we should supply them with real heroes.
… And let’s not forget the best way to do it.
Making ourselves the kind of person they’ll look up to!
“I used to have all kinds of goals. As I get older one thing has become most important.
To be the kind of person my grandchildren will be proud of!” (Rabbi Berel Wein)
And what if we’re not parents or grandparents?
There is probably someone in our lives who looks up to us.
And can use a good role model.
… As Jews?
There’s something else.
Let’s remember that baseball players were not chosen to be a “Light to the Nations”.
All the best,