Has everyone around you awakened to the Mets’ new day? If you have any Mets friends still in slumber since October 28, 1986, borrow a shofar at this holiday time and give a toot — jar them out of crankiness or complacency and help them embrace this very new year.
Successful faith and community traditions like Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur (Days of Awe) offer new beginnings; we humans need just the smallest excuse – the narrowest exit option – to turn the page on past behaviors. The upcoming Jewish holidays are both an example and an opportunity.
At this time of the year, Jews remember Psalm 107, which says ‘iniquity shall close her mouth.’ Encouraging continued conversion from fan pessimism to fan optimism even has a medical basis: the Mayo Clinic found that optimists have a longer life span and improved mental functioning compared with non-optimists (Maruta, T, et al, 2000-2002).
While trying to secure actor, comedian and purported Mets fan Stephen Colbert to pray for the Mets, I learned that he attended Hampden-Sydney College, a small men’s college focused on the development of character, in the mid-1980s. Dr. Gerald Carney departed my girls’ Catholic high school in 1975 to become Professor of Religion at Hampden-Sydney. I recall Dr. Carney – bless him – helping lead 1200 young women in daily religion classes through repeated elucidations, meshing concepts of free will and self-determination with the faith’s stanchion of an all-knowing higher power. This timeless theme underlies Judaism’s High Holidays.
Enter Keith Hernandez. Hernandez chimed in last week on my developing Colbert-Carney Pray4Mets story with his own words about self-determination in baseball. Shortly thereafter, Bartolo Colon accented the concept with his seemingly effortless behind-the-back play against Justin Bour, helping the Mets to an awesome 7-0 win against the Marlins.
As an old friend says, ‘we usually build the crosses we bear.’ Wilpon-Alderson-Collins leadership, the players, their families and the Mets organization have been lightening the team’s historic burden and making their own luck. Fans can help: let’s keep going, Mets. Shana tova!
May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy year.
Send your thoughts, comments, prayers and reservations for the Pray4Mets Pilgrimage to Citi Field (Sat, Oct 3 vs. the Nationals, 7:10, Mets fleece blanket promotion) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montclair, New Jersey