Rabbonim vs Spurs Legends
a masterclass in being a true team
by Rabbi Hackenbroch
As many of you are aware this past week I had the privilege of playing in a charity football match of Rabbis V Spurs Legends team. Having played to a good standard as a teenager and feeling reasonably fit I was reasonably confident that we could give the Spurs legends a good run for their money, after all we had G-d on our side!! So began what was dubbed the battle to show who was the true Yid army. We had the crowd and G-d behind us and were quietly confident we could win.
The game was played at a terrific pace, the tactics were simple tire them out through dictating the pace and utilising our minyan of substitutions to great effect.
Sadly it quickly became apparent after we had let in the fourth goal in as many minutes that there was a vast gulf between the ability and talent of their team and ours despite having a much younger team. They were able to play one touch football and we found ourselves chasing shadows.
The miracles we required didn’t occur for the Rabbis team, the pitch didn’t split down the middle there were no ten plagues, though there was something close to a miracle and that was myself scoring our first goal to an elated crowd. It very much felt like the clock had been turned back and I was 17 years old scoring in the Maccabi cup final – though I certainly didn’t feel like I was 17 the morning after!
The game concluded and we had been beaten 9-2. Though the score line reflected they had won the game it was we who had demonstrated that we were in fact the true Yid army. This was apparent by the contrasting personal conduct of the players. Both teams shared an equally competitive spirit yet besides their rather colourful language, the greatest difference lay in the way that the players treated each other. A spurs legend who made a mistake, losing the ball shooting wide was castigated and cursed by his teammates. We felt very much we were a team and therefore refused to play the blame game despite the fact there were plenty of opportunities!!
We as the Jewish people are in fact compared on the High holydays as kivnei Maron one explanation is that we are like soldiers in army each with their own unique role and responsibility.
On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we have every reason to focus our attention exclusively on ourselves and to pray for our own success and good health in the coming year as our lives hang in the balance. Yet we choose not to be self -centred and exclusively concerned with our own well-being but rather with that of every Jew. This is what it means to be a part of the Jewish people we are a real family. We may have our differences, yet we focus on the common bond that we have and this is what make us truly great.
There a story of Chase Manhattan Bank that ran an advertising campaign and on the billboards around New York it said “ in chase you have a friend” not willing to be outdone Bank leumi ran a campaign the very next week and in Bank Leumi you have mishpacha – you have family
That is what it means to be a member of the Jewish people we are family like any family we have our differences but family nonetheless and so rather than emphasise our differences our being critical of those that are different to ourselves let us in the coming year focus on what unites us