Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Cubs And the Flood

I heard a wonderful drasha from Rabbi Steven Miodownik on Shabbos. He presented profound ideas masterfully and peppered the talk with one gematria after another, relating to his message, that equaled 108, which was relevant due to the Cubs' win.  The Cubs had an approach that included little details, which added up to their ultimate baseball success.  One example was that time was spent carefully deliberating whether a base runner should touch the base and turn with his right or left foot.

This stands in contrast with the generation of the flood, which was guilty of a particular kind of thievery called chamas (=108).  The stole such a small amount that it could be considered not stealing. but it counts, and it's wrong.  And it relates to the importance of chatzi shiur, small amounts, adding up and counting, and not being able to be rightfully used to wiggle out of responsibility.

The lesson that little things matter was driven home by how G-d reset the creation of the world. When the society that did not acknowledge that every detail, every piece counts was wiped out by a flood.  The flood of rain water was a conglomerate of tiny , seemingly insignificant drops, but they added up big time.  Water is so related to the idea of the whole being more than the sum of the parts, that there is no name in Hebrew for a single particle of rain. Mayim - the Hebrew water for water means waters; it is in the plural form.  Like water, Torah life is a collection of small parts that unite to become a serious critical mass.  Seemingly small acts of observance, a few words of prayer, or a little gesture of kindness all add up to create an enduring community.

This has been paraphrased by me, any inaccuracies, or mistakes, or lack of clarity is due to my re-processing of Rabbi Miodownik's beautiful ideas.


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