Please forgive me if my writing is a little incoherent… I believe I haven’t eaten a single vegetable in the past 48 hours and I am quite literally living off a sugar and nosh high. (I say this because even us healthy weirdos pig out sometimes). So here goes….
Tishrei and Football…
It all boils down to the Touchdown. That’s the whole point of the game. But making that touchdown isn’t as easy as it sounds. Unlike Soccer or Basketball where you just run across the field / court, in Football you have 10 yard lines, with chances to get across each section and of course, the most exciting part of the game – the tackling of the players !!! (and for us girls, the cute butts in those uniforms)
One of the first times I watched a football game with my husband (I was trying to be a nice wife and decided I should try taking an interest in some of his hobbies for a change… EPIC fail by the way) – so a few minutes into the game, BAM – a dude gets tackled – and about 10 guys just jump on the poor sap. Well, I didn’t think it was very nice. The poor player! Really, this sport is very barbaric! Of course I expressed my sympathy for the player who got creamed. This game was nuts.. you have the ball, you’re trying to score, and you just get jumped on by everyone. What’s the point?! I’ll never forget what my hubby (in his infinite wisdom) responded.
“if you play the game right and you know what you’re doing, then you won’t get tackled.”
Its as simple as that. Ok, I guess that made sense to some degree in my little girly un-sports like mind.
And this is how I think Tishrei is very similar to Football:
During the month of Tishrei – we have a marathon of holidays. They each have a purpose, a goal of getting us somewhere. That somewhere is that Touchdown – (which leads us to winning the game). But getting the touchdown isn’t so easy. Why? Because we can get tackled along the way!!!!! But like my hubby says – “if you play it right, you won’t get tackled” What does that mean?
Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur can become very overwhelming. It’s easy to feel anxious and consumed by the whole forgiveness process. The prayers are designed to make us feel serious and frightened (ever read Unisaneh Tokef?!). We are inspired by the Shofar to do Teshuvah, wipe our slates clean and hopefully granted a healthy and happy new year. On a more superficial level, it’s easy to fall into panic mode I know many of my friends feel: “how am I going to fast on Yom Kippur while I’m pregnant/nursing/taking care of the little one?” It’s far too easy to have the attitude that if we “don’t behave, G-d wont give us a good new year.” I myself, got WAY too many emails this year asking me for donations to ensure G-d will be nice to me. Sorry, but that’s most certainly NOT what G-d meant. During The Middle Ages the Church encouraged people to BUY their way into heaven – our religion doesn’t profess that and I was very bothered that many organizations are beginning to interchange these concepts.
We finish Rosh HaShana… survive Yom Kippur and just when we can take a breath, it’s time to gear up for the Sukkos holiday. Once again, this holiday is a marathon of getting ready, building the Sukkah, eating many meals, going to Shul, cooking, entertaining guests etc…and this year, 3 day Yomim Tovim as my friend says “It’s a killer!” and once you FINALLY finish the first days – you gotta do round 2 with Simchas Torah.
It’s too easy to get overwhelmed, annoyed, sick of your family, sick of eating, sick of putting on pantyhose, spanx and heels, and not interested in doing any of it. Instead of embracing the holidays and “playing the game right” – we end up tackled at the 50 yard line and nowhere NEAR the finish line to get that prize touchdown.
Let’s Not Forget About Those Field Goals…
I’d also like to point out that during the month of Tishrei we are also given the opportunity to make mini Field Goals. (kudos to me that I’m getting all these football terms right!) To me, the Field Goals are these extra one pointers we get during Tishrei: Bits of inspiration over the High Holidays – maybe the Rabbi’s speech, or feeling emotional during the prayers… maybe a fun Sukkos event or some special bonding with a loved one during a meal. Or maybe you baked a heavenly Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake that came out so good that you made new friends as they fought over the last piece.
My point is that last year I was tackled big time during Tishrei. By Rosh HaShana I was both exhausted and drained and overwhelmed and the month ahead. And instead of enjoying the holidays the right way – I was steamrolled (a better term) and had to just bear it and survive. I know many of us at some point in our lives see Tishrei with a feeling of dread. What can I say? Last year was definitely NOT a fun game.
This year on the other hand, with some strategic planning, and better coaching (better Cheerleaders maybe? ) not only did I get those little Field Goals along the way, but I enjoyed the whole way through and most certainly did NOT get tackled
I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season (see, another way Tishrei is like football – they’re both an ENTIRE season long!) – and I hope everyone feels inspired, or energized in some way for a kick tushy year!
Let’s play some football !!!!!!!!!!