Please permit me to wax a little nostalgic. One of the issues, as we all grow a little older, is the desire to be linked with generations. Often we recall events, moments, passages that took place with our own parents or family and we strive, in our own ways, to create those moments of meaning for our own families. Every once in a while, outside forces emerge to hand us one of those moments that bind generations together. Let me be honest, I am an avid sports fan.
Let me also be honest and cite that I am a Phillies season ticket holder (Sunday plan) and, in the interest of full disclosure, have been a long standing Phils fan since my dad introduced me to Connie Mack Stadium many years ago.
In fact, many of our great father-son “talks” took place not in our living room or at the kitchen table, rather, they took place in between innings at a baseball game or in between plays at a football game.
The point of all of this is that, if we are lucky, we get to do this all over again with our own children and, if we are very lucky, grandchildren. Last month was one of those months. Oct 31 found my son, my daughter and her husband and a bunch of their friends (many whom I have known for years) standing proudly at the corner of Broad Street and Ellsworth Ave in South Philly to observe that rare and beautiful sight of a parade celebrating a Phillies World Series win. In the middle of all the festivities and the crowd, I could not help but think of how sports brings generations together and provides this unbelievable “unintended consequence” of inter-generational dialogue. We watch our children grow from season to season and the in between inning conversations change as do they. Looking back, so many of us can recall similar moments with our parents as we grew up. It is a fascinating reality that I think that more parent-child bonding takes place in a ball park than in any other venue. This is OK, in fact, it can be a beautiful thing. There are so few opportunities for the generations to come together in a safe and neutral place that we need to celebrate when such moments occur.
So, forgive the misty eyed nostalgic look and let me hope that each of you has the same opportunity to create some memories with your own children and grandchildren in your future. May this also be God’s will.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.