Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC’s Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message in honor of Shabbat. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, August 7, 2015.
A Taste of the World to Come
The rabbis tell us that the Shabbat is a “taste of the World to Come.” For the rabbis, the World to Come is that perfected life after the Messiah comes: a life of abundance, and peace, and safety, and satisfaction which is the repaired and perfected world toward which people, in partnership with God, work. The Shabbat, they told us, is a taste of that perfected world.
All week here in Milwaukee, we’ve also had a Taste of the World to Come as a result of the JCC Maccabi Games. All week, almost 1,000 Jewish teens from all over the USA and the World converged on Milwaukee for competitions, friendship, social gathering, and special events. They have been training for this week for months, if not years. There have been so many “World to Come” moments. When two groups of kids encounter each other and discover they are competing in the same sport and therefore rivals, often wish each other “Good Luck!” Now THAT is sportsmanship. The World to Come. Or… when two basketball or soccer teams finish their cutthroat game: one team wins, and one loses, of course, and the winning and losing teams hug each other. The World to Come.
On Wednesday was the special day of “JCC Cares.” The Maccabi kids participated in community projects helping those in need: They partnered with Special Olympics of Wisconsin to help with a track meet for kids with special needs; they packaged snacks for the Hunger Task Force feeding thousands of disadvantaged children; they helped install public equipment at Walker Square Park; and, they rebuilt and replanted the Jewish Community Garden at the JCC which provides fresh vegetables for families in need. Truly the World to Come.
The image and example of these Jewish athletes has truly given us a taste of the World to Come.
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