Earlier this month, over 100,000 watched on the edge of their seats as the Chiefs made an amazing comeback and later became the 2020 Super Bowl champions.
This reminds me of the story told about the boy who, together with his father in private audience with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, shared his love for sports and the Dodgers in particular. In return he received the lesson of a lifetime from the Rebbe. The boy shared with the Rebbe that his father took him to games regularly, but added that “last month the Dodgers played a terrible game, so we left the game early”. When Rebbe asked if the players on the losing team left early as well, the boy laughed and explained, “The players need to stay and try to win until the game is over. We’re not players just fans watching, so we left”. The Rebbe said, “That is the lesson I want to teach you. In Judaism. You can be either a fan - just watching - or a player. Always be a player.”
The Jews leaving Egypt were faced with the same dilemma. Just as they were leaving Egypt, the Egyptians had a change of heart and began to chase them hoping to bring them back to Egypt as slaves. Before long, the Jews found themselves trapped between an angry Egyptian army and the vast Red Sea before them. Many of them waited for G-d’s miracle to come, but it didn’t. Instead G-d said, “Continue forward!” It wasn’t until one faithful individual name Nachshon did just that, walked right into the sea, that the sea miraculously split - paving the way for the Jews to escape the Egyptians. The Jews in Egypt were used to watching G-d perform all sorts of miracles. They sat back and witnessed plague after plague as G-d delivered on his promise to destroy Egypt. But now, at the Red Sea, as the Jews were becoming their own people, as slavery would be a thing of the past, G-d told the Jews, “In order to experience my wonders and miracles, in order to experience me and have a relationship with me, you must take the first step.”
As we see antisemitism on the rise today in a way we never thought would come again. Each and every one of us needs to take the first step to make a difference in the world. What's your first step? Esther and I have taken ours in moving to Rockville and bringing the joy, warmth, love and laughter of Jewish life to Rockville! Now it’s up to G-d to show each and every one of us his wonders, miracles and blessings. May it be now!