Friday, April 15, 2011

Returning to the Softball Diamond

With all of the difficulties in the last 6 weeks combined with some much needed rain, has put my attempts to start playing softball on the backburner.

In January, I passed the physical and a few weeks ago I played my first game. I was blown away when I arrived at the field. It was the same one that used to host the IBL. The field was impressive with grass, dirt infield, properly drawn foul lines, foul poles, permanent bases and an outfield fence. They even had two umpires. They also had rules I never heard of for this level of play, such as a designated field and a DH (who could play the field).

The team we played against was really talented. Playing in Spanish, with real baseball names like Rodriguez and Ramirez added to the intimidation factor. I soon discovered that I might be out of my league with the skill of some of my team mates. They stuck me in RF where I had trouble tracking down fly balls (which has always been a problem for me). At the plate where I normally redeem myself, I was hit by a pitch, grounded out, then struck out. We lost but managed to not invoke the mercy rule (down by 15 after 3 innings ends the game). I wasn't 100% sure if I wanted to go back.

The week before Pesach was hard to get guys out especially with two games on the schedule. Last night we had only 9 guys. They stuck me out at my preferred position of 2B. The coach was playing SS. Based on the way we were covering plays, it was clear I did not have his full confidence.

In the 2nd inning there was a hard hit ball to my left. As I tried to get the ball, in fell out of my glove and I ended up making picking up the ball while lying on the field. From my position I could only manage a weak throw and to make things worse I through it into the ground. The ball slowing trickled to the first basemen with enough time to get out the runner.

A few plays later, there was an attempted steal of second base. I ran to the bag and the throw was low and off to my left. Instead of sliding, the runner deciding to go into 2nd standing up. I caught him and the ball at the same time. I took a knee my head as I fell over but as I we untangled I was able to show that I still had the ball and the runner was out. When I first stood up, I was worried because my head hurt and I couldn't see anything. Someone pointing out my glasses had fallen off solved that problem.

From that point on I had the full confidence of the coach. He gave me first choice on handling certain plays. Later in the game, I picked up another assist as the runner fell and didn't get up after rounding second base. As the cut off man, I was able to get the ball in, with plenty of time to get him out.

At the plate most of the team was poping out. Even the catcher caught two foul balls. I managed to hit the ball hard on the ground into a 4-6-3 double play. We lost 19-1 after 4 innings, finishing the game almost an hour early.

This was more of they type of game I wanted to play (minus the lack of offence and losing) and am once again looking forward to the next game.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A few pictures

Just a couple of the cute ones until I get around to writing up our weekend in Jerusalem.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Connecting the Mourning of Losing a Daughter and the Beit HaMikdash

My Rabbi likes to say that a Mitzvah has to have Mazel. You never know which ones are going to become popular and which ones are going to be forgotten. One of the forgotten mitzvahs he is big on is tearing kriyah when going to the Kotel if you have not been there in 30 days. I have a special shirt reserved for this purpose. It's replacement has already been lined up because it has too many holes, but this morning I couldn't find it and went back to the original.

Tearing kriyah was a different experience. For one I had my father over my shoulder trying to figure out what I was doing. It was also the first time I teared kriyah since Gabi died. The contrast was quite emotional. While Jerusalem is in Jewish hands and we are able to visit our holy sights we still mourn that the most important thing the Jewish people has lost as a whole has not been returned. On the flip side, as much as I loved Gabi, held her warm body in my arms her failure to have a single heart beat outside of Rachel, means her life halachicly did not count. As painful as losing her is, I did not tear kriyah for her. I could not help but think of how much it doesn't bother us that we don't have the Beit HaMikdash. It is also sad that halacha has not stepped up to the plate to deal with the emotional realities caused by advancement in the field medicine.

I went down to the Kotel. Chabad really annoyed my father with the line "Hey Grandpa, Do you want to put on teffilin?" We davened mincha then I took some time to myself. What I thought was going to be a relatively short tefillah, evolved as it went along. Everytime I thought I was done, I threw in the word "and" then continued. A recurring theme was I kept saying "Eicha" Eicha is the book we read on Tish B'Av, when we mourn the loss of the Beit Hamikdash. The word essentially means "How can it be?" 4 weeks ago, I repeated it over and over again as I cried myself to sleep.

I not only hope that my Teffilot will be answered with a yes, but that I have davened for the right thing as not to have a bracha taken away on a technicality.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Contrary to the flier that comes with the shemeshphone book, not ALL business is BS/RBS are listed. I am a local business in RBS and I am NOT listed in Shemeshphone.  Obviously if I did not pay for an add I do not expect one, but to imply I do not exist because I choose not to advertising with them or that they cover ALL businesses when they don't is just false advertising.  

Not only that, but there seem to be a number of other business, large ones, like Shefa Shuk, Yesh are not listed.  There is also apparently only 1 pizza place in town, and we seem to have  lost a whole lot of restaurants and small business between when I woke up this morning and when my ShemeshPhone Book was delivered.

I agree 100% no pay, no add- but then do not include a flier saying you have included everyone if you have not!

A note about posts about Gabbi

So as not to turn our family blog into a nightmare I have a separate place where I a posting my thoughts, feeling, arguments with God and rants pertaining to our recent loss. Please feel free to visit but please be aware this is mostly writing for myself and to help clear my own head.  Much of it may not "follow the party line".  It might make me a bad Orthodox Jew, but it is what is keeping me human.