Sunday, June 19, 2011
Last night, after a crazy evening of Karaoke, I sat with my son, visiting from College and watched a wonderful movie called "Jews and Baseball: A Love Story". It is a chronicle of baseball from a Jewish prospective, and a history of many Jewish ballplayers that played in the Major Leagues, and how they changed the game.
I found this to be the perfect movie to watch with Zac as the hour passed into Sunday, which, of course, is "Father's Day", as dubbed by Hallmark.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Credit for originating the holiday is generally given to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth. She is said to have had the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon on Mother's Day, which at the time was becoming established as a holiday. Local religious leaders supported the idea, and the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, the month of the birthday of Dodd's father.
For many of us, it is a time to spend with our families. Bringing dad breakfast in bed, playing a round of golf, davening together, or in my case, remembering my father and the times that we spent together, every day, not just on Father's Day.
As many of you may remember, my father and I had a bond unmatched and unbreakable. Of course, it included many days and nights at the ballpark, where, together, we had our own love story with Baseball.
Just as my father and I did, my son and I will spend the day today with what else? Baseball.
As with everyday, though, the day will be bittersweet. Today is the 1,257th father's day without my dad, and the fourth "official" one. It is also my first commercial father's day without Papi. Without the love of both of these great men, my life would have been not close to as rich.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone of you who today remember your fathers. To my friend Karla who said goodbye to her dad just a few weeks ago, I send love and support; to David I send open arms and a shoulder, and of course to Tom, my brother in life, I send both laughter and tears for past days and future years to raise our sons the way that our dads raised us.
To the mother of my wonderful children, I thank you for making me a father; it truly is the greatest job on earth.
And lastly, to Ben, whom I never had the chance to meet in life, I thank you for sending me the most precious of all gifts, your daughter. I promise to cherish her as did you.
See you at the Ballpark!
Ahavah u'Vrachot... Love and Blessings...
--Rabbi Alan Abrams