Friday, November 4, 2016

Omer 2017 Preview: Go Cubs Go

Before I was done Counting the Omer* last year, I was already planning my blog for next year. Over the past few years, I've blogged my counting, including last year when I paired each day of the Omer with a woman from the Tanakh. 

For 2017, I decided to pair each day with a song and I have been slowly filling up next year's Omer calendar with songs that embody the seven characteristics we examine each year. I add to my spreadsheet whenever a particular lyric or the overall message of a song strikes me and so far I have 29 days accounted for! On May 2, I wrote a blog post for Day 22 of Omer 2017, chesed in netzach or love in victory.

Day 22: Chesed in Netzach, Love in Victory
"Go Cubs Go" by Steve Goodman

Go Cubs Go
Go Cubs Go
Hey Chicago, what d'you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

Win or lose, I love my Cubs. Someday, the Cubs will win the World Series and generations of faith will be rewarded. You can bandwagon when that day comes, but true fans will get a taste of something incredibly rare and special.


When I wrote the above blog post, the Cubs were 18-6, just one month into the season. On Opening Day, April 4, as I do every year, I posted this:

Every year for 27 years of my life, I have earnestly believed that it would finally be the Cubs' year. I had faith, despite over 100 years of collective Cubs fans' heartbreak, that it would happen for us. Of course, no matter how promising the seasons seemed at the outset, none had actually ended in a World Series win for the Cubbies for 108 years in a row, so I wrote the post above assuming that this year would end in bitter disappointment, just like 2015, 2007 and 2008, 2003 (damn it, Bartman!), 1998, and so on all the way back to 1908. But no matter how often the Cubs ripped my heart out, I was always ready to say with complete confidence the next Spring: This is the year!

Then, an amazing thing happened: 2016 really was the year.

In what should certainly go down in history as the best Series ever played, the Cubs and Indians poured their hearts into the game. It had everything: curveballs, sliders, and 103-MPH fastballs; stolen bases and grand slams; Bill Murray, LeBron James, Eddie Vedder, and Charlie Sheen, just to name a few super-star fans of each team; tear-jerker interviews with elderly fans on both sides who have been waiting decades for a World Series win (the last time the Cubs won it all was 1908; the last time for the Indians was 1948); and then just in Game 7, a lead-off home run, a wild pitch that allowed two runs, a 17-minute rain delay, extra innings...You can't say both teams didn't give it their all up to the very end.

We won two days ago and I'm still reeling. I'm all smiles and tears of joy. I wish my grandpa could have lived to see it. I wish I could be in Chicago to see the river dyed Cubbie blue and sing "Go Cubs Go" in the street with strangers. I would go through all the gut-wrenching errors, runs given up, and Joe Buck drivel just to relive the feeling of Bryant throwing to Rizzo for that last out. I can't wait to do it all again next year!

*Beginning on the second night of Passover, we count 49 days, ending on the 50th day with Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates our receiving the Torah at Sinai. According to Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), there are seven sephirot or characteristics (loving-kindness, strength, beauty, endurance, splendor, foundation, and leadership) that align with each week and each day of the Omer, so that as we count each day, we can reflect on the intersections of these sephirot within ourselves and hopefully achieve some measure of personal growth.