All your questions for Naomi Adler, Esq., answered! This week’s question:
How do you spend family time?
At baseball games. I say that without a moment of hesitation. My sons play baseball, they’re crazy for baseball. We’re finishing up fall ball now, and then we go into basketball season and indoor track — I love watching my kids play sports — but in our family, baseball is king.
Life is generally so hectic, it can be hard to get the family all in one place. My husband is currently serving as interim rabbi for a congregation that’s two hours away, and it can be a struggle to even come around the dinner table together, which is important to all of us. So it feels significant when we deliberately put aside a couple of hours to do nothing but watch our kids play baseball. Any time carved out for family is sacred time, allowing us to connect in a deeper way. In that sense, it’s a little bit like Shabbat.
I’m hardly the first to notice that there’s something very Jewish about baseball. Baseball is a meditative, nuanced game where every aspect of play is governed by near-halachic rules. And the better you understand it, the deeper you can appreciate it. Maybe that’s why professional baseball has always had such a devoted Jewish following. Or maybe that’s because baseball has always had its share of Jewish athletes for fans to root for! Either way, my family can hardly wait for baseball season to come around again, so that we can enjoy playing and watching as a family — especially now that we’ve got Gabe Kapler managing the Phillies.