Aug 6, 2017

Steve Bartman and Processing Guilt (video)

NJOP Director Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald speaks this week on a very difficult topic: The guilt that we feel sometimes when we didn't really do anything wrong. For example, when you are riding your bike and a child darts out in front of you and the child is injured. It isn't the bike riders fault, but they still feel guilty. This is similar to the story of Steve Bartman. Steve Bartman is the man famous for reaching for a foul ball during a 2003 Chicago Cubs playoff game and tipping it away from the Cubs' outfielder. Some thought that error cost the Cubs a chance at the World Series. Steve Bartman became a pariah. He had to be escorted out of the stadium for his safety. For 14 years he was held accountable for that loss. This year the Cubs won the World Series after a 108 year drought and the franchise decided to make amends and give Steve a World Series ring as a way to redeem what he was put through for the last 14 years. It reminds us that baseball is just a game, but what happened in 2003 affected a person's life. The guilt that we feel sometimes when we aren't really responsible, when we did what any normal person would have done, can still become something we live with for the rest of our lives. Hopefully that is healthy guilt that makes us stronger and better and reminds us to be more careful in times to come. Mazel Tov to Steve Bartman on receiving this prestigious honor.

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