Several weeks ago I wrote about the theology of football. I mentioned how many of you ask me to pray for the Ravens. You won’t be surprised to hear that the same thing happened numerous times over the Purple weekend leading up to Super Bowl. So let me repeat again what I said. I adore Ravens football, I have every hope and confidence that we will beat the 49ers. But imagining that God cares about the outcome of a sporting event, even for a team as awesome as the Ravens? Not so much.
However, that is not to say that Judaism has nothing to contribute to the Ravens big day on Sunday and since it is important to frame every experience in a Jewish way I was trying to think of what blessings we really could say on Sunday as part of the Super Bowl.
So if we really aren’t going to ask God for a Ravens win on Sunday (despite all the jokes you guys keep forwarding to me about God’s house decked out in purple and black) is there a blessing we might to say before the Ravens are in the Super Bowl?
At first I thought maybe it was Malbish arumim, blesses God who clothes the naked before we put on our Ray Rice jerseys Sunday morning.
Then I thought maybe it was Pokeich ivrim, blessing God who opens the eyes of the blind when the officials make a bad call and review the play.
I am hoping we don’t need to say Barukh dayan emet, blessed be the righteous judge if the 49ers score a touchdown.
And if we need it we could always say ha notein la yaef koach, blessing God who gives strength to the weary before the Ravens take the field for the second half.
Maybe we will have the rare opportunity to say she asah li nes be makom hazeh, the blessing when you are in a place where you experienced a miraculous rescue, if Torrey Smith has another gorgeous interception.
But most of all I hope we have many chances to say ha tov ve hameitiv, blessing God for good news for one Ravens touchdown after another.
Haydad le Ravens – make us proud!