A number of years ago, my favorite football team, the Chicago Bears, traded for an All-Pro quarterback by the name of Jay Cutler. Before this trade, the Bears had never really had a good quarterback. I was living in Chicago at the time. The city was ecstatic. A friend called me to tell me the news and I ran into my apartment with another friend of mine to watch sports news for the next several hours and we were smiling the whole time. It was as if the Messiah was coming. The energy around the city was at an all time high! And then, as the years went on, Cutler turned out to be a human being and not the Messiah. Partially because of his errors in play, his erratic playing style, the team’s lack of winning, his attitude and some other intangibles, the city fell out of love with him. The city would not offer unconditional love. Love would come only as long as winning did.
Rabbi Ezra Balser has been the rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom since July 1, 2016. He received his “smicha” (ordination) in June 2017 from Hebrew College while also earning a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies. He has also received the iCenter's Certification in Israel Education.