Throughout the High Holiday period, an image has been floating around in my mind. I mean, really floating! Think back to September 2, Labor Day – ancient history in terms of the rapid relentless news cycle. Still, while the news media has moved on to cover disastrous downpours, mass murders, and endlessly muddled politics, I keep remembering an event which received brief, but intense attention in the final days of Elul. On September 2, 64 year old distance swimmer, Diana Nyad, rose from the ocean waves onto a Florida beach to the cheers of a crowd of well-wishers. While not Noah and the Flood, or Moses parting the Red Sea, Nyad’s feat seemed nonetheless to be of Biblical proportions. That she was able to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Florida through rough, shark infested waters was a tribute to her arduous physical training, super-human determination, and to her dedicated, capable Support Team. For 53 hours, Team Nyad repelled sharks, forecast weather and water conditions, fed, healed, and encouraged Nyad – and she succeeded! Yay! Wow! What a fantastic metaphor! What a super start for a post about…about what?
Every draft I wrote sounded contrived. The metaphoric bits of wisdom that were meaningful to me could easily be viewed as T-shirt slogans by others. I couldn’t arrive at the right tone and format. So, I didn’t post.
Yet, throughout Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur,Sukkot, and with Simchat Torah about to begin, that image of Diana and her team has persisted. Motivational ideas inspired by Diana and Team Nyad keep bubbling up and bobbing about like a message in a bottle. That’s it!! I’ll toss out the messages I’ve derived from Nyad’s extreme accomplishment and you pull out whatever ” floats your boat”. (Couldn’t resist!)
Get your nets ready. Here come the message-bearing bottles…
– A Support Team can protect, warn, nourish, heal, and encourage us to stay the course.
– Gather your Support Team and stay afloat.
– With a Support Team, we can overcome challenges and survive life’s rough waters.
-Put God and Torah on your Support Team.
-It’s a big ocean out there. Don’t swim solo.
-Rely on your Support Team to repel life’s “sharks.”
-There is no Support Team without “u.” Whose Support Team are you on?
-It takes practice and teamwork to reach the beach.
-Thank/Bless your Support Team even before you reach the shore.
-Add jcastnetwork and my blog, Kfar HaMorim to your Jewish Education Support Team.
L’Chaim to you and your Support Team – Make a splash in 5774.
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