You Can’t Pray For Comedy Like This

For those of you who don’t know, today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It’s a day for rest, reflection and sitting through hours on end of services. As boring as that can be, it’s also a nice break from the perils of everyday life. After a week of Cameragate, you’d have to imagine that Bob Kraft was looking for that type of escape when he strolled into his Newton temple late this morning. But thanks to a faux-pas from a rabbi who’s apparently had her head stuck in a giant blintz for the last week, no such luck.

I go to the same temple as Kraft, so I’m pleased to report that he did an outstanding job chanting a lengthy haftorah portion (a selection from the prophets) before the congregation today, but things got a little bumpy at the end of the service when our rabbi rose to deliver the sermon.

Her main trope was that people should act as as though God is always watching them. Not a bad lesson, except that in making her point she must have made an endless number of references to acting like you’re being videotaped. This was awkward.

Somewhere in the middle of the sermon, she somehow managed to stumble onto a story about Cal Ripken, Jr. and what a positive role model he is (why she referenced Cal Ripken of all people, I have no idea–this sermon was all over the place). Her basic point was that Ripken always knew he was being recorded on the field, so he behaved accordingly. This was especially significant, she said, in this modern age where “sports scandal” is so prevalent.

This was really awkward.

The guy sitting next to my dad leaned over and whispered, “Does she even know Bob Kraft goes to this Temple?” and a hefty portion of the congregation craned their necks over to Kraft’s pew toward the front. To his credit, he didn’t have any sort of discernible reaction. But, about five seconds after that sermon mercifully ended, he was up and out of there. In fairness, it was toward the end of the service and plenty of other people were leaving too, but trust me, there was no hesitation in his step.

As a side note, the rabbi made the point that in this era of cell phone cameras, bloggers and YouTube, you might as well act as if God’s always watching you, because anything foolish or embarrassing you do could easily be recorded and end up on the internet for all to see.

Ironic, huh?