What’s In Your Spam Folder This Year?

6619741_f496Today, as with many a vacation day, I attempted to tackle the massive piles of paper and magazines that seem to multiply exponentially during the school year.  As I flipped through a New Yorker from sometime this fall, I spotted a cartoon.  It shows God, the old-man-with-the-beard view of God, sitting on a throne on his computer.  The caption read:  “God finds all the prayers of mankind in his spam folder.”  And I thought, that explains a lot.  Because 2014 was not one to be repeated.  Although I do not really keep track, I do not remember a stretch of time with so many individual horrible incidents both on the local, national, and international. (I’ve started to list them, and found myself getting too depressed.  So I deleted the list.) You know what I’m talking about.  And if you don’t, you’ll be happier for it.

And everyone wants to review the year.  My NY Times Sunday Week In Review wrap-up in pictures was horrifying.

My favorite daily column, New York Today on the NY Times website, had the headline, “New York Today: The Year in Sports.”  The article went onto recount how all of the NY teams, Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Knicks have had far from spectacular years.  (For the Knicks, that  seems to be the direction that they are headed.)  And it didn’t even include my NY Liberty whose record is in line with those of the other NY teams.

I could go on.  But, rather than detailing the horrors of 2014, and there were some really horrible things that happened, I would like to share a letter to the Kansas City Star that you may have seen on the internet.  This article has been sitting on my computer desktop for about two months now. As you’ll remember, the Kansas Royals played the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.  Jon Pritzker, a San Francisco businessman wrote to the Kansas City Star to tell them about his wonderful experience visiting the KC baseball stadium.  Decked out in his SF Giants gear, he and his friends could not have found a more inviting crowd.  They were not enemies, just because they were rooting for different teams. Being nicely treated at an opponents baseball game, no matter how big a game it is, seems like a small thing.  But it is seems like a good place to begin.

Each morning, Jews start their morning liturgy with,

Modah Ani L’fanecha, Melech Chai V’Kayam, Shehechezartah Bi Nishmati b’Chemlah, Rabbah Emunatecha.

I am grateful to You, living enduring Ruler, for restoring my soul to me for compassion.  You are faithful beyond measure.

Maybe if we begin to act a bit more like those Royals fans in 2015, the world can recapture its soul.


Happy New Year!  May it be a better year.  I know it’s a low bar, but it’s a start!


KC Star

About Gail F. Nalven

Jewish Educator, Rabbi, Tefillah Leader, Songleader, Teacher, and Freelance Jew
This entry was posted in Judaism, Tefillah (prayer) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What’s In Your Spam Folder This Year?

  1. Love your reference to the cartoon of God’s spam folder containing all our prayers. It certainly feels like that sometimes. If I were to write a response cartoon it would have God wondering why the Torah sent to us seems to be stuck in our spam folders… We have the tools to be better human beings but we don’t run to use them.

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