I have had the great joy of being able to attend most of my son’s footy matches over the past footy season. After Shacharit on Sunday mornings I would make my way to the different grounds and enjoy watching Aaron play for AJAX Football club.A few weeks ago was their semi-final match and unfortunately I was unable to be there due to a Simcha. They played well and fought hard but did not win the game.The boys were clearly disappointed but I believe the experience over the entire season was something that will hold them in good stead and something which I feel  has inspired me as well..

The reason it made such an impact on me is because it I reflected on the journey since the beginning of the season. We decided last minute to sign Aaron up for footy and apparently we weren’t the only last minute enthusiasts and fortunately we were able to get him in. He had not played footy for a few seasons and needed to get back into things. The first training session was quite disastrous and it looked like they were going to be in for quite a season.

The coaches, two young guys, seemed to have one ‘goal’ in mind. They wanted to get the boys to be a team. They didn’t focus so much on their ball skills or goal kicking but rather kept emphasizing that they are a team. Teams work together and do well when they perform as a team. I began to watch how the boys slowly started to develop as a team and started to work together as a unit. All of a sudden they started winning games and as the season continued, so did their sense of team spirit grow.

Watching them huddle around their coaches, week in and out, made me realize how close they had all become. As they finished getting their pep talks, they stood up, put their hands on top of each other and shouted at the top of their lungs …”Go AJAX!”

I was delighted that Aaron won the ‘Best & Fairest’ award but happier to see how he had become a team player!

I think this is a message that we always need to remember. As individuals we can certainly achieve a lot but when we work as a team the sky is the limit.

As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, let us remember this and work together as a community, as a wider Jewish community but in particular as a community here at South Caulfield Shule. Take the opportunity this year and come along to Shule, events, programs and see where you can assist and become part of the team! I can tell you one thing for certain; we are always looking for dedicated players!

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Daniel Rabin

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