We have lost another New York Police Department member. Officer Randolph Holder was shot to death late Tuesday night, October 20, in East Harlem. The shooting suspect has been caught. This is very sad and I wish to honor and commemorate this man, only 33 years old, who gave his life in the line of duty.

However the mood in New York City is not particularly somber, even with PO Holder's violent passing. Yes, people acknowledge this horrific event. But there is a lot of joy in New York right now, and in the surrounding region, because the New York Mets baseball team has won the National League Championship, and will be playing in this year's World Series.

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The Mets had been streaky this season; at times they played very well and won lots of games, and then they would lose several in a row. During the summertime they seemed washed up. But with a few well-timed player trades and the well-timed collapse of their strongest division opponent (the Washington Nationals), the Mets ended up at the top of their division. Then they played a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had fine pitching, and managed to win 3 games to 2. Next they played the Chicago Cubs and swept them, 4 games to none, beating them last night on the Cubs' home turf at Wrigley Field. And they won in dramatic fashion, with players hitting homers (two back-to-back) and one player, Daniel Murphy, set a new record for pro baseball, hitting seven homers in post-season play.

I'm elated that my lifetime favorite baseball team is doing so well. But how do I balance that with sadness over the passing of this police officer? And I also keep in mind the terrible violence being perpetrated over the past several weeks, against my fellow Jews in Israel.

Can I chalk it up to human nature that a person can be both thrilled and pained by various current events? I would describe that situation for myself right now. But am I being glib about the pained aspects? Is the celebration for the Mets a diversion from the grief? Perhaps for some people it does serve that purpose. But I cannot hide the fact that I have adored the Mets since I was a child, and I am thrilled for their success. And in a way their success is part of my hometown identity. People around the world do root for their hometown teams. Sports teams do mean quite a lot to many people throughout the world. There are people who scoff at this, and others could care less. But for many of us, our team is OUR TEAM.

And I certainly have rooted for the Mets since I was an infant, sitting on my mother's lap, while we watched the first televised Mets game at their previous home, Shea Stadium (which was torn down, and now the Mets play in CitiField. Both sites are in Queens, New York.) There have been many years when the Mets were awful, including their inaugural year in 1962. They were so woefully bad then that they were both laughing stock and beloved for their ineptitude. Many Mets fan feel that they are vindicated in loving this team, now that they have done so well in 2015.

At many times, the Mets have seemed like "schlemiels," Yiddish for awkward, ugly duckling types. Nebbishy. When they have succeeded (and they have won the World Series crown twice, as well as played in the World Series two other times) they have cast off the wimp cloak.

Modern life is full of sad and aggravating events, both large and small. I do feel that a person has to find time to mourn, and time to rejoice. We read Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, just a few weeks ago for Sukkot. The Mets key win, along with the sadder local and global events, show us the enduring truth of Kohelet. Life is up and it is down.

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