D’var Torah: The Wisdom of Ted Lasso and the Power of Belief

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of believing. Coming off of Passover and Israel’s redemption from Egypt, the Jews celebrated and sang. As the Torah says, “And when Israel saw the wondrous power which the Lord had wielded against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord; they believed in the Lord and His servant Moses.”

In this case, the Israelites personally experienced the wonders that led to their emancipation. For this downtrodden enslaved people, this direct experience might’ve been necessary for them to believe. Yet I have learned that belief is not something that is provable; rather, belief is acceptance of a truth or faith, the trust and confidence in something or someone.

At just the right moment in this pandemic-stricken world, my brother recommended Ted Lasso, a fun TV show with remarkable depth. “Believe” is a central theme of this show, which has captured my imagination and has provided me with lessons on leadership, teams and the power of relationships.

For a sports team, the ability to believe isn’t based on a 100% miracle from an outside power. For a great team, belief is 75% working hard to build a great team and 25% believing that the rest will happen because you did this work together. Sometimes belief leads to results like the 1980 US Hockey team’s “miracle on ice.” Sometimes belief leads to Coach John Wooden’s vision of success: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

As Ted Lasso says, “I believe in belief.” After enduring this pandemic, it is important in our daily lives and at camp that we recapture the spirit and willingness to believe. This can be belief in God, in each other, in possibilities, and on and on. These beliefs, combined with hard work, will most often lead to the best possible outcomes. This belief is why I have growing optimism and excitement that camp is going to be epic!

I hope we all find the strength and optimism to “Believe!” Shabbat Shalom.

Categories: Director, Dvar Torah, Shabbat