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[Prayer for] Little League [Baseball], by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (ca. 1950s)

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O Lord of Limb and Spirit:
As we gather together
at this harvest season,
when we reap
the fruits of our planting,
we are grateful to Thee
for having cast our lot
in this wonderful land,
whose soil
and skies
bespeak Thy bounty.

We are grateful to Thee,
also,
O Father,
for the gift
of liberty,
which our fathers
have bestowed upon us,
declaring
that all men are created equal,
and endowed
with inalienable rights.

We are happy,
as well,
O God,
that
in this gracious land,
we are blessed with democracy
not in our politics alone
but in our play.

We are grateful
for the American tradition
of sport,
in which
men
and boys
of every race,
creed
and nationality,
participate equally
in Thy sight,
O God,
and
in the sight of their fellow men.

In the field of sport,
each
is judged for himself,
by the way
he plays the game,
rather
than by the color of his skin
or the words of his prayers.

Doctor and policeman,
laborer and salesman,
share equally
in the enjoyment of our national
pastime,
and thrill
to its yearly call.

May we ever,
O God,
through the continuous inspiration
of such fellowship as this
bring men and boys together–
that the spirit of sportsmanship
may continue to beat
as the heart of America,
and the character of our democracy
be thereby enriched and sustained.
Amen.

Rabbi Abraham Soltes’s “[Prayer for] Little League]” is a prayer published in his collection of prayers, תפלה Invocation: A Sheaf Of Prayers (Bloch 1959). The earliest prayer in that collection dates to 1950 and we are confident this prayer can be dated between that year and the date of publication.

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