I’m not a Cubs’ fan, but I was pretty amazed that they finally won the World Series after 108 years. As a Jew, I’m curious: What does the Torah say about the “Cubs’ curse”? Is it real? And if the curse was real, how did they end it?

A fan of Torah, but not the Cubs

Dear Fan:

When I was first introduced as a seasoned adult to the wisdom of Torah, in general, and of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in particular, one of the things that impressed me most was the Rebbe’s reaction to those who would cite all kinds of “causes” for painful events, whether they were global, national or personal.

His response, as I understood it, is that while everything that happens is, of course, the result of Divine Providence, it’s completely inappropriate to speculate on the causes of painful events since none of us has the competence to be the judges or assessors of the workings of the Divine Will. Rather, we should focus on developing a proactive response to life’s disappointments and dangers, no matter how painful or difficult it may be to remain positive.

So, to answer your question: It is impossible to know and inappropriate to speculate whether any particular speech or action directly or indirectly was a causal factor in determining why the Cubs did not win the World Series for 108 years, or why they were victorious this year.

However, what I am awestruck by—and have genuinely learned something from this week—was the response of Cubs’ fans despite continued dashed hopes and disappointment for more than a century. No matter what, they never gave up hope.

Their shared hopes and shared frustrations brought together men, women and children from entirely different backgrounds for more than 100 years. Then, at long last, a mere handful of their successors shared in the inexpressible joy on behalf of them all.

There’s something almost Messianic about that—and that’s something we all can learn from and cheer about.