By Rabbi Jason Holtz

This past year I moved from the United States to England. Like many Americans, I’ve always been a bit more into baseball’s World Series than the World Cup. Now that I’m living in England, though, I can’t help but be caught up in the excitement over the World Cup. At the same time, this will also be the first time in my life that I’ll be focusing on the host country, Brazil. So what am I hoping to see during the World Cup? I love the suspense and excitement of sports, and I especially like it when my team wins. That’d be great to see.

As a Jew, though, I realise that there is a difference between what I want to see and what I need to see. The late Israeli poet Yehudah Amichai once wrote a poem about when redemption will come. He wrote about a hypothetical tourist group in Jerusalem. The tour guide said, “You see that arch from the Roman period? It’s not important: but next to it, left and down a bit, there sits a man who’s bought fruit and vegetables for his family.” Like the Roman arch, the World Cup will no doubt be the first thing many notice and are excited about in Brazil, but at the end of the day, our primary concern cannot just be with the World Cup. Our attention needs to move to everyday people—their lives and their concerns. If we can do that, redemption has a chance.