I hope you had a great week! This past Wednesday, for the first time since 1908, the Chicago Cubs won the world series. Baseball, almost more than any other sport, is a game of teamwork.

Have you ever seen anyone playing baseball alone, or even with a friend? Perhaps catch, but no game. You can pull off a game of basketball, soccer, volleyball, hockey or golf with just two people, or even on your own. For baseball you need a team, no two ways about it.

We find a great tip for successful teamwork in this week's Torah portion, where we read the story of Noah and his Ark. Noah lived in an age of utter amorality. People were violent, dishonest, amoral and corrupt. God brings a flood, and restarts civilization. Only Noah, his family and one member of every animal species were saved on his three-storied mega-yacht ark.

When God told Noah to find one specie of every animal, he tells him to brings one of every "pure (i.e. Kosher) animal", and one of every animal "that is not pure" (i.e. not Kosher). Why not just say impure?

The Talmud uses this to point out the importance of not using a negative description about any creature, just as the Torah refrains from using the word "impure" when describing the animals. In order for Noah to be able to save these creatures in his ark, and live with them (for a year!), he could not see them as "impure".

If he would have used a negative term for these animals he would never have been able to care for them properly. If it is important to always view every animal in a positive light, how much more so for human beings!

What is teamwork? Teamwork is more than simply working with other people. It's the ability to understand that someone else - everyone else - has something to offer that I alone cannot accomplish. It's the ability to see other people, not as a competition or threat, but as a source of positivity and growth.

Teamwork is possessing  the strength and confidence to always see the best in everyone, and refrain from highlighting their shortcomings. 

How do we make ourselves great again? By being stronger together.

Rabbi Avrohom