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“I don’t roll on Shabbos!”

September 2, 2009 – 6:29 pm30 Comments

Walter doesn't roll on Shabbos. Change the schedule.

Walter doesn't roll on Shabbos. Change the schedule.

By ariel

Should Jewish sports clubs compete on Shabbat?

This question has confronted me since early adolescence, when I began playing competitive basketball with Maccabi NSW. It was around the time of my bar-mitzvah when I faced a dilemma which took many years to resolve. With junior competitive sports in Australia traditionally played on Saturday mornings, Maccabi has forever had to enter teams in these competitions if it wished to remain a seriously competitive club and impress upon the “seventy nations” that Jews can excel in sport.

Having had a solid Jewish education, I was always taught that Jews should not desecrate the Shabbat (at least) in public. If becoming bar/bat-mitzvah is about an adolescent accepting the yoke of the commandments – the mitzvot – then how could I in good conscience continue to participate in these basketball competitions?

So I missed basketball one week in order to have my bar-mitzvah. But the following week I was back on the court, convinced I was on my way to playing in the American NBA. I eventually advanced to the U-16s competition which was held on Friday nights. Like many “traditional” Jewish families, this posed less of an issue for us because it meant that after the match we could sit down to dinner together and the following morning I would go to shul with my father.

Sometime in Year 11, I decided that perhaps the path of shmirat Shabbat – Shabbat observance – was “the right thing to do” for me vis-à-vis world Jewry.  It helped that by this time, the U-18s and subsequent adult tournaments were played on Sunday evenings.

I began to resent Maccabi for putting young Jews in a position where they misrepresented our values, and to an extent I continue to do so, if only because I believe it is plainly wrong for a representative Jewish agency to publicly desecrate the Shabbat.

I recall that sometime during this whole period a wealthy observant Jew in Melbourne offered to sponsor all of Maccabi Victoria’s sports clubs on the condition that they cease playing on Shabbat. The organisation agreed and I felt good, proving that nothing is impossible to achieve.

Shmirat Shabbat has always been central to the Jewish people’s experience and existence, at least until the last two or three generations. There is an expression that more than the Jewish people have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jewish people.

Today, with more unaffiliated Jews discovering the beauty of our traditions and taking on Shabbat observance (based purely on my own observations of those I know), clubs like Maccabi may struggle to maintain their membership levels over the coming generations. I know many talented sportsmen who are also frum (observant), but are precluded from participating in many Maccabi events because they are held on Shabbat. Granted, there are opportunities for adult competition on Sundays, but what about the kids whose age groups primarily compete on Saturdays (there are one or two sports which are the exceptions)?

I don’t pretend to have a solution to the sport on Shabbat dilemma, but I contend that it is a communal dilemma, which should be addressed seriously. We are blessed to live in a free and fair country where all ethno-religious cultures are respected. There is no reason why the Jewish community should have to renege on its most quintessential traditions for the sake of amateur sports. I do not believe others would do the same.

I am convinced that a number of solutions to this problem will emerge, given serious consideration. None will be perfect, but one will be the best of the lot and we should run with it when it reveals itself.

Ariel is a full-time Jew with an interest in a variety of Jewish issues, and a passionate political analyst with a keen eye for hypocrisy and mismanagement. In order to pay bills, Ariel works as an electrical engineer in the Energy Supply Industry, but is not responsible for any electrical failures you may have experienced recently. Hopefully, someone will listen to what he has to say.

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30 Comments »

  • The Hasid says:

    During the whole fiasco earlier this year when Maccabi tried to oust non-Jewish members of Maccabi teams, I kept thinking that if they really wanted to help foster a strong Jewish culture they might actually consider not playing on Saturdays! (Or perhaps creating specifically shomer shabbos teams for those members who keep shabbos or are happy to play on Sundays, in order to accommodate players across the spectrum of observance.)
    Or maybe providing kosher catering at all games and functions!

    You know, aiming for some affirmative action rather than negative, discriminatory action. It’s not rocket science.

    Sigh.

  • Malkmus says:

    “our values”?

    This piece assumes a ‘one size fits all’ idea of what it means to be Jewish and what the idea of Jewish values involves.

    Clearly, Ariel, your values are certainly not 100% congruent with my values and trust me, I too am a “full time Jew”.

    Ariel, no one is or was forcing you or anyone else to play in any of these competitions. Maccabi is not nor was not putting anybody in any position by force.

    Frankly, what worries me more than the issue you raise, is this idea of the ‘homogeneous’ Jewish community which you implicitly advocate and incorrectly assume actually exists. You also imply a Jewish ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ – that there is one and only one way to interpret, practice and celebrate Judaism and what it means to be Jewish.

    Ariel, open your eyes to the reality – despite your disagreement with it, there are clearly thousands of Jews in this country who disagree with you, otherwise Maccabi sports on Saturdays would not exist.

    And Ariel, if you really want to play competitive team sports with other Jews on other days of the week, go right ahead and organise it – no one is stopping you.

  • Wow, I don’t know what it was about your article that got Malkmus so indignant! I didn’t think that you were making a value judgement at all. I also don’t observe Shabbat (nor play sport, for that matter), but I completely agree with what you have to say. Given that Maccabi, for better or worse, is the Jewish sports group, institutionalising practises that exclude a sizable portion of the Jewish community is inherently problematic. I’m pleased that solutions are being sought.

  • ariel says:

    Malkmus, like Simon, I’m not sure what riled you up so much.
    Maccabi is excluding a sizable portion of the Jewish community and showing that it is willing to do so for the sake of sport.
    Playing on Sundays or weeknights for instance, would have zero effect on those who don’t keep Shabbat, but would include all those who do.
    I can tell you that I’m not the only one who feels this way; I played with many team mates who are not religious, but still felt awkward representing a Jewish organisation – as Simon says the Jewish sports club – on a holy day.

    I guarantee a Muslim sports club would not play competitive sport on any of the Muslim holy days and the YMCA wouldn’t play on Christmas.
    It’s about representation and catering for all. Nobody cares what you do in your own time.

  • ariel says:

    BTW Malkmus, my profile at the end of the article is supposed to be taken with humour.
    Notice how many people describe themselves at the start as “i’m a doctor” or “i’m a librarian”. that’s not what they are, it’s what they do most of the time…
    I was merely emphasising that for me, my Jewishness defines me, not my profession.

  • The Hasid says:

    I guess my religious observance falls somewhere between Malkmus and ariel. I don’t play team sports (*shudder*), but if I did, I wouldn’t play on Shabbos.

    Having said that: though I largely disagree with Malkmus’ comment, s/he does have a point, in that there are plenty of secular Jews who happily play on Saturdays and might not want to play on Sunday, for whatever reason. So the obvious solution seems to be duplicate teams playing on Saturdays AND Sundays.

    There is always the risk that this could create a ‘them and us’ division between religious and secular teams, but I think it’s more likely there would be a surprising number of Saturday players coming out of the woodwork as having struggled with ariel’s dilemma, and happy for the opportunity to switch to Sundays.

  • frosh says:

    The origins of the Jewish sporting club (Hakoach etc) lie in Europe where Jews were often banned from being members of other clubs. Even in Australia, where anti-Semitism was but a tiny fraction of what it was in Europe, Jews were not permitted to be members of many Golf clubs.

    So it’s safe to say that that in their origins, these sporting clubs were created to be clubs for Jews (but not necessarily exclusively), rather than ‘Jewish clubs’ as some might say. Thus I think it is not fair to expect that all teams within a club like Maccabi should be Shomer Shabbos.

    Having said that, I think it is good that where practical, clubs can avoid playing on Shabbat and Yom Tov, or as Hasid has said, have some teams that aspire to this. This is even more important at a junior level.

  • This issue has often troubled me.

    Fifteen years ago I played a bit with the Maccabi Sunday cricket team. They were the 5ths, and played in the Mercantile which was a Sat/Sun comp, while the other teams played in the Shabbat-only VTCA. We were considered almost a separate group, although we were able to train together (sort-of). There were maybe 1-2 strictly kosher people playing, and the rest played on Sunday out of convenience I think.

    Fast forward to today, where Maccabi Cricket Club (thanks to some generous sponsors) has been fully Kosher for two years, and about half the regulars in the the Sunday team are shomer Shabbat. I met recently with some Maccabi representatives who described how having Kosher food for the club has had a very positive impact on all of the teams, and the place has a more “Jewish” feel to it. They point to once instance where at an away game, the host team went out of their way to cater Kosher for the visiting Maccabi players. Talk about a Kiddush Hashem!

    On the issue of playing on Shabbat, a common answer is “they would play anyway – at least now they are playing with Jews”. It’s a dull, pragmatic, non-aspirational, harm-minimization approach.

    I didn’t have realistic aspirations to advance to any higher playing standards, so it was never a big issue for me. Thanks to genes other than my own, my kids are quite decent cricketers, and with practice and opportunity could play to quite a high standard. For them, Shabbat could be a genuine barrier to advancement.

    The example of Kosher shows what can be done when just a small group takes an initiative, and the effect change from the bottom up. The cry of “I don’t roll …” from a few talented players could be the catalyst for further change.

  • frosh says:

    This is slightly off topic,

    But I remember once being in a machmir (strictly) Orthodox shul, and the rabbi in his drosha was discussing which sports were more/less shabbat compatible than others. I don’t think he was talking about taking part in official sporting competitions, but rather playing purely for recreation.

    Unfortunately, he didn’t discuss water polo ;-)

  • Malkmus says:

    To clarify, I have no issue with you calling for opportunities for people who don’t want to play sport on Saturdays to play on other days.

    I know that at least in some tournaments, competition organisers at various points in the past two decades at least have facilitated the arrangement of some Maccabi games on Sundays.

    I take issue mainly with your 5th paragraph which assumes that every Jew in Australia shares your values. In that paragraph, you accuse Maccabi of misrepresenting “our values” and forcefully “putting young Jews in [that] position”.

    My point is that I have no problem with Jews playing sport on Saturdays, and I don’t feel that that misrepresents my values, Jewish or otherwise – and clearly it doesn’t misrepresent the values of the majority of others who participate in those sports.

    You argue that “Maccabi is excluding a sizeable portion of the Jewish community”, but therein you fail to acknowledge the sizeable portion of the Jewish community who are being catered for by Maccabi.

    Furthermore, this is more an issue about sports authorities and sports tournaments. I’m sure that if there was a comp whose games were on a Sunday or week night and you approached Maccabi, they would be willing to discuss supporting the registration of a team. But that those competitions are generally few and far between is not the fault of Maccabi.

    I have no issue with you calling for more non-Shabbat opportunities for Jews who object to playing sport on Shabbat to play. I have an issue with the implication that the opportunity to play sports on Shabbat be denied to those who don’t object.

    For many people, taking their kids to a Maccabi soccer match on a Saturday is as an important expression of their Judaism and Jewish identity as it is for others to go to Shul on a Saturday, and for those people, I think it’s fair to say that Maccabi is not misrepresenting their values.

  • gedalia says:

    This is the best article I have read on Galus Australis yet. I totally agree with the author.

    I do not wish to pass judgement on individuals who choose to play sport on Shabbat – that is their right if thats what they want to do. However under the auspices of a Jewish team and as part of a represetative body of the community, a clear mixed message is sent. The public representation of Judaism has the concept of Shabbat at its heart. The Jews invented Shabbat and gifted it to the world. When we disregard our own religious tradition as a Jewish community body, we do a disservice to what the Jewish community represents.

    Maccabi is slowly moving towards understanding that the youth of the Orthdox community also wish to be involved in sport and that they need to be catered for. Sometimes literally. I am in Perth and it is tremendously encouraging that Maccabi WA has transformed their pavilion cafe into a kosher facility.

    At the end of the day, what is the point of having a Jewish organisation if a significant portion of the community are excluded on the basis of Jewish observance? Are we even discriminating against our own? Also, if the Jewish character and ethos of Maccabi ends up being no different to any other organisation that plays the same sport or meets the same need, why is separate Jewish representation needed at all? Social exclusivity seems to be OK, but religious exclusivity is not important……

  • ariel says:

    Malkmus, as I and others here have said, nobody has a problem with Jews playing sport on Shabbat. The problem is when it is an official organisation ostensibly representing ALL members of the community.

    (I don’t wish this to go too off topic, but the concept of Shabbat is part of your values as a Jew – it is your bequeath to the rest of the world, as gedaliah eloquently explained.)

    I have had the experience of trying to explain to a competition organiser that my team could not play on a particular Sunday because it was a Jewish holiday (i don’t remember which). The team was not Maccabi, but was majority Jewish and all agreed we should ask for rescheduling. Imagine my surprise when I was told that Maccabi had not informed them of this clash in the schedule and that they couldn’t understand why it was ok for Maccabi to participate but not for us.

    A similar idea is that the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) is a strictly kosher venue, even though the vast majority of MPs don’t keep kosher at home. But they recognise that as the representative of ALL Jews in Israel, they must allow all to be able to eat there.

  • Malkmus says:

    Ariel,

    For arguments sake, I’ll agree that the concept of Shabbat might be part of my “values as a Jew” (whatever that may mean).

    But your concept of Shabbat – what it means to you and for you, how you have interpreted the commandment, how you choose to celebrate and acknowledge it – is not the same as my concept of Shabbat, and, I hazard to say, thousands and thousands of other Jews, whether in Australia or around the world, whether sports players or not.

    The way that you, Ariel, celebrate your Judaism, your ‘being Jewish’, the things about being Jewish that mean something to you, are different to the things about being Jewish that mean something to me and many others.

    The difference is, I don’t impose my ideas of what it means to be Jewish on you or anyone else, and I’d rather you didn’t impose your ideas on me.

    Now, onto Maccabi (of which might I add I am not a member). Maccabi is a Jewish organisation. It is not mandated by law or even communal decree to be the one and only Jewish sports club. Maccabi serves a purpose based on principles and values that are clearly at odds with yours. That does not make it wrong, or not representative of Jews, or un-Jewish, or anything else.

    In fact, there are other Jewish sporting clubs, and at least one came about because enough people DID NOT AGREE with certain principles and values of Maccabi, so they did something about it, and started their own club. I’m talking about Monash in Sydney.

    Monash, to the best of my knowledge (and I’m open to being corrected if I’m wrong), started because Maccabi would not allow a non-Jewish kid whose friends were mostly Jewish to join a soccer team so he could play soccer with all of his friends on the weekends. Enough people involved with Northside Maccabi Soccer Club at the time were strongly opposed to that position, indeed even felt that it was at odds with their Jewish values and the values a Jewish club should have, and so created Northside Monash – a Jewish club with a few different principles.

    So my point is twofold:
    1. Maccabi is what it is. But what it is not, is something you have no choice but to be affiliated with.
    2. Your Jewish values are not my Jewish values and they are clearly not Maccabi’s Jewish values and I would guess that perhaps they’re not Monash’s Jewish values.

  • eli says:

    I always find interesting that we yidden kwvetch about what it means to be observant or even jewish. “My observant is different to your observance” yada yada yada.”I am a jew in my heart…”etc etc

    Many Jews maybe would like to be shomer,or more observant or even maybe keep kosher, but maybe its all tzi shvear….”too Jewish” as Jackie Mason likes to tell us. It’s perhaps a lack of respect for our heritage or just a desire to be like everybody else that makes us think we need to be more “modern”

    Funny how the non Jewish world places more importance in our heritage than we do.

    see below, somehow i don’t think all the Jews in New York are Shomer!

    NEW YORK — Yankees vs. Red Sox is almost as much a part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball as Joe Morgan.

    If the blood feud from the Northeast is being played out over a weekend, you can be sure that ESPN will choose Boston-New York for its showcase game.

    Except maybe on Sept. 27.

    Major League Baseball and ESPN have decided to move that day’s game at Yankee Stadium back to 1 PM ET after it had been switched to 8 PM, because it is the day before Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

    Jewish holidays begin at sundown the night before, so if the Yankees and Red Sox play the night of Sept. 27, observant Jews won’t be able to attend or watch the game. (Sunset in New York that night, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory, is 6:44 PM)

    But as the NFL did a few months ago, MLB paid heed to the large Jewish population in the New York area.

    When the NFL schedule came out in April, the Jets were originally scheduled to play a 4:15 PM home game on Sept. 27, against the Titans — a game that would have run past sundown. A U.S. Congressman from New York sent a letter to commissioner Roger Goodell as the Jets asked the NFL to change kickoff to 1 PM, and the league cooperated.

  • Ari says:

    Upon my attending the Maccabiah opening ceremony in Tel Aviv – I was not sure whether to be sad or happy.
    Sad because before me were 7000 Jewish athletes from all over the world representing the product of 300 years of modernity – people with a small fraction of knowledge of traditional Judaism and who would be hard pressed to name more than one of the books our people have produced over the generations which have effected our lives and the lives of Humanity.
    And happy, because atleast for th, ese 7000 Jews and some thousands more like them, they have some form of Jewish identity and Israel and atleast they play sport under a Jewish name,if not a Jewish spirit. Atleast there is something remaining from the 300 years of modernity.
    Maccabi promotes values of the Maccabim – physical fitness and other values that came in handy during the prestate period – and in some ways it defends against complete cultural annihilation but in many ways it fails and even facilitates this annihilation. A
    And so perhaps it is just to watch from the sidelines and cheer everytime they score a goal. For after all they are not really the sons of the Maccabim but are the sons of the sons of Neviim.

  • Almoni says:

    I am positive-if my memory serves me correctly-the hacham bashi under the Mandate ruled that soccer games (at least in the old stadium in Jerusalem) were not ‘work’ and could be played on shabbat. After seeing a ball kicked, or trying to kick it himself (probably missing, and sending his elaborate tarbush-turban flying), he saw that it was in no way associated with work, field levelling, agriculture etc, but that soccer, like most sport, was trite, somewhat relaxing, like golf, and irrelevent halakhically. It also kept young males off the street.

    I wonder if anyone more learned could enlighten me on this recollection?

    It seems that sepharadim had a much stronger let& let live policy in those days with respect to relaxation–as long as the young ones (men) went to the neighbourhood shabbat service, they could do whatever they wanted in the afternoon.

    But additionally, is not Melbourne in the land of Israel?–look the river names, yarden, yarkon, yarmuk yarra etc…so the soccer exemption could apply here. Go for it.

    I was taught, btw, by a great linguist that yarden, yarden, yarmuk are pre-cannaanite names, though the language group is not clear. However, the pattern of name shows that there was some group there at some time who spoke something. The prefix yar- is not semitic–which possibly strengthens the case for including the yarra, and similar rivers as part of an original territory which extended to Australia.

    The implications of my observations are that the Jewish left including myself are not just anti-Israel, but anti-Australian because we oppose occupation and don’t appear to take sport (other than the kickboxing on One) seriously. I stand (actually sit) condemned.

    Could someone please announce a ruling for Purim?

  • gedalia says:

    Picking up on Ari’s point (son’s of Neviim, not Maccabim), I have always thought the name Maccabi to be a bit ironic, given the values that the Maccabim stood for. They rebelled against the non-observance and represented the relgious zealotry. Their intentions were good, the methodology they applied was not enduring.

    It is also interesting to look to the history of the generations that immediately followed the Maccabim. Their legacy of recovering the Jerusalem was short lived. In other words the son’s of the Maccabim did not endure, but the sons of the Neviim certainly have. That’s why Ari’s quote is so significant.

  • ariel says:

    Ari just reminded me about the Maccabiah in Israel.
    No matches on Shabbat. All food kosher (as far as I know).
    Because World Maccabi seems to understand who they represent and that they must cater for all participants.
    But they do not prevent the participants themselves from going clubbing or bbq’ing on shabbat. It’s just that there are no officially organised competitions on that day out of respect for its importance.

    David Ben-Gurion – not the most frum yid around – walked from his hotel to Westminster Abbey on a Shabbat to attend Winston Churchill’s funeral.

    Mencahem Begin walked from his hotel with an entire entourage to Anwar Sadat’s funeral, which was also held on Shabbat.
    They understood who and what they represented in a public forum.

  • Chook says:

    I recall some years ago when the AFL grand final was being played on Yom Kippur, and a Jewish player was playing for one of the teams, he asked an orthodox rabbi what he should do, and, I understand he was told it was OK as long as he fasted. Any Shabbos is more important than Yom Kippur. The punishment for viloating Shabbos is death while for Yom Kippur it’s banishment.

    So if a Jewish player is given the OK to play on a Shabbos which also falls on Yom Kippur, than what is the problem with a so called Jewish club playing on Shabbos. If the players are observant they wont play anyway because sometimes they would need to travel on Shabbos and for the secular Yidden, it does not bother them so why should it bother anyone else?

    The Ajax football club always plays on Shabbos. It is known to be a “Jewish club” and no one has said a word about is so far. I even reckon that our most frum rabbis hope they win, even when have have to travel to another venue.

  • Chaim says:

    chook – you remember 1966?

  • Chook says:

    Chaim, I was but a mere lad at the time, but let’s hope it’s repeated. GO SAINTERS!!!

    PS who was the Jewish player, but if he played for the goolywoggles, I don’t want to know.

  • Malkmus says:

    Ariel, there’s no problem with the opinion you put forward. The point you raise is a valid one and warrants consideration by Maccabi and its members – it is an important point. I don’t disagree with that.

    I just believe that it is necessary to understand that, contrary to Simon’s comment, in raising that point you are making a value judgment. That’s fine. Values are important. But just understand that they are your values. Sure, other Jews may agree with you on this issue – that playing sport on Shabbat constitutes “desecration of the Sabbath”; that Maccabi brings disrepute to the Jewish community in allowing it etc. – in fact lots of other Jews may agree with you.

    But, lots of Jews do not agree with you, and that clearly includes the vast majority of Maccabi members. The proof is in the pudding.

    When you talk about “desecrating the Sabbath” or conversely “observing the Sabbath”, you talk about things that mean different things for different people.

    Sabbath desecration and observance constitute different things for Orthodox Jews and Conservative Jews and Reform Jews and Conservadox Jews and Secular Jews and Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jews and Sephardi Jews and Ashkenazi Jews.

    Even within Orthodoxy there are vastly different opinions on certain matters as to what is acceptable and what is not.

    So that’s fine – raise your point. It is a good and valid point. But please, whether it’s to do with sport on Saturdays, or whether it’s about allowing women to lead the service in Shul, or whether it’s about the portion of your face that should and should not be shaved, or whether it’s about eating rice on Pesach – whatever the issue is, please realise that your values and your understanding of what the Jewish “right” and “wrong” is, are not necessarily our values.

    I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but it’s a fact. And it’s why thousands of Jews play sport on Saturdays, happily and ‘Jewishly’.

  • Chook says:

    I meant gollywoggles. You know who I meant. They’re the Eddies these days, but.

  • Chaim says:

    Ian Synman – I am a WC Eagles man myself

    “we believe”

  • Chook says:

    Malkmus, there is only one problem with your argument. There is the Shulchan Aruch and it tells us in no uncertain terms what Shabbos desecration is and isn’t. As far as abiding by it, well that’s your decision, and on one has the right to question or convert you.

  • The story goes that before Neila, when the Rabbi usually gets up and says something inspiring, Rabbi Chaim Gutnick announced: “you can all now daven with kavanah – St Kilda won by a point!”

    Chook – I think the player you’re thinking of was Mordy Bromberg (although he didn’t play in 1966).

  • Chook says:

    Hey, this is fun, talking about football and all, rather than world altering real serious stuff. By the way, correction again, they were called the gollywobbles, that’s right? I think. Who cares, as long as they lose.

  • Malkmus says:

    An interesting essay by Rabbi Apple which documents the history of the controversy and clearly shows the extent of the differences of opinions even among the Rabbinate:

    http://www.oztorah.com/2009/07/the-sabbath-sport-controversy/

    So which Rabbi do you want to listen to?
    It seems there is a convenient one for each of us.

  • ariel says:

    Malkmus, I’m not sure what your experience is with reading academic papers or rabbinic ma’amarim, but they tend (as this does) to present all the points of view and what the majority accepted view is.
    It appears to me that whilst there were some rabbis who allowed competitive sport for young children, they nevertheless were adamant that the Sabbath not be desecrated whilst playing the sport. As Rabbi Apple points out, football is especially difficult because it involves tearing up the grass on the field, for example.
    These rabbis were also concerned with writing down the scores (today it would be using electronic scoreboards as well) and carrying equipment from place to place.

    I happen to know at least one rabbi who always allowed his kids to play sport in the park on Shabbat afternoon as long as it was for pure fun, with no competitive streak whatever. I often would participate with them.

    My point is – again – about representation. You will find that you are in the minority who believe that “it’s why thousands of Jews play sport on Saturdays, happily and ‘Jewishly’.”
    The vast majority of parents of small kids are against it, as are many young adults (teenagers tend to rebel anyway). They go simply because there is no alternate outlet for them, even though they feel very uncomfortable pulling on the “blue and white” of Maccabi on Shabbat.

    I would conclude by saying that your idea should be what we call in French fakert (the opposite). Rather than frum Jews having to seek an outlet for Sunday/mid-week sport, Maccabi – as the established representative of Jewish sport – should avoid playing on Shabbat and those amongst the Sabbath-don’t-cares whom it so offends to play on Sunday or mid-week can start their own smaller teams for Shabbat play. I think you’ll find the majority of memebers of both Maccabi and the wider Jewish community will not side with you.

  • frosh says:

    Finally, here is the classic scene where Walter refuses to bowl on shabbos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmULYr1nsZ0&feature=related

     

    And in this one, Walter, in his own way, explains exemptions to the laws of shabbos in the context of Pikuach Nefesh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZqYzqK1CnA&feature=related

     

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