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  • Shema: Whose Voice 3

    There are times when we are praying when we don’t really feel that we are speaking as an accu...

  • Shema: 5: Whose Voice

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What Is The Reason: Sports On Shabbat Print E-mail

What Is The ReasonWhy do people say it is assur- forbidden -  to play sports competitively on Shabbat?
Would you play sports in shul? At a wedding? Halacha wants your Shabbat to be so special to you that you will not simply find ways to spend the time waiting for Shabbat to end so you can do more things. Shabbat is not just a 24-hour period of time, it is a state of mind. (Nechemiah & The History of Muktzah)

I would not phrase sports as “assur,” or forbidden; I would say that you should create a Shabbat environment that is so special and fulfilling that you would not want to distract yourself by playing sports.

We tend to inhibit people’s appreciation of Shabbat by focusing on the negative, “It’s forbidden,” “Don’t do that,” and “You are not allowed to…,” rather than nurturing the positive, “This is how you can create something special.”

In fact, I would argue that if you are willing to use just 30 minutes of sports time to do something special each Shabbat, such as spending time with your family, asking questions, or reading the parsha,  and then play some baseball, you have accomplished more than the person who, resentfully, won’t play sports because it’s assur!  Those 30 minutes were 30 minutes of positive action focused on Shabbat.
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