Letters | July 28, 2021

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This is how you play baseball — and football

Regarding the Orthodox baseball player with a great deal of promise (“Elie Kligman becomes second Orthodox baseball player drafted into the MLB in 2 days,” web, July 14): An Orthodox rabbinical authority might determine that play on the Sabbath itself is permissible but travel to the stadium is not. The team would have to arrange for sleeping quarters at the stadium, or a hotel in walking distance to the synagogue as well as the playing field. A Sabbath observant family might put him up nearby and he’d attend Sabbath morning services and then walk over for the game.

Carrying things indoors at the stadium is the same as carrying things at home on the Sabbath. It is permitted by Jewish law. Precedent suggests an Orthodox baseball player would not play on the Day of Atonement, of course, like Sandy Koufax, but on the Sabbath indoors in the stadium play is permissible in the afternoon; it does not conflict with services. His contract would stipulate no pay for play on a holy day.


I remember the great Notre Dame quarterback Rosenblum, who played for Knute Rockne. Out of loyalty to his faith, he’d been in the synagogue all morning on the Day of Atonement and out of loyalty to his team he came ready to play in the afternoon despite not having had food or drink. Rockne was so impressed that in the team huddle in a moment of inspiration he sent his team off with “now go out there and win one for Yom Kippur.”
RABBI DR. REEVE ROBERT BRENNER
Bethesda

The rabbi was not a Chasid

I read with interest the d’var Torah “You have no idea what can come from a little gratitude” (July 22) and especially enjoyed Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer’s storytelling. However, I was concerned by a serious mislabeling of one of our truly great rabbis, known as the “Hafetz Haim” or “Chofetz Chaim” — Rabbi Yisrael Meir Ha-Kohen Kagan (1838-1933). He was a huge leader of the Mussar Movement and head of the Radin Yeshivah, but never a “Chasidic master,” as was mentioned in the Torah column.
RABBI DR. SANFORD H. SHUDNOW
Silver Spring

https://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/enewsletter/

Manufactured reality

Regarding “She’s no Shtisel,” a review of “My Unorthodox Life” (July 15): These shows are highly scripted and the drama is manufactured. Perhaps you didn’t understand that before watching the show. I am disappointed that WJW saw fit to print a piece trashing, in rude and personal terms, fellow Jews, for the sin of participating in a reality show that is typical of its genre. If you don’t like the show, don’t watch it (it’s not my bag, either). But you shouldn’t watch it and assume you know anything about the lives of the people in the show, and to come out and degrade them in this manner says far more about you than it says about them.
ERIN PIATESKI
Washington

‘Unorthodox’ and problematic

Thank you! I thought I was the only one who found the show contrived and a bit silly. I couldn’t get past the first half of the first episode. The characters feel stiff, their conversations feel stilted and the scenes and dialogue feel very, very scripted. Plus, poor Ben seems unable to ignore the fact that the cameras are present, and keeps looking over at them!


More power to Julia for leaving the Orthodox community and leading her life on her own terms. But why must her choices be forced upon others? Perhaps there is unaddressed trauma? Either way, proselytizing against an entire Jewish community for non-Jewish consumption — particularly the way it’s done on this show — smacks of something deeply problematic.
MIMI WILLIAMS
Queens, N.Y.

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