Monday, February 03, 2014

kosher superbowl - oxymoron

The oxymoron “kosher superbowl” captures in two words what’s wrong.  Of course it’s unreasonable to expect everyone to skip watching the biggest sports spectacle of the year.  But does it have to become a Yom Tov?  Does it have to be accompanied by “kosher” catering bonanza, a “kosher” halftime show, etc as advsertised all over the "frum" newspapers, as if this was a reason to celebrate?   Was there a daf yomi offered at the stadium too? 

Yesterday we passed through one supermarket parking lot and I saw a guy outside with long boxes.  I thought maybe it’s an early sale on lulavim, but no, it was just a guy standing outside with the huge (and they were huge) hero sandwiches people had ordered and were awaiting pickup.  I felt bad for the poor guy I saw inside with a few Italian breads and a big bag from the deli counter.  Nebach, he had to put the meat and mustard on the bread himself.

Chazal tell us already how to watch the superbowl.  Chagigah 16a, bottom of the page. 

In our society a teenage girl wrapping tefillin -- that’s an avlah, that something that’s not “Orthodox.” People are up in arms because we all know the Rama says that’s not allowed.  But a bacchanalian food and beer orgy around the TV “bamah,” the Rama nowhere says that’s not allowed, does he?  Show me where the Rama says you have to lead a holy life and not be consumed by the materialism and not be caught up in the mores of outside society?
 
We are missing the forest for the trees...
 
 

8 comments:

  1. I hear where you're coming from but I disagree.
    I think many people (myself included) take the attitude that they'll watch the Superbowl, and get together with friends, fully knowing that they're not the embodiment of Kedoshim Tihyu, but that's who we are. But when someone wants to bring feminist questionable practices into shul, and try to change what we know has been accepted practice for thousands of years, and make davening/tefillin/you name it into their tool for advancing some agenda, that's a whole different story. Every person has their chesronos, but to make the chesronos or the agenda into a mitzva, is a whole other level tantamount to ziyuf hatorah, that even Superbowl watchers have the right to protest. And if people can't express this chiluk to you explicitly, I'm sure this is what's going on in their heads.

    It's kind of like the Ramban that Rav Schachter quotes in Tzei Lach Beikvei Hatzon - there's a special issur of chukas akum when you introduce these practices into shul.

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  2. Neither teen involved in the tefillin incident mentioned feminism as a reason for their actions. You are projecting.

    Secondly, the chesronos are not just an individual matter, but are being institutionalized as part of our culture now, with "kosher" food packages for your game party, "kosher" meals at the game, "kosher" half-time show, etc. That's the problem.

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  3. Years ago we had a guy move to our community who was so machmir on kashrus he wouldn't eat in anyone's home. He didn't hold by the local eiruv. He sat and learned all day. (Why he moved to our community in the first place is another story but he only lasted 8 months)
    Despite all this piety he was front and centre at the annual community Superbowl get-together. He jumped in the air and screamed with joy the loudest whenever his team scored. He was dancing at halftime.
    So even the mightiest can be affected.

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    1. Mighty Garnel, I thought you were Canadian? The superbowl is that big up north too?

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    2. We love everything big and American. Remember we won your World Series 2 years in a row in the 90's!

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  4. It always amazes me how up in arms people get about people watching the superbowl as if they are totally oblivious to the level of yeridas doraynu. Haleveih that we should simply be fighting the superbowl. But the reality is that in our generation the superbowl is as innocuous as they come compared to what we are battling. Haleveih that should be our point of bechira. Unfortunetaly, what we are facing is bnei/bnos torah spending hours daily committed to staying up to date on all the different tv shows. Instead of trying to chap a rayn their busy watching brooklyn 9-9

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    1. Great point! -- You are correct. (from Chaim)

      I don't think, though, that the other nahrishkeit has become institutionalized as part of the frum culture yet. It's something people waste time on in private. But maybe we will unfortunately yet get there.... : (

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    2. Once the zombie apocalypse begins, al pi The Walking Dead, none of this will matter.

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