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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
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GOD IS A WIDE RECEIVER

Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?

Is it appropriate for players like Tim Tebow to make grand gestures of prayer to a Master of the World Who has His Hands full dealing with much more important things?
moses football

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

Are you a sports fan? Merriam-Webster tells us that fan is short for fanatic. And being a fanatic about anything is a form of avodah zarah that God jealously tells us to avoid.

There’s nothing wrong with preferring a particular team. And there is nothing wrong with rooting for that team to win. But once our preference for that team pulls us away from family, and sobriety, and decency, it becomes an idol we must shun.

So I hope my Red Sox will do better next season than was the case with last season’s Bobby Valentine’s Day massacre. But, if they don’t, I won’t lose any sleep over it.

To sum up and answer the question I asked in the title of this article: Does God care who wins the Super Bowl? The answer is yes, He cares very much.

The real question is why should we?

About the Author: Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz, a mohel (BrisRabbi.com) and chaplain in Monsey, NewYork, is a member of the executive committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His blog on the weekly Torah portion can be read at TorahTalk.org.


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4 Responses to “Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?”

  1. Gil Gilman says:

    Excellent article, except for the part of about Adoshem echad giving one wit about the superbowl game per se. These games are mere diversions. with the players involved in some of the most ludicrous posturing ever occurring outside of the prophets of baal who were so whipped into a frenzy by the calmness of Eliyahu HaNavi in awaiting the fire from heaven, that they pranced about gashing themselves with swords. Speaking of which, one team sports an accused murderer as its spiritual leader, and that is not the only off-field violence he has been taken to task over. He has been fine a quarter of a million dollars by the NFL for obstructing justice in the murder case. What does HaShem care about? He wants you to be a mensch, and bentsch. All this posturing in professional sports looks back to paganism, not forward to the abode of G-d.

  2. Well rightly so that the Lord G-d is a jealous G-d, why should He give His glory to another, who did not create the universe, if one puts pride in a football or hockey team I would think the heart is far from the Lord God, as it written."These people worship me with their mouths, but their heart is far from me" shalom.

  3. Ask the ancient Romans the same question and then look at all the crumbling coliseums they built in their time.

    We are no different. The question should be whether G-d is G-d or simply a mascot both teams claim as their own.

    Don't get me started on NASCAR either…chariot racing got old 2000 years ago, America.

    I like football, by the way. It's more like a war simulation than any other sport. And like most wars, both sides will pray to whatever force they think will give them the edge. Most pray and subscribe to many forces for as much "luck" as possible hedging their bets as if…I'd be careful not to reduce the one true force in the verse to something as tiny as a John Madden bobble-head though. Not that anybody can reduce G-d…we can certainly make him wobble his head, usually from left to right or right to left. I doubt professional sports gets the nod of approval though, not when we've got better things to do with our time and resources.

  4. I think G/d cares more about the point spread than who wins.

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