Photo Credit: Screen grab via Marc Kligman YouTube
Orthodox Jewish MLB pick Elie Kligman

History was made on Tuesday in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Washington Nationals’ selection of 18-year-old Eli Kligman, the second Orthodox Jewish player to be drafted to the League in two days.


Kligman’s father, an attorney and a licensed baseball agent, represents his son. He shared the good news about his son’s selection with baseball players while riding with the Israeli baseball team on their pre-Olympics road trip.

The first Orthodox Jewish player, 17-year-old Long Island native Jacob Steinmetz was drafted on Monday by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Steinmetz, a pitcher, reportedly has thrown the ball up to 97 miles per hour.

Steinmetz also refuses to use transportation on the Sabbath, and instead chooses hotels within walking distance of the stadium, but at least for now, he plays on the Sabbath.

Las Vegas native Kligman throws the ball at 90 miles per hour when pitching, according to, although he also has played catcher and shortstop and switch-hits as well, batting both as a left-hander or right-hander.

He prays three times a day, eats kosher and is Torah-observant; meaning he declines to play on Friday nights or Saturday – the Jewish Sabbath.

It has been Kligman’s dream to make the majors, but he has made it clear that he will not compromise his Jewish faith by playing on Shabbat. “The day of Shabbos is for God,” he told the New York Times earlier this year. “I’m not going to change that.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.