Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rabbis and Super Bowl Parties

Do rabbis belong at Super Bowl parties? And if so, what should they do during commercials which display halachically prohibited sights, or during the camera's pan to the cheerleaders? [I'm not raising the bitul torah question; if you are reading my blog, you have no right to condemn someone else for wasting time from Torah study...]

I went a couple of times over the years, and hung around in the back where I could conveniently start a conversation with someone during commercials. I liked being with my friends/peers, I loved the subs, and I felt the tug of the game even though my New York Jets never got that far in the playoffs. I wasn't able to stick around for long in any case, as there were always too many other things to do, so I would just catch a few minutes here and there. But this question of whether I belonged always bothered me.

So: How do you think rabbis should handle invitations to the party, or their own desire to watch? And what about shuls which actually hold their own, official Super Bowl parties?


  1. If you are concerned about shots of cheerleaders who haven't been briefed in how to wear a tznius uniform you can't watch any football game.

    It seems to me that a Super Bowl party offers a unique chance to get to know your congregants in a slightly different way.

    It could provide a chance to develop a deeper relationship with some who might not otherwise speak with you.

    OTOH you can be sure that some people will be upset that you were there, but aren't they the same group you can't ever win over.

  2. you have no right to condemn someone else for wasting time from Torah study...]
    that's a narrow definition of torah study imho
    Joel Rich

  3. I don't like to watch sports--but if I did I would watch. And if i had a congregation that did not like it, I would probably watch just to show I am no man's slave. But that is just me. I can't really say if this is the best way of going about things.

  4. Halftimes are traditionally vulgar displays. Did the partiers turn off the tube during halftime?

    This year's game had the added halftime feature of the rather non-tzniusdik Madonna who claims to be involved in kabbalah. Perhaps she has been communicating mystically with the Soton or Bill Belichick.

  5. Jack-
    Any game - Indeed.
    Getting to know people differently - True.
    Those who will be upset have not been that much of an issue for me.

    This is l'shitasam!

  6. I think this gives me a chance to mention that I think participation sports should be part of Jewish education. Though safety is always a big issue for me when it comes to sports but i think the lack of sports is just as dangerous.

  7. See the Netziv on Yefas To'ar, and you realize how much professional football serves as a safer, modern outlet/analogue for traditional warfare.