Sports consumed much of my adult life. I played and watched sports every spare moment. As I matured, I developed other interests. My love of the Torah and of God’s teachings eventually lead me to the rabbinate. I remain, however, a rabid sports fan. So I figured, hey, why not find a way to combine my three passions: God, Torah, and Sports, in a way that can educate and inspire others!
I believe that there is often a correlation between events that happen in our daily life and the daily occurrences in the world of sports. If we spend just a few moments reflecting on a sports related issue, we may be able to connect it to our own personal lives. I hope that by bringing a religious perspective to sports-related issues, I will be able to help people view similar issues in their own lives from a religious perspective.
Joseph L Price wrote an essay about sports as “An American Apotheosis.” While I don’t believe that sports is religious in nature, there are striking similarities between the two. To quote Price, “In short, although difficulties exist in trying to specify the exact nature and extent of sports AS religion, sports do exhibit many of the characteristics of established religious traditions. Most importantly, they exercise a power for shaping and engaging the world for millions of devoted fans throughout America; they enable participants to explore levels of self-hood that otherwise remain inaccessible; they establish means for bonding in communal relations with other devotees; they model ways to provide the prospect for experiencing victory and thus sampling, at least in an anticipatory way, “abundant life.” In America, quite simply, sports constitute a form of popular religion.”
In my blog, I hope to explore some of the similarities between sports and religion and use lessons learned in each of these realms to help others gain a deeper appreciation for both religion and sports.