|The Mesivta Football League|
The Beis Medrash Hagadol in Lakewood has about 6,000 [!!!] students. This is an unbelievable and tremendously heart lifting phenomenon. כן ירבו!!!
So I have a question - Why don't they have intramural leagues? Basketball, hockey, softball etc. etc. So many guys, so much great competition!! Why don't they play other Yeshivas?? The Lakewood Cholents vs. the Torah Vodaas Herrings, home and away series!!! It would be great. [Better not play the Goyim - they'd win... Jews are better at being smart - and preparing food - than at playing sports].
I bet you never thought of that!!:-)
Either do the people in Lakewood...
The reason is that the notion of "leagues" and "sports competition" is an non-Jewish concept and even an anti-Jewish concept. We are in favor in exercise but not in assigning to "games" importance. They are just SILLY games. Yet, Jews all over are sucked into the Western [and ancient Greek - that is where the Olympics began] zeitgeist that games and competitions are really important and worth our time and interest.
In the Modern Orthodox high schools, the sports leagues are a huuuuge "zach" and "inyan". There are hundreds of screaming fans, referees, statistics and all of the trappings of Gentile competitions. One CAN'T love Hashem and His Torah and ALSO love his hockey team. The reason is that Hashem is AGAINST his hockey team [and all hockey teams] and one's excitement over the nonsense is completely counter to Hashem's will.
I still remember vivdly being a young boy, taken captive by Gentiles [thank G-d I was wearing a kippah and tzitzis all the while], when games and teams held such tremendous importance for me and my peers and NOBODY told me that it is all a bunch of silly nonsense. And we are raising thousands upon thousands of kids like that. Even the Rabbeim go to the games, cheer the kids on, laud the "stars" and give the false impression that this Gentile competition matters. Of course, we could [and should] be melamed zchus that they mean well and are just trying to be mekarev the kids by taking part in what interests them but at the same time a very false impression is being given over.
So let's be Jewish. Games, don't matter. לא בגבורת הסוס יחפץ ולא בשוקי האיש ירצה רוצה השם את יראיו - Hashem doesn't care who has big muscles or how high one can jump. Hashem wants people who fear Him.
Halevi that all of the "Yeshiva Leagues" [an internal contradiction] should be disbanded and the boys should be encouraged to play ball [but not the violent games which present serious halachic and ethical problems] and have good time while at the same time eschewing [chewing gum and] all Gentile forms of competition. And Halevi that Bnei Torah should stop caring whether their pro sports team wins or loses because the games of a bunch of characters whose lives revolve around whether a ball goes into a net or over a fence and in their free time are doing drugs, partying and recklessly engage in sexual contact, should be COMPLETELY irrelevant for us.
Now that we just had a GREAT Chanuka, let's be a little less Greek.
לזכות שמחה בן נעכא גיטל