Aug 28, 2011

Sports and Haredim

Shvoong is one of the largest Israeli portals for fitness, running, cycling, triathlons and swimming. In addition, they promote many sporting events, such as marathons, triathlons, swimming and cycling races, and other events.

Shvoong has an article called, "Haredim L'Sport" in which the author writes about how haredim do not generally participate in sports in Isael.

As an aside, to go along with the article, they are using the following picture that has become famous around Israel. I posted it as a picture of the day over 2 years ago:

Back to the point, the article talks about how on an individual basis people participate in sport, the "kosher gyms" are becoming pretty popular. People can participate in sport for the purposes of a job, parnassa, or for personal health. But to participate in sports for no particular purpose, just for the idea of sport itself is not acceptable in the haredi community, it is considered a waste of time.

He writes more, but that is the gist of it.

I would already say that the participation is greater than he surmises. Plenty of haredim run and go bike riding, and participate in races. When wearing a tshirt and shorts or biking gear, it might not be as easily identifiable that they are haredi. Also, when I register for the marathon, it doesnt ask me if I am haredi, secular or other. So they dont know how many marathon runners are haredi or not. Of course the numbers are small relative to the general public, but they probably are not as small as the author assumes.

Also, with professional sports in Israel being almost exclusively limited to shabbos, it is no wonder few haredim participate. Even many of the running and biking races are scheduled for Shabbos. There are a few that are not, but most are. The haredi community won't participate in sporting events on Shabbos. I would say this is another reason to support the "long weekend" in Israel which would likely cause most sports events to move to Sunday. Israel sports would then be more inclusive.


  1. Israeli chareidim as a rule don't participate in sports...They consider it bittul Torah. Anglo chareidim are very different.

  2. Didn't you post once about a pashkevil against bike riding?


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