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Jun 20, 2012

Religious Cyclist Not Allowed To Compete

In today's day and age, in Israel, something like this should never happen. This is the Jewish state, the Jewish country, and Judaism should be accommodated to, taken into account.

תמונת אילוסטרציה
To be brief, a religious competitive cyclist has not been able to compete in the national road cycling championships, as it is is an event that is held annually on a Saturday. he has requested in the past that the day be changed, due to religious observance of Shabbat, but they refuse. Various organizations and bodies, including the Ministry of Sport, has tried to persuade them to make the change, but they refuse.

It seems mayors and councils refuse to agree to close roads for races on weekdays. The police also seem to object to closing the roads on any day other than Shabbat. This opposition is despite doing so for marathons and even for shorter races all over the country on a regular basis. The one situation they might reconsider is if there would be a significant number of religious cyclists potentially competing.
(source: Haaretz)

I don't know how many there are besides for this one, but I guess the number is not high enough.

Sports on Shabbos is very old school Israel. Religious Jews did not participate much in sports, except as spectators, so it was never much of an issue. Until recently. Suddenly there are religious athletes involved in all sorts of sports, and most of the relevant organizations have been accommodating and try to adjust when they can to allow the participation of the religious athletes. While a few serious running events are still held on Shabbos, most have been moved to either Thursdays or Fridays. The soccer and basketball leagues have made changes to the schedules for some teams.

The Cycling Federation is really stuck in a nasty box by refusing to accommodate. This is Israel, the Jewish state, and the Jewish religion should be accommodated for fuller participation.

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  1. Another reason the Sunday-off proposal makes a lot of sense. If we frumies are going to want to participate in stuff like this, we need a Sunday. Fridays are pressured to get ready for Shabbat, and the rest of the time people are working.

  2. Perhaps the venue should be moved to Williamsburg, in Brooklyn? They just love bike riders there!

  3. This is not surprising. In the 72 Olympics, Israel had a real chance for a cycling medal with Michael Zeitlin??? He recently moved from the States as a top cyclist, and attended Aish Hatorah. He just became frum and the Israeli Olympic committee had the trials on Shabbos. Even though they protested vociferously, the Israeli Olympic committee wouldn't budge. In the end Israel couldn't send any cyclists. Ultimately , the fact that he refused to trial on Shabbos saved his life from the Munich massacre.

  4. thats very interesting, but I wonder why the cyclists organizations are so much more stubborn about this than all the others who have accepted the reality a long time ago already...


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