Monday, February 05, 2007

Waking Up Early to Watch A Sports Game

Such is the question and answer in a post on Moreshet that ADDeRabbi brings to our attention. If I might attempt my own answer:

I would first try searching through Tanach for some precedent of waking up early, before it is time for davening, in order to watch a mischak, a sport. And the obvious precedent is the Leviathan. As we know, Hashem created the Leviathan to play/sport with, as we read in Tehillim 104:

כו שָׁם, אֳנִיּוֹת יְהַלֵּכוּן; לִוְיָתָן, זֶה-יָצַרְתָּ לְשַׂחֶק-בּוֹ. 26 There go the ships; there is leviathan, whom Thou hast formed to sport therein.

Indeed, the Talmud tells us that part of the reward for the righteous will be to see gladiatorial combat between the Behemoth and Leviathan, after which they will partake in a meal of the Leviathan. So the Leviathan is a form of entertainment and sport.

May one wake up the Leviathan early in the morning, before twilight? We have precedent for that as well, as we see in Iyyov 3:

ח יִקְּבֻהוּ אֹרְרֵי-יוֹם; הָעֲתִידִים, עֹרֵר לִוְיָתָן. 8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to rouse up leviathan.
ט יֶחְשְׁכוּ, כּוֹכְבֵי נִשְׁפּוֹ: יְקַו-לְאוֹר וָאַיִן; וְאַל-יִרְאֶה, בְּעַפְעַפֵּי-שָׁחַר. 9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it behold the eyelids of the morning;
That's all I got for now.

It is obviously possible to treat this question more seriously, but I'm not in the mood to do so right now.


Josh M. said...

That's for spectator sports, but when it comes to engaging in sport, of course, one can invoke the precedent of "Vayakumu L'tzacheik"

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Hmm... what about the issue of in the first quote, who's doing the לשחק and to what noun does בו refer?

joshwaxman said...

both of you make good points. :)

in terms of the first quote, I would read it like the gemara does (Avodah Zarah 3b), that it is Hashem playing with the Leviathan. In which case, Hashem is the one playing with the Leviathan, and those waking up Leviathan just want to do so to witness the games.


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