What to do about baseball? – by Michael T. Pullen

My son has fallen in love with baseball. He played on a team for the first time this fall. He loved it so much that he decided not to play soccer but to do fall baseball. Baseball sounded good because it was local and soccer required traveling up to 2 hours away.

This baseball idea is all fine but they do not give a schedule ahead of time. There is no way of knowing when the games will be. So guess when they are playing. Yep, 9 AM on Saturday.

Here is my dilema. We are not halachic Jews and we do not follow the word of our rabbi. However, we do observe Shabbat starting on Friday night through Saturday night. The way we approach Shabbat is that we do not do anything related to our work during the week. Shabbat is for rest and renewal. That means we focus on family, reading, playing outside, inviting friends over and enjoying the aspects of life we do not get to do while working during the week. The things that we consider part of the work week are the TV, computer, electronic games, and shopping.

What do we do with baseball? Is baseball OK? If baseball is, what is not? Is the issue Shabbat or that my Saturday schedule is being changed?

If I am raising Jewish children with the love and passion of Judaism how do I teach the importance of Shabbat? Is it by telling them what they cannot do? I hope not. But at some point I will have to say no. What is my line? Where am I comfortable?

  • Going to a friend’s house – well yes if they are playing outside
  • Going to the mall – well here seems to be the line
  • Going to the movies – this seems to step over it
  • Going to a friend’s to play video games – no
  • Going to grandparents where they watch TV – yes, it’s their grandparents
  • Going out to a party on Friday night – is one night different than every night?

My children are still young so this is on the edge of theoretical, however the baseball thing is real. I do not think I have a problem with baseball but I am still wrestling with it.

What do you do? Are you a halachic Jew? Does having a rule book simplify things? Are you practicing Jew? How do you do Shabbat with your children? What would you do in this case?

mTp – With Intention


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