Shalom from the Shabbat Lady

By Laura Seymour
Dear Families,
I have never been very good at sports; however, I do enjoy watching and I am very interested in teaching sportsmanship. Questions that I have wondered about: Where does “fouling” fit into Jewish values? Is it OK to sack the quarterback? Is it a Jewish value to be competitive? The important thing is that we have the conversation about these issues. Here are a few different texts from our sages to help you begin the conversation. Keep talking!
One who embarrasses his friend in public is considered as though he has murdered him. — Talmud
When judging your friend, always give him the benefit of the doubt. — Talmud
On the day of your friend’s success, participate in his joy. — ­Midrash
Your reward is commensurate to your effort. — Pirke Avot
Exercise removes the harm caused by most bad habits, and nothing is as beneficial as body movements and ­exercise. — Maimonides
Another important conversation to have is about today’s sports heroes. Is someone in sports a good role model? What makes a good role model? Here is a list of possible things to look for in a hero or role model. Use these as you talk about your sports “heroes” — do they measure up? A hero is…
Someone you admire.
Someone with qualities you would like to have.
Someone who is hard-working and has accomplished something great.
Someone who is really good at something and has a special skill or talent.
Someone who is nice, caring and loving.
Someone who does special things or is a special person.
While we are on the subject of sports, do you know that a father is required to teach his child to swim? It says so in the Talmud!

Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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