Search results for: Sharon Yochai
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Soccer is Israel’s most popular sport. And, as any Israeli child will tell you, soccer is played on Shabbat; that’s just the way things are. The question of whether games should be held on Shabbat usually arises in the context of discussions related to Shabbat observance. The issue of the sanctity of Shabbat is important, but in this article we will highlight a different important social problem—the exclusion of the religious public from sports. It turns out that religious youth are largely prevented from excelling in sports in Israel. This is the case not only in soccer, but in general: in judo, fencing and swimming, many of the major tournaments are also held on Shabbat, thereby excluding religious competitors. Basketball leagues are an exception to this rule, as games take place during the week, and in fact many religious youth participate. This religious-secular dispute about playing on Shabbat poses a special challenge for Tzav Pius, an organization dedicated to bridging this divide in Israel. How can it be turned into an opportunity for turning the soccer field into a place of meeting and cooperation, one that would not only provide a solution for Shabbat observers, but would become a space where people can live and develop together beyond labels, stereotypes and separate educational systems?
Updated: Jan. 06, 2016