The first Orthodox Jew in a Major League Baseball organization

Originally published at: The first Orthodox Jew in a Major League Baseball organization | Boing Boing


Broadly speaking, regardless of this guy’s performance i think it’s good that they’re willing to provide accommodations for him.


Well good for him for making his own interpretation. In my opinion a heck of a lot of so-called orthodox people of many different religions commonly do things that are clearly against the spirit of the rules that they profess to follow, but get by on a technicality. Like strict Catholics that eat capybara or beavers on Fridays during lent (“Surely they count as fish. They spend time in the water, don’t they?”) or the Orthodox folks who employ a Shabbos goy to perform otherwise forbidden tasks during the sabbath. Compared to that, playing a game on the sabbath seems much more justifiable.


Notably there are no “accommodations” made for women, not visible anywhere.
I hope that Aaron was videoed going to a separate room downstairs, where he will be allowed to share the celebratory news with his no-doubt-supportive mother, sisters, and any other females allowed in the house.

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Pretty sure that’s a young woman sitting to his left in the next chair, with a blanket over her legs.

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And if one of the silly loopholes or workarounds doesn’t work, there’s always a respected fundie rabbi out there who’ll give a helpful interpretation if an appropriately large donation is made to the synagogue building fund.


Yes, there is a young girl in the seat, and another with a phone by the stairs.
As young pre-batmitzvah-age, they are not considered “risky” to be around men. I meant “women” (and could have been clearer.)

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George Carlin on changing rules/special dispensation -

If the Big Lebowski was made today, they’d have to change Walter’s famous line here :slight_smile: -

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But isn’t baseball now his job since he is getting paid and it is his full time employer? If so, surely even playing a game has got to be considered work?

I guess as long as he can justify his stance to himself and his Rabbi, that is all that matters, I just have an curiosity about how he squares the circle.

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I would almost believe that by a similar metric you could argue any job isn’t actually work by employing the phrase: “Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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I’m not Jewish so I certainly can’t judge if he’s doing the “right” thing or not. Rabbinical law is for rabbis to sort out. And maybe his neighbors, and his team, and his mother, and everyone on the internet, and …

I visited Israel once on business for a few weeks and got to witness the behavior first hand. On the sabbath everyone was happy to foist me off on someone else. The hotel warned me a day in advance that the kitchen was closed, but there might be some fruit left out for breakfast. Some local restaurants were still open, and were bursting at the seams with customers. Half the slowness was the extra customers (apparently eating out is ok for some people), and the other half was they are short-staffed on the sabbath. But it didn’t matter because we weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere, as everything is closed! It was just a nice, quiet day to walk around and take in the scenery.

But I was absolutely just fine leaving it all behind.


Well that’s true and I do enjoy my work but I am not trying to apply a strict religious framework around my employment.

I hope he makes it to the majors!

The post said food would be a major difficulty. I actually don’t think so. There’s a Chabad just about everywhere in the US and they love this kind of thing and will make sure he gets kosher meals.

Steinmetz’s decision that he would pitch on the Sabbath if required is a controversial choice within the Orthodox community

Yeah, that’s pretty far on the “modern” side of Modern Orthodox.

There’s good kosher food in every city that has a MLB team – and there are enough serious Jewish baseball fans that there would be no shortage of volunteers to feed him if the team put out the call when they’re on the road.


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