Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Ellul 5760 - September 20, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Sponsored by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Produced and housed by











Home and Family
Olympian Problems for Chareidim Down Under
by Yossi Frommer, Yated Ne'eman Australian Correspondent

What do the Olympic games have to do with the Australian chareidi community? Although chareidi Jewry certainly takes no real interest in these sport competitions, some curious ramifications have arisen from these games being held "down under."

For a start, this year Australia inaugurated Daylight Savings Time two months earlier than usual because of the Olympics. At first, this involved only minor inconvenience for most chareidi Jews, since the earliest time for hanochas tefillin was 7 a.m., making things difficult for working men. A far greater inconvenience will be felt on Yom Kippur, which will end at 8.35 p.m. instead of the usual 7.35 p.m. An extra daylight hour of fasting!

There has been a question about when to begin the first night of Selichos, because chatzos this year falls at 1 a.m. The rabbonim have ruled that in many synagogues it is better to begin at the usual 12 midnight rather than risk losing a part of the kehilla which might find it difficult to come at such a late hour. Other places will begin Selichos in the early morning.

The Olympics have left educators with the dilemma of retaining a pre-Rosh Hashanah atmosphere while the whole world is focused on the Olympics. During a recent visit to Melbourne, Rav Noach Orlowek of Jerusalem advised educators to explain the Olympics' Greek-pagan origins as a way of curtailing admiration for its competitors. He added that mockery of the games can also help dispel admiration for the athletes: explaining that the gemora says all mockery is evil except for mockery of idol worship.

Last week's edition of Yated did not make it to our Australian readers because the plane had to carry athletes.

Shopping for yom tov is also going to be an Olympian feat this year in Sydney. Parking on the main Jewish shopping street has been prohibited for the duration because of the some nearby games. Kosher shops will be open from 10 p.m. to 2a.m.(!), at which time parking restrictions will be lifted.

There has been a steady call from Israel to stop Israeli athletes from attending the closing ceremony on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Yossel Gutnick, President of the Melbourne Football club, recently made front page news for most of the week -- and a tremendous kiddush Hashem -- when he announced that he won't be attending the Grand Final along with his team because of his Shabbos observance. The public as well as the media seemed to respect his decision, going out of their way to understand the holiness of Shabbos and its corresponding restrictions. But what will people say if/when Hatikva is played on yom tov?


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.