ISRAEL (VINnews) — Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu spoke critically of those who are too immersed in soccer, including Israelis and other Jews who traveled to Qatar for the World Cup.
The Chief Rabbi of Tzfas called the obsession a “drug”, and advised people to pull away in order to save themselves.
In a video posted on social media, Rabbi Eliyahu said: “What does Judaism think of these games?” He quoted the Yerushalmi about “Tor Shimon”, a city that was destroyed. Although it received an abundance of blessing and its inhabitants were great charitable people, the city “was destroyed because they were playing ball”.
The Rabbi said that the simple understanding of the Yerushalmi is “that the very act of playing ball destroyed a city like Tor Shimon. What happened? Why is it so terrible? The answer is because it is simply hevel (emptiness), tohu (nothingness), there is nothing in it,” he said.
He added, “People play, those who are watching them is not a sport, they [just] watch, it doesn’t add health to them, nothing, just stress and passion over nothing, and even those who play don’t get healthier.”
The rabbi said that a player once told him that the players exert themselves beyond their capacity and use more strength than Hashem created them to use and this causes health problems.
The Rabbi continued: “How many people have been killed because of this World Cup? The game is important – lives are not important. How much promiscuity and immorality there is, may Hashem have mercy.”
He concluded by saying it is “wasting time and destroying shalom bayis. Anyone sensible will turn off this drug called a football game, it gives you nothing, it only destroys your home. It’s like a drug, it pulls and pulls. Cut it and you’ll be saved.