Chareidi Marathon Runner Beatie Deutsch Can’t Compete At Budapest World Championship -As Its On Shabbat

Beatie Deutsch wrote that her atypical story of an Olympic athlete puts her in a position of role model, especially for women. (Instagram)

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Not for the first time, chareidi marathon runner Beatie Deutsch, who competes at international marathons and has won Israeli marathons on several occasions, will be forced to withdraw from a major tournament due to the race being scheduled on Shabbat.

Deutsch, who runs in modest clothing and with a head covering, wrote in a Facebook post that “In 2019, the women’s marathon was scheduled for Friday night in the Doha World Championships.”

“No big deal, I thought… This was just a rare occasion where they put the race at night due to the extreme heat. My career was just getting started and there would be more opportunities

“In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the women’s marathon was moved to Saturday morning, once again precluding me from competing. I was extremely disappointed but there was nothing I could do.

“Even once the Olympics were rescheduled due to Corona, they still refused to make any religious accommodations (although they had done so in the past when Ramadan coincided with the London Olympics).

“In 2023, Budapest World Champs, once again scheduled the women’s marathon for Shabbat. And so even though I have qualified, I will not be able to compete.”

Deutsch continued, “I have kept Shabbat my entire life and it’s a mitzvah I cherish dearly. I never imagined myself even contemplating otherwise, and yet for the first time in my life I found myself feeling pressure to compete on Shabbat.”

“Suddenly, the struggle all our Jewish grandmothers faced back in the 1920’s, when they were told they’d lose their jobs if they didn’t show up on Saturday, feels a lot more real.

“Will I lose my funding if I don’t prove myself and compete? I’m giving up such big opportunities. Maybe this profession isn’t actually viable as an Orthodox Jew?

“And I wonder – Is there any room for religious accommodations in sport? Is there any way to make changes to the system? Can we respect religious beliefs amongst athletes?

“I find myself doing the unthinkable and asking my rabbi if there’s some way I can run..I know in my heart I could never do it, but I have to ask.

“I’m not surprised by his answer, only shocked that I even considered it.

“And as I reflect on my journey, and the intense challenges and obstacles I’ve faced along the way, I know that the sacrifice I make for Shabbat. The commitment I make to uphold this holy day is the most precious choice I will take with me.”

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3 months ago

There are plemyy of races on other days to race. Let’s hope she wins!

3 months ago

A “chareidi” woman should not be publicizing herself to the extent that she is publicized.

3 months ago

No this is not a viable career for an Orthodox Jew. Asking people to totally rearrange an event for one athlete is a bit much.