Sunday, November 15, 2009

On Saturday, Rabbi-to-Be Eats Pork

Oh, sorry, my mistake. On Saturday this Rabbi-to-Be punches other folks in the head in an attempt to rattle their brain inside their skull in order to knock them unconscious.

This last Shabbos, Yuri Foreman defeated Daniel Santos of Puerto Rico in an upset match to capture the World Boxing Association’s 154-pound championship.

Then there's Dmitriy Salita, an Orthodox Jew with an undefeated record in over 26 career bouts.

Regardless of such rationalizations (mentioned in the Salita article above) that "It's not really true that in order to win you have to damage the other person or beat them up... it's really about scoring more points than your opponent, and that's not unlike chess.", boxing is a brutal sport that frequently results in dementia pugilistica (similar to Alzheimer's dementia), Parkinson's disease, and other neuro-degenerative diseases. Whether it's "deracheha darchei noam" (the ways of Torah are pleasant), or prohibitions of "sakonos nefashos" (danger to life), or the many possible Shabbos restrictions such as creating a wound, this occupation is completely anathema to Jewish ideals.

Chabadnik Dov Ber Pinson is the rabbi who is studying with Foreman. The fact that a so-called rabbi would consider granting semicha to a student with such an occupation is unconscionable. It should be no different than if the student said, "I want to be a rabbi, but also want to eat pork on Yom Kippur."