Back in the 1980's, I was told that the local Shul made a MiSheberach for their football team the Shabbos preceding the Superbowl. I suppose it was the sacrilege of this action that contributed to their defeat a day later.
But this has been on my mind recently when I wondered whether fans' Davening actually helps or hinders the outcome on the gridiron, in the arena or on the diamond.
According to some Hashkafically, no blade of grass grows without divine intervention. So one can argue that prayer may be a factor in deciding a positive outcome. Just ask Tim Tebow (although it seems that prayer is not the only factor, considering he will not be in the big game).
When you think of sports dynasties, one conjures up images of baseball's New York Yankees, perhaps The Boston Red Sox. Basketball's LA Lakers and Boston Celtics. Football's Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco's Forty Niners and others.
The common denominator that one notices is that the cities that boast winning sports teams coincidentally maintain large Jewish populations. New York, Los Angeles, Boston (New England) etc.
One can therefore rightfully make the argument that prayer is a prelude to victory.
Yet the conundrum remains as to what happens when NY/NJ meets up with New England. Some say that the battle will take place on the Christian day of rest, but one can argue that the real battle takes place a day earlier, on the Jewish Day of Rest - at the Bimah.
Smoky Simon, Nefesh B'Nefesh event at Beit Hatfutsot (video) - In a Nefesh B'Nefesh program with Toldot Yisrael at Beit Hatfutsot on January 3rd, 2017, Smoky Simon discusses the role Machal volunteers played in the Air...
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