Rabbi: AVOID These Un-Kosher Sports


Rabbi Cornelius Vanderbilt IV is a sports rabbi. He heads the Temple Beth-el-Amin congregation in Las Vegas and is the coach for the boys’ soccer team at the local high school.

Hello. My name is Rabbi Cornelius Vanderbilt IV (no relation). Choosing a sport to play is hard enough already; but if you’re Glatt Kosher, it can be even more difficult. The Torah commands us to “ride a bike, play with a ball, or take a hike. Just not at night.” (Leviticus, 3:3, rhyming version). But did you know that there are sports NOT approved by rabbinic law? Here’s just a short list of three, to give you a taste. Read it--your Rabbi will thank you!


That looks like a delicious game of ham ball.

1. Ham ball- This one is a no brainer: Jews cannot have ham, end of story. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, He commanded, “Thou shalt not play ham ball—even if all the other boys and girls in the neighborhood are playing it and having a really fun time. Is that clear?” (Exodus, 3:13)


It might not be kosher, but man it's fun.

2. Pork boxing- No pork boxing. Ever. You hear me? This is a big violation of Jewish tradition. It is written in the Old Testament that any Israelite caught pork boxing must be exiled from the holy land. Please, for the love of Hashem: NO PORK BOXING. Nada. If you must, keep it lowkey and for the love of god do not do it in your sanctuary’s boxing ring…

(Okay, a little pork boxing is okay. I’ll admit, even I had my run-ins with pork boxing in my college years at Brandeis. I nearly made it to nationals, too. If my rabbi hadn’t figured it out and put a stop to it, hey, who knows, maybe I’d be Pork Boxing Champion Rabbi Vanderbilt. Good times. If you need any pork boxing tips, I’d be more than happy to help out.)


Can't get worse than this!

3. Bowling- This is the least kosher sport by far. The pins and ball might as well come with a giant red warning sticker that says, “Hey! Not kosher! No! Stop!” Every rabbi of every sect in the history of the Jewish religion has agreed that the Torah forbids bowling. For a long time, it was thought that 6th Commandment said, “Thou shalt not murder,” but after brushing away more dust, archeologists found out a part had been left out. The real Commandment says "Thou shalt not murder or go bowling.” Seriously guys, do not even think about going bowling. How about, instead of bowling, you and your friends did a more wholesome activity? Lobster fishing is a favorite in my neck of the woods. It can even be fun! Not as fun as bowling though.

Well, that’s my spiel. I hope it helped. Shalom for now! I’m late for practice, and, as the bible says, “late ain’t great” (Genesis, 1:2, rhyming version again).

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Rabbi Vanderbilt is the author of the upcoming book "1,001 Rabbi Jokes" slated for an extremely limited release next year. --Ari Mostow, Nate Odenkirk

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