Ping Pong on Shabbos
- This topic has 112 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 6 months ago by Sam2.
November 6, 2013 3:35 am at 3:35 am #611190kugler613Member
I see many people over bar mitzvah play ping pong. It is obviously not the best thing to do on shabbos, but is it actually assur (those who play say it’s not a sport)? If it is, then I would also like to know the source. If it’s not assur, then how bad is it to play on shabbos (it’s obviously not shabbosdic)?November 6, 2013 4:16 am at 4:16 am #987165frumnotyeshivishParticipant
R’ Moshe has a tshuva about chess where he says it should be avoided mechumra (i think b/c of uvda d’chol) unless the loser will get frustrated in which case it’s asur meikkar hadin. No mareh makom right now. From where do you get the idea that “sports” are assur?November 6, 2013 4:28 am at 4:28 am #987166
I don’t know why a sport would be Assur. But that aside, there is a Kiyum Mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos if you enjoy it (301:2, if I recall correctly). Why isn’t being M’kayeim Oneg Shabbos “Shabbosdic”?November 6, 2013 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #987167
Playing with a ball on shabbat isn’t technically assur al pi halacha. BUT, there is that famous Yerushalmi about how the city of Tur Shimon was destroyed, because they played ball on shabbat. Certain things may not be assur al pin din, but still shouldn’t be done out of the sake of propriety.November 6, 2013 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #987168
You should look up that Yerushalmi. It’s not at all clear that it was because of playing ball on Shabbos. Or why that would cause the city to be destroyed.November 6, 2013 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #987169
What do the poskim say about playing ball and riding a bike on Shabbos, Sam?November 6, 2013 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #987170HaLeiViParticipant
The Mechaber holds that a ball is Muktza. I think some say his Mekor is that Yerushalmi, which is quoted by Poskim. There is also the opinion that it is not a Keli. Perhaps the idea of the Yerushalmi is that they had major sports, Greek style, on Shabbos.November 6, 2013 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #987171
DY: Riding a bike is a separate issue. Playing ball is a decent split among those who mention it (that I’ve seen). The M”B quotes the Yerushalmi, but it is not at all clear what the Yerushalmi means. And even if P’shat is for playing ball on Shabbos, it would seem much more likely to be a case where that constitutes Chillul Shabbos (either because the ball is Muktzah because it’s dirty and wasn’t M’yuchad before Shabbos or because there is no Eruv; I think R’ Ovadia or the Tzitz Eliezer has a long T’shuvah trying to be M’varer why the M’chaber says balls are Muktzah). It’s a Pele that I haven’t seen anyone who Assurs playing with balls on Shabbos be Misyacheis to 301:2. But I think that most agree that in a situation where there is an Eruv and the ball is relatively clean that it should be okay.
Some people (not Poskim) say that it’s Assur to sweat on Shabbos, but that’s only because they don’t know what the word “L’hazia” means.November 6, 2013 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #987172
I also seem to recall a separate Yerushalmi (maybe in Moed Kattan) that described a game that kids would play where they would bounce a ball off a wall and it would hit and kill each other. I thought that that was what this Yerushalmi was referring to at first.
This was back in 9th grade when I went through the Yerushalmis in Moed (except for Eruvin, obviously). I haven’t been able to find that Yerushalmi again since, so take a 10-year-or-so memory for what it’s worth.November 6, 2013 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #987173🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
I think there was some form of bowling around then, and bowling on the streets would go under the issur of carrying.November 6, 2013 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #987174
You’re right that playing ball entails it’s own issues (328:5 comes to mind as well).
What do you say about bicycle riding?November 6, 2013 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #987175akupermaParticipant
Assuming you are playing indoors, why should it be any different than chess, about which we have a millenia worth of halachic discussion?November 6, 2013 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #987176Israeli ChareidiParticipant
Though I cannot locate it right now, I do remember looking this up many years ago.
If I’m not mistaken, aside from the ball issue, which would only be a sha’alo for Sefaradim, there is also the issue of psik reisha that the ball eventually breaks. If it is a kli and is not muktzeh, thi would be a problem of soser kli. I cannot remember who said what. But I do know that since that Shabbos that I looked it up and saw the discussion I stopped playing ping pong on Shabbos.November 6, 2013 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm #987177GG yekkeMember
The Shmiras Shabbos Ke’hilchoso says that one is allowed to play ping-pong on shabbos.
Bowling isnt allowed for the same reason football isnt allowed: Gezairah that you might come to flatten out the ground. With bowling this is definitely applicable.November 6, 2013 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #987178jewishfeminist02Member
“If I’m not mistaken, aside from the ball issue, which would only be a sha’alo for Sefaradim, there is also the issue of psik reisha that the ball eventually breaks.”
I don’t have my Mishna Berura with me right now, so I can’t check, but I’m pretty sure it’s Orach Chaim, siman Shin Lamed Zayin, sif Beis, that says that you may do something permitted on Shabbos which MAY OR MAY NOT cause something prohibited, even if the permitted act is LIKELY to cause the prohibited consequence, and it’s NOT a p’sik reisha (it comes up in the context of sweeping and choresh). A flimsy Ping-Pong ball is likely to break at any given moment, but certainly not 100% guaranteed to break, so it’s not a p’sik reisha.
This is me, not my husband.November 6, 2013 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #987179
The Gemara says bowling is an issue of Shema Y’shave Gumos.
DY: I seem to recall the Tzitz Eliezer having a T’shuva where he says that bicycle riding is an Uvdin D’chol at worst. (I think it was in the T’shuvah about a doctor driving back from the hospital after going in for Pikuach Nefesh.)November 6, 2013 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #987180
Sam, that’s what I recall as well, that it’s uvda d’chol, which might override oneg Shabbos. I’m not saying ping pong is assure, just that your seeming assertion that anything which is oneg Shabbos is inherently “Shabbosdic”.November 6, 2013 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #987181cherrybimParticipant
Playing ping-pong on Shabbos? The question has been asked back and forth.November 6, 2013 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #987182oomisParticipant
I am and will forever be confused about something. When I was a kid growing up in East New York in my Modern Orthodox home, where boys and girls talked to each other at any age, Baby carriages were taken out without an Eruv (there were no eruvim), and everyone’s kids played with everyone else’s, I was NEVER permitted to ride my tricycle on Shabbos, or play ball outside. Merely leaning against a car, was considered being oveir on muktzeh.
I live in a frum neighborhood, where ALL the Yeshivish families who live across from me, without exception, on Shabbos allow their younger kids to ride tricycles, scooters, play baseball in the street, and climb into and play on a truck that is often parked in their driveway. I never allowed my own kids to do such things on Shabbos (the playing in the truck would never have been permitted at ANY time), and they look askance when they see Kollel type people doing this. So my question is, what is the actual Halacha about riding these types of toys and playing in a truck on Shabbos. Are they or are they not using things that are muktzeh? At the very least, they are uvdah d’chol, no?November 6, 2013 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #987183
Oomis, it seems that poskim are meikil when it comes to kids and tricycles (but not bikes).
I think baseball should be assur because of, as you say, uvdin d’chol, and, as I alluded to, and other posters mentioned as well, there is an issur to do things which require a straight floor, lest one fill in holes or flatten bumps.
The status of a car or truck seems to be kli shem’lachto l’issur, so it’s muttar l’tzorech gufo. Maybe climbing on it, even if it moves it a bit, would be considered tzorech gufo.November 6, 2013 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #987184Israeli ChareidiParticipant
As far as I am aware, R’ Moshe determined that a tricycle is a toy and permitted while a bicycle is not and is prohibited.
A vehicle, though technically muktzeh, may be leaned upon as it does not sufficiently move (touching is never assur), though jumping on the back of a pickup may be a problem.
I don’t know of any heter to push a baby carriage lichatchila without an eiruv.
Uvdin dechol is usually determined by an action or use of an object which is normally done or operated in an way that would be assur on shabbos is forbidden on shabbos even if the issur is not done. This can be avoided by a significant heker. Example: even if a toothbrush can be used in a muttar way (no water, brush gently), one should set aside a special shabbos toothbrush to avoid uvdin dechol.November 6, 2013 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #987185akupermaParticipant
Bowling isn’t an issue since it involves electric machinery to reset the pins and return the balls – so obviously it is asur. Even the way it was done 100 years ago with “pinboys” doinhe resetting would be a problem since you need to pay the pinboys. If you had a home bowling alleys (a few very rich people do), it might be possible to do bowling on Shabbos but that’s not a realistic question.November 6, 2013 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #987186
I believe the Be’er Moshe held not to play ping pong.Tge whole bike issue is discussed by the Ben Ish Chai in his Rav Pa’alim where he says its mutar,however his Talmud the Kaf Hachaim assurs it.
where is that Yerushalmi about ball playing Taanis or Megilah I don’t remember.
There is also that Mishna Brurah who Quotes Rav Sasson who holds chess is assur to play and shabbas and even during the week if I am remembering correctly.November 6, 2013 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #987187
Sam2: its in taanis 24b(4:5) it is either znus or playing ball,Pnei Moshe they played on shabbas.Korban Haeidah,they played on shabbas or they played ball and didn’t learn Torah.November 6, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #987188LevAryehMember
R’ Shmuel Kamenetsky said that it’s assur.November 6, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #987189MCPMember
Since the classic case of Psik Reisha is cutting off a chicken’s head in order to use it as a ball (literally) presumably al pi din there is no inherent issur in playing ball. However, as plenty have mentioned, there are other concerns.November 7, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am #987190
I and OOMIS are of the same generation and I can attest -for sure- that people played chess on Shabbos in past years. I have never heard it should be ossur,although one has to be careful about keeping the pieces separate, once they are off th board, so as not to have a problem of “borrer”. As far a bycicles, pretty much most acharonim maintain it is an “uvdo dechol”, with the added proviso that it might bring to be “mesaken kli” if a chain falls off or the like. Ping pong (table tennis) ,however, may very well be easier because it is clearly not a psik reisha if it breaks. These balls are very sturdy.November 7, 2013 4:21 am at 4:21 am #987192
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I hope you see fit to post that, I think the implied rebuke is subtle enough this time.November 7, 2013 5:31 am at 5:31 am #987194
“Tur Shimon used to provide three hundred loaves of bread (for the poor) every eve of shabbat. Why then was it destroyed? One says, due to licentiousness. Another says, because they used to play ball.”
The Yerushalmi provides us with no further clarification on this matter, but it is clear to me that chazal are associating destruction with chillul shabbat, and that ball playing is seem as being out of line with the proper atmosphere we should be aiming to inculcate on shabbat.November 7, 2013 6:29 am at 6:29 am #987195
Squeak: The word “B’Shabbos” does not appear in the Yerushalmi (at least, not the one in front of me). Where are you quoting from?
Also, that doesn’t stand up to the fact that there was probably no Eruv, which means they were being M’challel Shabbos. Or that they held like the M’chaber and a disgustingly dirty ball is inherently Muktzah. Neither one applies to ping pong.November 7, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #987196
Medrash EichaNovember 7, 2013 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #987197
Squeak: I’ll take a look. The fact stands, though, that you need a Makor that playing ball is inherently Chillul Shabbos (and that ping pong counts as playing with a ball; the potential Chilukim are obvious). I would still assume that it constituted Chillul Shabbos because there was no Eruv, it was Muktzah, it was an Ashvuyei Gumos situation, etc.
I still don’t think you can claim “Not Shabbos-dik” to be Oseir here. 301:2 didn’t disappear.
And DY: Uvdin D’chol has to have some sort of potential Chillul Shabbos connected to it. So until you can find a potential Chillul Shabbos in ping pong (and the ball breaking isn’t it, for several reasons; though I could hear the Ta’ana that playing with a cracked ball is), I can’t see a reason that would be Oseir.November 7, 2013 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #987198
The erudite posters are debating the “yerushalmi” in connection with playing ball. I,however, find this yerushalmi very disturbing for other reasons .Clearly, “Tur Shimon’ were great “baaleiu tsedokoh”-giving bread to multitudes of poor people- yet, they were destroyed (if it was during Betar times, it is well after the churban) for what is seemingly a very minor infraction(evem the part of licentiousness only concerns one person). I find this inexplicable- so much ‘zechus’ and yet being destroyed for a very small infraction? As a corrolarry, Rav Huna (who is quoted) lived many , many years after this event- where were his sources?November 7, 2013 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #987199
It is indeed a troubling Yerushalmi, ROB.November 7, 2013 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #987200twistedParticipant
Somewhere I saw the Tur Shimon case attributed to the cessation (bitul) bais medrash shabbos, that they would daven in sush a time and way that there were long lecture or study sessions up to chatzos. (like the case of Rav doresh on YT in Bezah.
RE: “there were no eruvin” A moomcheh told me that in Europe, there were those who kashered an eruv where there were utility poles with the wires on crossbars. It could be there was someone with broad enough shoulders that might have paskened that way for East NY, the “little Jerusalem” that it once was.November 7, 2013 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #987201
Here is the Kaf Hachaim on bicycles:
His three reasons to asser:
1) One might fix it if it breaks
2) One might leave the techum
3) One might carry it if riding becomes difficult (e.g. steep hill).November 7, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm #987202
And now this thread is bordering on Mach’chis Magideha. Yay!November 8, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am #987203
Sam and ROB- it is clearly a sensitivity, not an outright issur. If Rav Huna mentioned that a great city was destroyed for this behavior, that says to me I should think twice about doing it myself. That is all.November 8, 2013 4:57 am at 4:57 am #987204
Sam2:what here is considered tzidduki talk here I didn’t catch it.November 8, 2013 7:17 am at 7:17 am #987205
Sam4321, you don’t find it “troubling” and “disturbing” that posters can speak about a Gemara this way?November 8, 2013 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #987206
Squeak: And I am saying that the burden of proof is on you that this is an actual “sensitivity” and not some form of Chillul Shabbos. I find it very strange that the people would be punished for something not Assur. Therefore, either it was so pervasive that it did not allow for proper respect for Shabbos (I can hear that, but it still feels weird) or it involved actual Chillul Shabbos (either Mid’rabannan and it was so pervasive that it was M’vazeh Talmidei Chachamim or actual Chillul Shabbos D’oraisa). You cannot just take a Sasum Yerushalmi/Midrash and Darshan a Halachah from it. There is a burden of proof that the Gemara actually thinks this is something that shouldn’t be done.November 8, 2013 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #987207
DaasYochid: Please explain what your remarks mean. Are you saying that we must accept every Aggadata verbatim- never questioning and never trying to understand?? Have we come to that point where Judaism accepts infallibilty??November 8, 2013 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #987208
rob: Yes, we believe the Torah Sheba’al Peh is infallible. When Chazal say something, we listen. We don’t ask questions (we ask questions to understand, never to contradict) or dispute their sources. (There is debate about whether we extend this principle to scientific matters. This is not a scientific matter.) Asking what R’ Huna’s sources were, without a doubt, is a violation of Mach’chish Magideha and loses a Chelek in Olam Haba.November 8, 2013 8:19 pm at 8:19 pm #987209
Sam2- too late to respond to you now in detail- too close to shabbos. However, you are wrong in claiming infallibiity. Aggadata is not binding and has nothing to do with the acceptance of Torah shebaal peh ,which is limited to halocho. Not to allow to ask questions means accepting infallibility-very distinctly a non-Jewish trait.
gut shabbosNovember 9, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm #987210
ROB’s view of aggadata is in line with the views of Rabbenu Avraham ben haRambam on aggadata. If you hold that all aggadatot are infallible, then what do you with the clearly flawed science that Chazal went on?November 9, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm #987211
RD, I don’t want to get into the whole Chaza”l/science discussion, but by extending it to hashkafa and halacha, which is most definitely out of bounds, you’ve demonstrated how dangerous it is to take a particular position on it.November 9, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm #987212
Sam, uvdin d’chol does not have to have a potential chillul Shabbos; see Kilkeles HaShabbos.
Unfortunately, Sam, I think we’ve gone well past the border. 🙁November 10, 2013 2:10 am at 2:10 am #987213
DaasYochid and Sam2:I specifically excluded halacha from the question we were discussing. I always thought that “lo sossur” (upon which this whole discussion is based) is only about halacha, and not about “hashkofa’ (a very nebulous concept) or aggadata. By expanding “lo sossur’ to virtually every aspect of life, we have come to the situation that we have today, that we have to follow every word of a godol and never think for ourselves. So- called “daas torah’ of today is modern invention.November 10, 2013 3:39 am at 3:39 am #987214Torah613TorahParticipant
What about chess?
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