Why is the Wider Frum Public Making a Big Deal Over Bryant’s Death

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    This is really bothering me. I’m seeing frum websites (ahem, ywn) and ostensibly frum people on social media (please save your criticism for a different thread) devoting time and space to Bryant’s death. Why? Since when does the frum tzibbur seek to commemorate goyishe celebrities and sports figures? I’m not saying we shouldn’t take hisorerus from his death, like the famous story about the Chofetz Chaim and the earthquake in China, but why are frum people demonstrating how mixed up they are by mourning the death of a basketball player? Hashem was mavdil us from the goyim, He separated us from the other amim, just so we should go and squeeze back in? What in the world do we care whether someone who died was famous and a good ball player or a homeless guy? Why is this an item of jewish interest???


    Normally I was never into sports, but for some reason Bryant’s death struck me — perhaps because of its suddenness and his relative youth (not to mention his daughter’s). Granted, he was also a larger-than-life figure.

    Basically, it seemed like a reminder not to take anything for granted; make each day count. We don’t know when our time on earth is up.

    yaakov doe

    I know nothing about this Koby Bryant. All the Kobys that I know are Yaakovs.


    Who is Bryant?


    You’re looking at the wrong crowds. The Lakewood type tzibburs barely know who that was, if they even ever heard his name before. The websites and social media crowd hardly represents the real frum community.

    Reb Eliezer

    The Rambam says that gazel akim is assur miderabonon not to learn from it. They also say baby boys can have dolls to install in them feelings. So, hearing this awakens our feelings.


    Kobe never played for any of the NYC or Philadelphia NBA teams so its not surprising that the BMG bochurim did not have his jersey hanging on their dorm room walls (unless they were from LA) . And you are right with regard to social media. Today’s edition of Hamodia etc. had lots of coverage of impeachment, ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, Chinese New Year etc. but not a word about Bryan’t’s tragic death. Its entirely a matter of what the readership wants to see and the editorial discretion of the publisher. A large percentage of YWN readers clearly finds this of interest and feels sadness at his being niftar


    It doesn’t matter why the tragedy was such big news in the first place, but once you hear about such a thing, it is a big deal no matter how little you knew of the person beforehand.


    1. Basketball is basically the most popular sport in yeshiva. A lot of people follow it, so they know about Koby Bryant.

    2. He was extremely famous, so even if you and no one you know followed basketball (very unlikely in a vast majority of yeshivos) you probably heard of him at least a little.

    3. Helicopter crashes are big news.

    4. He was young, his daughter was obviously also very young, and 6 or 7 other people died. It’s very sad.

    5. It’s getting wall to wall coverage in the goyish media. Even if you don’t follow sports or care about celebrities, if something is being covered by literally every outlet all day, you will most likely hear about it.


    Please can u chill out, just because this kind of stuff doesn’t interest you, doesn’t mean you need to get all worked up about it.


    Who says we are โ€œmourningโ€?


    not Koby


    Even if you dont follow sports, many frum people do.
    Even if you dont follow sports, you probably heard of Kobe Bryant.
    It is a tragedy of a famous person. It is sad when non Jews die and there is some message that we are supposed to take from it. The fact that he was famous for his God-given talents, makes it more impactful than if he wasn’t as well known.
    We are all creations of Hashem and Hashem loves all His creations.
    It should make you sad that he died in a tragic way along with his young daughter.


    GH: The term Niftar does not apply to a GOY.

    Reb Eliezer

    lower, the word niftar means depart doesn’t even mean dead like ‘ื”ื ืคื˜ืจ ืžื—ื‘ื™ืจื• ื•ื›ื•


    RE: Isnt it true that we use the term niftar since the neshoma has no departed the guf the person is patur from doing mitzvos?


    It is not in line with Jewish values.


    It’s one thing to inadvertently speak lashon hora, it’s another to go out of your way to do it.


    Lowertuition:: I’ll make the same point I noted with respect to the ehrliche CR posters who found it necessary to bash the young Israeli reporter whose kipa blew off in the wind while he was doing an interview on the WH lawn yesterday and he held his hand over his head rather than his sleeve. GET A A LIFE and stop acting as the halacha police. . Does it really make a difference whether I referenced the “deceased” as a “niftar”??? It had nothing to do with the point either myself or others were making as to why his death was an appropriate item of interest to many YWN readers.


    sorry GH not acting as the “halacha police” however I was once corrected by Harav Hillel David on this very point. Like it or not once you hit the submit button you are open to any sort of criticism.
    If the moderators thought it was out of line they would have not approved it.

    Reb Eliezer

    The expression above did not penetrate so I will quote the whole expression. ื”ื ืคื˜ืจ ืžื—ื‘ื™ืจื• ืืœ ื™ืคื˜ื•ืจ ืืœื ืžืชื•ืš ื“ื‘ืจ ื”ืœื›ื”
    whoever departs from his friend, should not depart only from words of halacha. He remembers him through the halacha he was told. Maybe, leave things in the middle and not explain fully, so he wil have to work on it and not forget it.


    Lacisrmma: Its irrelevant to my point so not worth debating further.

    Reb Eliezer

    Correction for above should be, should not depart but only from words of halacha.

    YW fan

    I want to ask everyone a question. Why does it matter whether or not YOU have never heard of the person?? If that was the case why does the news mention when a top operative in Hamas or whatever other terror organization is killled?? I’ll bet even LESS people have ever heard of THEIR names


    I can almost guarantee you that nobody is mourning the death of Kobe its just the hot topic that is going around right maybe a few people are saddened by the fact the a father of children died among other people but nobody (and by that i mean frum jews) is mourning the death of Kobe

    Reb Eliezer

    Our LOR used him in his mussar drasha that richness brought him to his death, so people should appreciate what they have and not desire more.


    Reb Elizezer: ” richness brought him to his death:”??
    Did your rav mean that the fact he was affluent allowed him to charter a helicopter? Not sure that makes sense since lots more non-affluent people are killed driving their cars.. The fatality rate (per miles travelled) for helicopter travel is a fraction of the auto death rate. Whats the point of this musar, don’t be affluent since bad things can still happen?


    GHD: The fatality rates PER MILE TRANSPORTED via helicopter is significantly higher than that via automotive.


    The fatality rate (per miles travelled) for helicopter travel is a fraction of the auto death rate.


    The fatality rates PER MILE TRANSPORTED via helicopter is significantly higher than that via automotive.

    Can either of you cite actual numbers and a source?


    Reb Elizezer: โ€ richness brought him to his death:โ€??
    Did your rav mean that the fact he was affluent allowed him to charter a helicopter?

    I’m not R’ Eliezer’s rov, but they generally don’t allow helicopters to fly in such fog, so whether you want to blame it on his wealth or his fame, it’s pretty clear that an ordinary Joe wouldn’t be flying in those conditions.

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