Why working out is assur
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- This topic has 48 replies, 33 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 6 months ago by Lilmod Ulelamaid.
September 10, 2013 4:19 am at 4:19 am #610560
When I asked my rebbi a few years back if lifting weights is ok his response was it is assur gammur!September 10, 2013 4:51 am at 4:51 am #1191393BronyParticipant
lol does he even lift?September 10, 2013 5:51 am at 5:51 am #1191394Sam2Participant
… That’s not a reason. That’s just a statement.September 10, 2013 7:47 am at 7:47 am #1191395jewishfeminist02Member
There’s a BIG difference between “working out is assur” and “lifting weights is assur”. Even if you can’t lift weights (for whatever reason the rabbi provided) there are many, many other ways to exercise.September 10, 2013 9:01 am at 9:01 am #1191396
Does your rebbi always take a car even for short distances? Does he prefer a diet rich in fat and sugars, while avoid fiber, fruits, vegetables, etc.? Perhaps he stays in a wheel chair to avoid having to use his body for anything?September 10, 2013 9:07 am at 9:07 am #1191397takahmamashParticipant
Maybe your rebbe was wrong?September 10, 2013 9:17 am at 9:17 am #1191398King19Member
I know many respected talmidei chachamim that say that working out is healthy for you and your body as well as other exercises. They in fact are encouraged to do especially in yeshiva because you don’t get enough exercise. However if one is doing it for the wrong reasons – i.e to impress the other gender….then it’s not good. (which is what your Rebbe may have had in mind.) otherwise enjoy it and with much hatzlacha. (I personally work out 5-6 times a week for a half hour or so, not so much during elul though) . Basically it’s a positive outlet when having proper intentionsSeptember 10, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am #1191399zahavasdadParticipant
I read in a book by Berel Wein, he was jogging one day in Jerusalem in a sweat suit and Rav Sholomo Zalman Auerbach saw him. Berel Wein was embarrased that the Rav saw him this way and before he could say anything
Rav Shlomo Zalman said, NU your health is important tooSeptember 10, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm #1191400oomisParticipant
Maybe he was thinking it is like the Hellenistic “Gymnasione” and therefore smacks of body worship. Lifting weights to keep in shape, stay healthy, and fit, is not the same thing as Avoda Zara. ANYTHING done to excess, is assur. But hitting the gym once a day for 45 minutes or so, (while not sacrificing one’s learning), is good for the body, if not the wallet. You should ask your rov why he feels that way, and upon what Halacha his opinion is based.September 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #1191401Mr SfardiParticipant
Tell that rebbi to go get a life. Did he even give a reason why its assur???September 10, 2013 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm #1191402Mayan_DvashParticipant
That may be just for lifting weights. What about other exercises? Treadmill? Elliptical? Stationary bicycle?
;September 10, 2013 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #1191403NaftushMember
Steven, we’ve been down this road before, mostly unpleasantly. The whole issue of the use of leisure time (unless you intended to become a professional weightlifter) appears to be exactly as you presented it: between an individual and h/her rebbi. Broadening it to a public forum is asking for responses unbefitting the 10 Days or, really, any time.September 10, 2013 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #1191404yehudayonaParticipant
What about hagbah?September 10, 2013 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #1191405Bookworm120Participant
Are you asking why? I, too, would be curious why it would be assur. I’m speculating that this is to build a fence around the issue of going to a gym where often people of both genders are not always dressed properly.September 10, 2013 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #1191406
It is likely the comment is either out of context or refers to a specific situation not a general rule. As various forms of exercise goes, weight lifting does not require immodest dress, does not inherently involve pritsos, and is a lot safer than many sports (and few sports offer equivalent strength training) – and for the most part can be done in the privacy of one’s home. Of course is the person asking the question is in a situation where he plans to go to a co-ed gym where people wear few clothes, it would clearly be explicable why his rebbe told him not to go.September 10, 2013 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1191407
I’m a few years out of the yeshiva system, at the time when I had asked I wasn’t so sure why I was lifting, maybe I just felt good or maybe it was too impress others. However looking back I don’t regret it at all, I feel strong and healthy and I believe that I am serving the creator more efficiently now. And yep I can do Hagba pretty darn well.September 10, 2013 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #1191408WIYMember
There are certain things that are flat out assur others are dependent on your intentions. This would be one that is dependent on intentions. However I will tell you from personal experience when I used to lift it’s very hard for a young guy or even not so young for his new muscles not to get to his head. Theres a strong tendency to get all into the whole weight lifting thing as a hobby and you start worshipping your body. Your whole day revolves around your diet and what lifts you do that day or if it’s a cardiovascular day or an off day. You are busy with protein and allu that. Weight lifting or should I say bodybuilding is a way of life for many. Its very time consuming. If you need exercise run or jog and take up calisthenics. Weightlifting takes up a lot of time and has a lot of risks involved both spiritual and physical. I once hurt myself in the gym and had a hard time breathing for 2 months. Its a dangerous sport.September 10, 2013 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #1191409MDGParticipant
Afew hours before this thread, you asked about jogging on yom tov. So what is your real intention?September 10, 2013 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #1191410LevAryehMember
As I heard one great rabbi say, “Oh yeah, make your body nice and attractive … for the worms to eat.” (I toned down his language a bit.)September 10, 2013 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #1191411
I found that those who exercise ( not only lifting weights) lead a much more productive lifestyle therefore I don’t understand why it could not be done on yomtov.September 10, 2013 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #1191412Torah613TorahParticipant
Your Rav is correct. It is completely assur to lift weights and then drop them on someone else’s toes!September 10, 2013 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #1191413
I’m going have to disagree with that. To each their own.September 10, 2013 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1191414oy1Member
I guess if you can do Hagba, your Rabbi prob. didn’t want you to end up like Samson/Shimshon!September 12, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am #1191415TorahUmadda-731-MelechYavanHarashaParticipant
Something is not assur unless there is a clear halachic basis and precedent. Real poskim often will not say assur, and instead say something along the lines of “it’s not assur but it’s not a mitzva” (that’s a line iv’e heard from one). Kol Shekein where there is no basis whatsoever for such an issur. Maybe the rebbe knew who he was talking to and felt that either the specific context justified calling it assur or knew he coukd take the license to say assur, but there is neither an issur mideoraysa nor miderabanan in weight lifting or any other conventional means of exercise. At best (or worst) depending on what the questioner may have in mind, something else about it might be problematic (the op doesn’t make it sound like there is a tacit implication that the weight lifting will be done together with a female partner or such, so there doesn’t seem to be any apparent other issur tangentially in play here), but it seems grossly misleading if not outright lying to state panoptically that you’re in violation of any issur.September 12, 2013 2:48 am at 2:48 am #1191416bais yakov maidelParticipant
However if one is doing it for the wrong reasons – i.e to impress the other gender….then it’s not good.
And why is it so terrible to make yourself potentially attractive to the other gender? He will get married one day and it’ll only be a plus.February 9, 2015 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #1191417unprejudicedMember
If your aim is to build strength or muscle (as opposed to cardio exercise), it’s very hard to do without getting caught up in “worshipping” your body. Just be aware that you would be treading on a slippery slope. As an aside, recent studies have shown that too much strenuous exercise is bad for your teeth and cardiovascular system. As these studies are preliminary there are no hard numbers yet on how long or how intense you can safely exercise. This will likely not be an issue for you, but it is something to keep in mind if you find yourself becoming hardcore.February 10, 2015 12:48 am at 12:48 am #1191418👑RebYidd23Participant
It’s just as easy to fall into the trap of worshiping your own ultra-frumkeit.February 10, 2015 1:50 am at 1:50 am #1191419popa_bar_abbaParticipant
The reason working out is assur is because its a tolada of working.February 10, 2015 2:20 am at 2:20 am #1191420
Maybe the person asking the shailoh intended to go to a co-ed gym to work out with improperly attired females, in which case the tseuvah “working out is asur” would be quite correct.
A second hand account of what a rav says, especially out of context, is meaningless. In published responsa the author makes the context clear.
editedFebruary 10, 2015 2:27 am at 2:27 am #1191421☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
LOL! (@popa)February 10, 2015 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #1191422blubluhParticipant
I think the reasoning behind the rabbi’s psak against lifting weights was because throughout the ages since the printing press yeshiva bochorim got the same benefit dashing about the beis medrash searching for and carrying piles of seforim or back from the forest toting logs of wood for the fireplace.
The very idea that one would expend one’s time and energy lifting random objects for no other purpose is wasteful.February 10, 2015 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #1191423twistedParticipant
I do physical work for a living, (something your Rebbe might asser) and that keeps me in fairly good shape. Were I not to, or if I retired from it, my recipe would include body-weight exercises, yoga like stretching, and some minimal of any martial art, which teaches you to fall softly. Aerobic is part of every day. IMHO, it is all a kiyum of the positive commandment to preserve and be watchful of your health. None of this requires a gym or any public activity. If you are a softie, maybe a floor mat is the big investment.February 10, 2015 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1191424
How odd to revive a year-old thread. Having said that, it’s irresponsible for the original poster should even repeat this “psak,” without more details.February 10, 2015 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #1191425
Unprejudiced, since you revived this thread, I will comment on your post: is “worshipping” one’s body worse than worshipping food, which seems to be an affliction of all too many frum people? If a person feels better about himself/herself for looking good, that is a positive because it can extend to other positive actions.February 10, 2015 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #1191426DaMosheParticipant
Without trying to give a psak, here’s my 2 cents:
I think there’s a big difference between working out as a bodybuilder, and working out just for your health. If your goal is to have huge muscles so you look good, it’s probably not a great idea. If you’re just doing it to stay healthy, I’d say not only is it allowed, it’s admirable!
I remember the following happening to me when I was in yeshiva:
Across the street from Darchei, there is a public baseball field. On Fridays in the spring, we used to go there after seder ended to play some ball. One Friday, I had changed into a T-shirt and had my glove in my hand, and was walking out from the yeshiva campus towards the field. Rebbetzin Reisman (the wife of R’ Yaakov Reisman, from the Agudah of Long Island) who was picking up her children, stopped me and told me, “I’m so happy to see you going to play ball! My husband always says that yeshiva bachurim need to remember their health! They need to take some time to exercise, even if it means stopping to learn for a little bit! Your health is more important!”February 10, 2015 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1191427
The fact that there are very few frum bodybuilders seems to suggest that people work out primarily for health and if that happens to make them look better, so what, and I would think most people would say that’s a good thingFebruary 12, 2015 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #1191428
So for those who frown upon working out, what do you do to benefit your health, or do you feel everything is bashert so regardless of how you abuse your body with your diet or neglect by foregoing exervising, you will end up the same way?February 12, 2015 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #1191429cherrybimParticipant
There are many references in our Torah of biblical heroes and ancestors who were super strong. And they don’t acquire those muscles by sitting in the Bais Medrash or by doing Mitzvos.February 12, 2015 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #1191430☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Sure they did.
As the paytan says: ??? ?? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???. Only someone on such a lofty level could do so.February 12, 2015 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #1191431
I was thinking of that as well, not necessarily how they got that way, but the fact that the Torah mentions it. I think there are people who naturally endowed with great strength, so I don’t think you can bring the Torah as proof. More than the exercising issue, however, is the poor diet, which often is heavy with fat. That combined with lack of exercise could be lethalNovember 13, 2016 1:11 am at 1:11 am #1191432LightbriteParticipant
Breslev Rabbi Brody is big about health and exercise. I cannot imagine why a man cannot lift weights. Not even at home? Wouldn’t it help him have more stamina and strength as a father?November 13, 2016 3:27 am at 3:27 am #1191433
I never heard of such a thing. I don’t think you should pay any attention to a random post by someone you don’t know, quoting someone you don’t know and not giving a reason or a source.
If you have never heard before that lifting weights is assur and you have no reason to believe it is, don’t start believing that it is because someone (with the subtitle “troll” no less) says it is.November 13, 2016 5:09 am at 5:09 am #1191434
People assur things they don’t know about or don’t understand, or based it on what others tell them, and how they color it. I cannot imagine any rav telling a person that this is assur, unless the question was framed in a way that could involve halachic issues, like lifting weights on SHabbos, or in a mixed environment for someone who is sensitive to that.November 13, 2016 5:10 am at 5:10 am #1191435
lilmod: what possessed you to dig back to a three-year old post?November 13, 2016 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1191436LightbriteParticipant
Flatbusher: It was I who bumped up this thread. I thought we are supposed to work off old threads if they apply vs starting new ones. Anyway I was searching for something related and came across this one.
lilmod ulelamaid: Toddah rabbah!!! Omgosh I didn’t even see that he was labeled a “troll.” No wonder! And that is good advice. I just assumed that there was an actual rabbi who said that it was assur. I don’t need to take this information as fact especially for such a blanket thing without context.
Okay thank you and no further questions from me about this thread.
Let’s return to the regular CR programming.November 13, 2016 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #1191437
You can continue this if you want. This is a favorite topic of mine. I don’ recall any official suggestion to revitalize long-dormant threads. To me it seems like the work of someone who has not much else to do. I for one don’t care to be sent back to an old link on the same topic though it appears to be a favorite pastime of some here.November 13, 2016 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #1191438
I think she realized that there is no point, since the entire thread is based on a false premise. I agree. By continuing, I think we are giving validity to a premise that was based on nothing to begin with.November 13, 2016 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #1191439
Except there are people that do actually believe thatNovember 13, 2016 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #1191440
I find it hard to believe. As you yourself wrote: “I cannot imagine any rav telling a person that this is assur, unless the question was framed in a way that could involve halachic issues, like lifting weights on SHabbos, or in a mixed environment for someone who is sensitive to that.”
IF anyone thinks that it is an ISSUR GAMUR to lift weights, it can only be because of the context – both the individual and the individual situation.
Therefore, I can’t see what the purpose of this discusion is especially since I don’t think it is relevant to any of us currently involved in it.
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