WATCH THIS: TV Announcers Spot Rabbi Learning During Israel vs Scotland Soccer Match


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TV cameras spotted an unusual sight during the Israel vs Scotland soccer match on Tuesday night.

A Rabbi appeared to be reading a “book”, completely oblivious to the excitement going on in the stands around him.

YWN has learned that the rabbi is none other than Rav Zeff Leff from Moshav Matisyahu in Eretz Yisrael, who is in Scotland to visit his married daughter and grandchildren.

Rav Leff’s son in law, Rabbi Yossi Bodenheim, works as a campus rabbi for the University Jewish Chaplaincy, helping draw young Jews closer and remain connected to Yiddishkeit. The couple was accompanying a group of Jewish students from Scotland to the game, and Rav Leff and his Rebbitzen went along to support their children in the exceptional Kiruv work they do.

Rav Leff brought along his sefer, (possibly a Gemara Talmud Yerushalmi) and continued learning during the match.

Israel had just taken a 1-0 lead. “I think he missed the goal,” said the surprised announcer. “Must be a good read!” he added.

Israel wound up losing 3-2 in the match, a qualifier for the Euro 2020 tournament.

Rav Leff’s son Shimon later told Israeli newspaper Yisrael Hayom that his father had likely laughed when he heard that he had gone viral on the internet. He had not yet spoken directly to his father, but he had heard his initial reaction to being the star of the game.

“The announcers had said that he was probably praying for a positive outcome in the game, but he said that that was Fake News,” said Leff. “He was learning and not saying Tehillim.”

Rav Leff teaches and lectures regularly at English-speaking Yeshivas, girls’ schools, and other institutions in Israel, as well as in England, South Africa and the United States.


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  1. In my opinion I don’t think this should be posted he was not acting in an official capacity. There is no reason to post his private life activities online, especially family matters. I’m assuming that isn’t the most comfortable way to study and he probably was there because of some family obligation. I know one Rav who goes to baseball games because it’s his way of remaining connected to a child who isn’t religious anymore. I don’t think private affairs should be posted like this.




  3. The rav should have long healthy years, but after 120, no book publisher/author will be able to revise history or Photoshop this out of existence. For once, we stand a chance of getting an honest bio.
    That said, it’s scary how our privacy is almost non- existent, and every move we make can go viral all over the world.

  4. No question the points made by posters above is being portrayed here in a message from the riboinoi shel oilam. It is an absolute approval in shamayim of the actions of the Rav. In response to the first poster- this had already hit the smartphone of almost every Jew in the world last night via texting and texting apps, it is a beautiful sight and message. Most likely, it’s safe to say that the Rav would not have gone to the game if he felt that it was inappropriate but was hoping he would not be seen there. Rather he felt that he should go based on the need, and that if people would see him, they would see him with a sefer. They understand that family life requires negotiation and integration between the holy and the mundane.

  5. Lighten up!!!! Its not a chilul hashem or kidush hashem and I personally confirmed that the Ebeshter finds this whole story a big nothingburger. An eherliche yid acting normally, engaging in what family members do all the time and not drawing attention to himself is not a headline provoking event nor should it be.

  6. I personally wouldn’t want to be accompanied on a trip by someone who will just be lost in a Sefer instead than of in the experience. I think is amazing he can learn in such environment. As far as Kiruv goes I’m not sure that seen a Rabbai having to be learning while every one else is sheering is enticing.. however I was not there the fact that the picture caught him in the Sefer doesn’t mean he didn’t also spend quality time with his family .. I just see a lonely wife next to him ( not lonely all the time just in the event ) one thing is to learn one is to take your wife let’s say to a restaurant and start learning. And I would say the same thing about been on the cellphone for work while on a family trip , is fine for a few minutes not the entire trip. I don’t know who this rabbi is and mean no disrespect, I just don’t know if the picture portraits what he wanted to protrait by going on the trip

  7. @Gadolhadorah – “Lighten up!!!! Its not a chilul HaShem or kidush HaShem. . .”

    Everything, at least in a broad sense, is either a kiddush HaShem or a chillul HaShem. Everything we say, do, and think, either express the ratzon HaShem or the opposite chv”sh.

    ” . . . and I personally confirmed that the Ebeshter finds this whole story a big nothingburger. . . ”

    That would seem to imply there are things (words, deeds, and thoughts) about which the Eibishter doesn’t care. I think that contradicts כל מעשיך בספר נכתבין.

  8. @Justme22 A game is quite different than a family trip. Much of the time you are not interacting with other people, rather watching the game.

  9. Its not true that everything is a Kiddiush Hashem or a Chilul Hashem

    How is it either if a ehricher looking yid is riding the subway holding the pole and doing nothing else , just like 99% of the other riders on the subway car

  10. @zahavasdad – Nothing a Jew does is just like 99% of the other people. Our tzelem E-lokim means that everything we do has the potential of either creating that tzelem or damaging it. E-lokim is midas ha’din; everything we do is measured and weighed with din. We are Adam. We can either be Adam from the adamah or we can be like – adameh – the One above (adameh l’Elyon). There is no parve in avodas HaShem.

  11. zahavasdad: whilst riding the subway, a yid- whether man or woman should be thinking of the shesh mitzvos temidios,- and that’s a kiddush Hashem…they are:
    lo Sosuru, leHaamin, leYached, leYirah, lo Naamin bezuloso, le’eHov. -second biur halochoh on mishna brurah.
    Every second he/she thinks of one of these they are mekayem a mitzvah min haTorah.
    A siman to remember them is ‘Tiheyeno’

  12. justme22,

    I first met Harav and Rebbetzin Leff over forty years ago when they were young parents with a houseful of children. Despite his Rabbinic duties and the grueling learning schedule he imposed upon himself (having then finished Shas a number of times), he was and continues to be a devoted and attentive husband, father and now grandfather. Their marriage is a beautiful example of everything that a Jewish marriage can be. She has always been his partner in building Torah and he has always been her partner in raising their beautiful family. I and the many thousands of people who have been fortunate to know them can assure you that she isn’t the least bit “lonely” and he isn’t attempting to “portrait” anything. What you see in the picture is a Rav attending an event together with his family while also learning and his supportive, proud Rebbetzin enabling him to do so. A picture of what every Jewish marriage can be.

  13. I can still picture in my mind Rabbi Leff learning at a Cleveland Indians baseball game more than 40 years ago. The camp went, and he was the head counselor, so he had to go as well. (I wonder if that camp would want it to be known today that they actually went to games 40 years ago. After not too many years they were looking for an excuse not to go anymore, then came the strike of 1981. They didn’t go that year, then never resumed again after that. I also remember that when the strike was settled and the season resumed, the first game was the all star game on the afternoon-evening of Tisha B’av. It was held in Cleveland, and sorry to say, but I knew people – not from camp – that went.)

  14. Reb Dons: You are true ben-Torah and an ehrliche yid who functions at a much higher madregah than most of us whose time during subway commutes is focused on less heilege issues such as how the MTA will screw us over this time by stopping the train in the tunnel to deal with a ventilation issue, stop the train at the next station and hold us there for 45 minutes because of a switching problem or transfer our local train to an express track to “make up” for delays. We also tryi to maintain a situational awareness so that the guy playing his sax to “entertain” us is not working in cahoots with his chevrah who are simultaneously stealing our bags while we are mesmerized by his off-key renditions of New York, New York….

  15. Re: Sax player…. off key.
    Had to be an exception, because I found most subway & street players excellent musicians. Years ago at a subway station, I let 3 trains go by just to listen… And yes, I dropped him a buck…
    And yes, I thought of the uplifting spirit of the music, and how Hashem instills people with talent… So this should satisfy Reb Dons shiyur, I hope.

  16. as reported elsewhere, Rabbi Leff was in Scotland visiting his children and grandchildren,. His grandchildren had plans to go to the game and he attended to spend some time with them.