Reader-submitted: Super Bittul Torah

sbDear Brothers, I think by now most of us know of the big event happening this evening at Met Life stadium, around 6:00 this evening.

Thats right, over 80,000 ppl who paid a lot of money will gather to watch the Super Bowl. In addition, millions of ppl across the globe will gather at any venue available to have a Super Bowl party, which may or may not include watching the game.

One need only to casually peruse any of our local circulars to see how this has sadly seeped into our neighborhoods as well. All those Super Sunday specials are targeted for those making Super bowl parties. For many eateries, Super Sunday is one of the busiest days of the year, in sales.

Which means, thousands of Acheinu Bnei Yisroel are gonna sit down tomorrow, alone or with friends & family for 4-5 hours and watch the big event. Thus, accumulatively, there will be thousands of hours of bittul zman & bittul Torah.

I am, btw, not for a second judging a person who’s watching the game. I, myself, have wasted untold hours watching sporting events in my lifetime. If one feels he needs a little break or a distraction for whatever reason, Far be it for me to tell him not to, that’s between him, G-d & his Rav/Rosh Yeshiva. Go ahead, enjoy the game. I also have no qualms on the restaurants for catering to them; they need to make a living and they have every right to deliver Super Sunday Mega Party Platters to anyone that will pay for them.

My point is, what can we do to counter-balance this massive waste of time ? The only answer is, to ask those of us who are not watching the game or going to parties to try to increase our torah-learning or mitzva-doing during the hours of 6:00-10:00 pm, roughly.

Ideally, there would be shuls set up for this, with refreshments & guest speakers or whatever. But I just thought of this today so, for this year it’ll have to be just you, or local shul & your gemara. We’re all very busy with our schedules on a Sunday but whatever you learn, whether its 3 minutes or 3 hours, it’s a tremendous z’chus for you & yours and it is immeasurably beloved in the eyes of H-shem.

If you can, please post where/when you learned so we can all see what we accumulatively accomplished.

Thank you,


Dudi B.

(My kids don’t let me sign my full name any more. Sorry)

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  1. I’m not sure what bittul Torah your talking about last super Sunday I went through all the botie medrashim in BMG and there was no noticeable diffrence that Sunday then any other Sunday.
    If you stand in Glat bite or any other venue that caters to the super Sunday crowd they don’t look like the type of pepole that are leaving second Seder to watch the game. Those pepole use thier Sunday to relax from a hard week of work and hopefully learnt an hour or two in the Morning and now they are relaxing with a pretty kosher venue. So let’s chill out and not make a big deal about nothing!!!

  2. Nice idea, but I think it was unnecessary to belittle those who will be watching the game. Everyone needs an outlet. Who said these people would be learning at this time on Sunday night anyway? Live and let live!
    If you want to hold an event with Torah speakers and refreshments etc., I think that is beautiful, but please don’t knock other people. Thank you!

  3. I sent get. Why should “those not watching the game” learn and do extra mitzvos etc?

    Shouldn’t it be the opposite?

    My proposal is that for everyone that watches the game – they should also set up a seder that day. (either before or after the game) for am equal amount of time to make up /counteract for the wasted time.

  4. To don’t chop,
    Use your brains. It’s not that hard to get the point of this letter. And if you really don’t chop, maybe sit down and learn a little Torah to clear you’re head and then read the article again. Maybe then you will chop it.

  5. Those men who sweat to make every dollar they earn and rush to kollel am or pm to learn deserve such a break and should def enjoy without a question !

  6. Once we are on the subject of bittul toyrah,we should do away with chol hamoed day trips and have school for our kinderlach. No where. Does it to say or is written to go on trips on chol hamoed and not have school. It is a total waste of time and of course it is bitul toyrah.

  7. It’s sad to read the comments in this post. It’s quite evident by the defensive responses that indeed the Superbowl has seeped into the yeshiva culture.

  8. i think the super bowl does in fact encourage learning. With the plethora of halftime shiurim scheduled to counter the halftime show, many will actually learn at a time when they generally don’t.
    If you are a yeshiva bocher or yungerman you have no business watching the game, but for us balei batim, enjoy the the super bowl.

    GO BRONCOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Thanks for a wonderful article. I will Iy”h, bl”n bring refreshments to Coventry Shul tonight. R’ Senter’s program is takeh unvelievable & should really be emulated, in some form, by some shuls/yeshivos in America.

  10. Yeah..technically you have a point. But there is so much other garbage and shtusim that so many people are involved in that I have a hard time getting worked up about it.

  11. PSA:
    Balei batim are in no way exempt from the chiyuv of limud hatora and the issur of bitul torah.
    The Chofetz Chaim wrote a whole sefer called “Toras Habyis” to combat the misinformed position posted above that: “Torah is for yungelight, balei batim just need a shiur a day”.
    Oiy leoznayim shkach shomos in the shtot of R Aharon!

  12. I don’t understand..the main thing is the final score.. everything else before is hevel havolim…so the oilam could learn really 10.00pm..check who won..get excited a bit hopefully..and go back to learn..I don’t understand this craziness!!

  13. This article is right on & Im duly inspired. I pledge to goto Coventry shul from 6:15-8:00 pm tonight. Asidefrom my usual 9:00-10:00 daf yomi shiur. Thanx, TLS, for posting this.

  14. Yeshiva Aderes Hatorah (Rabbi Chaim Zvi Senter) will be learning all night tonight. kick off is at 11:15 (Israel time) with Rabbi Tzvi Meyer Zilberberg speaking in English. poppers and sushi through out the night

  15. Ruchniyus is about an attitude and an atmosphere that you create. It’s not about details. Whether you watch the Superbowl, go biking, buy fancy clothes… or whatever other stupidity people scream about it doesn’t matter. Focus on the bigger picture and then whatever you do will fit in or will be left out – either way it doesn’t really matter. Focus on the goal, focus on the end, focus on what kind of a person you want to be and you’re decisions will come naturally. Enough of this pettiness and details.

  16. I think the author make a great point. Hes not knocking/ judging anyone whos watching the game. Just that if ur NOT watching & ur not doing anything important anyway on a Sunday evening, try to learn a little extra. As an aside, its gonna be a boring game. Now that the weather is warm, its gonna be the Broncos by 2 TDs. U heard it here first !!

  17. We will be pounding the Gemara during the game with a geshmak.
    I should have thought of asking my wife to cook a special supper but instead will be eating the Shabbos leftovers.
    Amar Abaye…. this is where the real action is.
    Thank you for taking the time to write this article. I am heading for my shtender.

  18. It’s just a dumb game, everybody. It’s played by a bunch of grossly overweight, barely literate nitwits who pound each other into the ground for no reason. These part time workers get mega bucks to run after a leather oval filled with air in order to prevent it from crossing a white line painted on artificial grass. The stadium was put to better use for the siyum hashas and we have better things to do with our time than watch this nareshkeit.
    “But I needed an outlet” is not going to get you a good place in olam haba after 120 years. And baalei batim also have a chiyuv in limud haTorah and even more so because, unlike those who learn full time, most of their day is filled with earning parnassa and therefore they need to be kovei’a itim to make up for the time they’re working and not learning. Zevulun ben Yaakov avinu was a baalebus and a tzadik because he spent his off hours learning and didn’t waste them watching nareshkeit.

  19. A great idea indeed, especially with all the gzairos recently we definitely need extra zchusim. I wish I could have seen it earlier so we could have planned for extra Seder. Some people are just less fortunate and don’t see the light. A break from learning is not an excuse to see the pritzus at half time, I know what goes on. What a zchus to incourage learning at such a time that Hashem is not happy with the world!

  20. all those people writing articles and bashing others, instead of doing all this time wasting and bittul torah, maybe YOU should go learn a little!

  21. The problem with this article is the underlying notion that you have the right to tell others how to live.

    There is nothing asur with watching the game. Yes, it isn’t part of the culture from der alte heim, but then again, the super bowl didn’t exist in der alte heim. Now it does, and there is nothing wrong.

    In addition, there is nothing wrong with super bowl parties. People need an outlet, and this is one of the most kosher outlets out there. Even yeshiva bochurim and kollel yungerleit need an outlet too.

    So chill out, and enjoy the game. And mind your own business. And to all those who will be learning during the game, enjoy and shteig away!!!

  22. @Yid, there is an issur of ubechukoseihem lo teileichu according to lots of reshonim.

    You wanna watch the game, fine. Be lovesh shechorim umisatef shechorim and keep it to yourself. Dont make a mitzva out of it!

  23. Im happy to announce i kept my pledge. I was in Coventry shul from 6:20-8:05. I came 5 min late so I stayed 5 min later. Thanx to whoever brought the donuts & danishes !! Thanx, again, to the letter writer & TLS for this amazing post.

  24. I don’t believe the ones in to this nareshkeit are the people that work hard all week etc. etc. We don’t have so much time to waste.

  25. Thank you for not judging any person that needs a break and chooses to watch the football game. However please remember that not judging is your halachic obligation as opposed to being a demonstration of your kindness and humility. Additionally, should a person choose to watch, it is not between Hashem, him and his Rav/Rosh Yeshivah; by definition Bein Adom L’chaveroh is limited to man and Hashem only. Lastly, with regard to Bitul Torah; perhaps the Game is bitul perhaps not. But one thing is for sure who ever is watching will be way too occupied and happy to speak Loshon Horah. Loshon Horah is the greatest form of destruction of Torah in our community. Loshon Horah, Motzie Shem Rah, Rechilus and Mesirah have created Chilul Hashem, destroyed Torah and consequently caused, both, teenagers and entire families to go off the Derech; yes, here in Lakewood.

    After 120 years it will be a lot easier to explain to Hakodesh Baruch Hu that people in Lakewood Ir Hatorah watched a football game than such Torahdig people spoke Loshon Horah, which literally caused frum yidden to become frei. Let’s start to address this daily problem and pitfall of Lakewood instead of focusing on a game that occurs just once a year.

  26. I think the game is stupid. So I dont watch. You think what I do is stupid. So you can do something else. Just keep track of your own actions, don’t look and judge others. One man’s step up is another’s step down. Yesh koneh olomo bshaa echos. You can’t judge. Same goes for a lot of high level screaming that goes on here. Focus on you. Control you. Make sure Hashem is proud of you.

  27. Just wanna say I did my 2nd pledge. I went to my daf yomi shiur, a fabulous shiur given by R Shimon Prag in Coventry shul. I did come 20 min late so I stayed 20 min after maariv. Thanx again for this great article.

  28. K how about everyone stop wasting their time commenting about bittul Torah and either learn or watch the game. Do wtvr you want…….whether you you wanted to learn during the game or sit and watch it, I mean its Every man for himself. That’s just my opinion.

  29. Honestly is the game not asur? The commercials and the Kol isha! Who are u fooling? Yes these parts are 1000 % asur not a chumrah. And to have a party is also asur since it would be chukas hagoy.

  30. After it’s all over. Last nights Super Bowl was the worst Super Bowl I’ve ever seen. Waste of time and energy. I would’ve rather rewatched the 1994 broncos chase (oj Simpson) than watch the broncos last night. Smh

  31. Embarrassed: Well said. & thats a perfect ending to this thread – it was a very bad game & a waste of money, time & energy for those who threw/attended parties. Boy am I glad I didnt do any of that this year !! I didnt watch or listen to one second of the game.

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