Religion Magazine

Interesting Psak: Bracha on Olympic Athletes

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Rav Eliezer Melamed has issued an interesting psak when questioned about the appropriateness in saying a bracha upon seeing an Olympic athlete, specifically one who won a medal. The bvracha would be the bracha one makes on seeing someone unusually beautiful, unsually successful and unusually strong - the bracha of "shekacha lo baolamo".
Rav Melamed responded that one should make the bracha and the purpose of this bracha is to remind us not idolize these people but we should remember that their special gifts and talents are from God. Rav Melamed says that one would have to actually see the athlete in person, rather than seeing a picture or video of the athlete, and one did not necessarily have to see the actual competition to make the bracha.
Rav Melamed added that one would not make the bracha for seeing just any Olympian athlete, but only for seeing one that actually won a gold medal - the real champions. Whiule that would mean Israelis would not make a bracha upon seeing Yarden Gerbi or Ori Sasson, Rav Melamed added that in each country one could make the bracha on his country's local champions.
Making the bracha on a female athlete would have to be done when she is appropriately dressed, meaning it is unlikely to be able to make it while she is competing, but more likely after the fact.
source: Walla News
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