Beatie Deutsch, a Chareidi marathon runner who has won multiple Israeli marathons and competes in international marathons, will once again be forced to withdraw from a major competition since the event is scheduled to take place on Shabbat.
In a Facebook post, Deutsch, who competes in modest attire and wears a head covering, stated that “In 2019, the women’s marathon was scheduled for Friday night in the Doha World Championships.” “No big deal,” I thought.
This was merely a singular instance in which the race was held at night because of the excessive heat.
There would be additional opportunities because my career was just getting started.
The women’s marathon was rescheduled for Saturday morning in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, preventing me from competing once more.
Though I was devastated, there was nothing I could do.
They refused to make any religious adjustments even after the Olympics were postponed because of Corona (although they had previously done so when Ramadan fell on the same day as the London Olympics).
The women’s marathon was once again set for Shabbat at the Budapest World Championships in 2023.
Therefore, despite the fact that I have qualified, I will be unable to participate.
“I have kept Shabbat my entire life, and it’s a mitzvah I cherish dearly,” Deutsch concluded. I would have never thought to even consider doing otherwise, but for the first time in my life, I was under pressure to compete on Shabbat.
“All of a sudden, it feels a lot more like the battle all our Jewish grandmothers endured in the 1920s, when they were threatened with losing their jobs if they didn’t show up on Saturday. “Will I forfeit my funding if I don’t compete and prove myself? I’m passing up such significant chances.
Maybe being an Orthodox Jew makes this profession unviable?
“I find myself asking my rabbi if there’s a way I can run, even though I know in my heart I could never accomplish it. “I’m not astonished by his response; I’m just amazed that I even gave it any thought.
And as I think back on my journey and the significant difficulties and problems I’ve encountered along the way, I realize how important Shabbat is to me.
The most valuable decision I will make while traveling is whether to keep this holy day.