shmuely

We usually let Rabbis Shmuley Boteach and Shammai Engelmayer sound off on the political and moral issues of the day. More often than not, Shammai ends up on the left, and Shmuley on the right. So, we figured we’d see what would happen when we asked them for their picks in the Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit next week. "I definitely want the Pittsburgh Steelers to win," said Boteach. "I’ve always been a big Steelers fan, and, of course, a Terry Bradshaw fan — especially in the 1970s, when he won four Super Bowls. My thinking was, if you’re going to root for a team, you may as well root for one that’s winning. But the reason I want them to win now is Ben Roethlisberger. The young quarterback of the Steelers, last year after the tsunami, gave up his salary for one of his football games, something like $35,000, to give to the victims of the tsunami. At the time some people ridiculed him for grandstanding, but I thought it was an incredible gesture and that he was a great man. I’m always happy to see people with big hearts succeed and prosper, so I am hoping he will win, God willing."

shammai

"The Steelers are in the Super Bowl?" asked Engelmayer when told of Boteach’s pick. "And what the heck are the Seahawks? I don’t even know who’s playing in the Super Bowl. I just don’t have time for it, and I just don’t have patience for it. Between having to prepare for classes and trying to live a life, and 10 grandchildren, who’s got time for football? I don’t even have time for baseball and I like baseball." But the rabbi wasn’t simply riding on a high moral horse. "I know what the rabbanim like to say about studying all the time and doing nothing else, but I don’t believe that, and I don’t believe God believes that either. I do think that people spend too much time on sports, but there is a lot of Yiddishkeit in sports, especially about how you should treat people." —Jacob Berkman