Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday's Musings on Sports - Do you vuvu? I sure hope not.

As regular readers of this blog are aware, the Monday post was usually devoted to sports with highlights and analysis of the Max Kellerman show which formerly aired on 1050 ESPN Radio. Although Max resigned from 1050 more than a year ago, I have tried to continue the tradition of linking sports to Torah which I believe was an undercurrent of the Max Kellerman show.

Last Friday I was sitting at my desk in the office when I turned on the radio so that I could listen to the US v. Slovenia game. I am not a big soccer fan, but the World Cup is a major international event and I have some national pride, so I figured - why not have the game on in the background?

After a few minutes of the game I had to turn the radio off. The infernal buzzing of the vuvuzelas was driving me nuts. As anyone who has heard them must know, the "instrument" sounds like a swarm of bees. Rather than listening to the game, I turned the radio on periodically just to hear the score and then turned it off rather quickly to get away from the bees.

I have since done a little research on the "instrument" and quite frankly, the more I know, the less I understand. The horn is incapable of being used to play a tune as the sound is a monotone. The sound produced is nearly 120 decibels and can cause hearing loss to those exposed to it for sustained periods of time.

I have also read that the players in the soccer games have problems communicating with their teammates because of the sound of the horns.

With all this, I can't understand why the World Cup organizers allow these "instruments" to be brought into the arenas. If the sounds emanating from the horn are dangerous to the ear, disruptive to the game and are a turn off to the casual fan, why on earth are they allowed into the arena?

I honestly can't say that I know the answer to the above question. But the use of the horn reminds of the story of Dovid Hamelech's death as told in Gemara Shabbos 30. King David knew that he was destined to die on Shabbos, but also knew that so long as he was learning Torah, his soul could not be taken. For this reason, Dovid would sit and learn all Shabbos long so that he would continue to live. When the true date that Dovid was destined to die arrived, the Malach Hamaves was unable to take Dovid's life until he made a noise which distracted Dovid and caused him to stop learning. At that very instant, Dovid passed away. The power of distraction wins again! Now if only there was a way to kill off the vuvuzelas...

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