The Tebowing Craze

Is it okay to pray anywhere?

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Comments (44)

(36) Allan, January 10, 2012 6:49 PM


Back in the fifties, there was an Hispanic player who always made the Sign of the Cross whenever he came up to bat. No one made a fuss; I think most people thought it was rather nice. Is the fuss about Tebow because he is praying in public, or because he is an Evangelical Protestant?

(35) Jersey Girl, January 4, 2012 10:24 PM

Where Are Our Players?

The Tebow controversy has brought up the fact that Jews are woefully underrepresented in the NFL. If we can repair the world, win Nobel prizes, cross the Red Sea, rebuild the Temple, survive the Diaspora - is it really asking too much to be able to get eleven enormous Jews on the field?

(34) Linda Calderon, November 21, 2011 11:02 PM

Too many want to be politically correct so this is refreshing

It should never be considered inappropriate to pray or bow in public as it's part of our rights plus it should not ever be wrong to giveGod credit for all of our successes because without Him we can do nothing of ourselves. Mocking his praying or thanksgiving to God is sick and sorry. That man on the opposing team will have to one day answer to God for that unless he repents before that time. That is something unbelievers don't realize. We need to pray for the mockers that they will have the scales removed from their eyes so they can know HaShem (God) too.

(33) Aliza, November 19, 2011 5:24 PM

pray yes mock no

I think it's brilliant that he feels comfortable enough to take a moment to do/say whatever it is he thinks/says at those moments. Why not thank God for his talent? God's the one who gave it to him. If he tried to lead everyone in a prayer, I would have a problem, but this is his own moment - go for it, I say. As for mocking, I think it's wrong to mock, period. It has nothing to do with whether it's right or wrong to mock Tebow's prayer, it is just cruel to mock people and make fun.

(32) Anonymous, November 18, 2011 5:46 PM

totally agree

I feel that there's no question whatsoever as long as he is bowing sincerely - which from what you were saying it seems so. Therefore, the only thing that is inappropriate is anyone mocking someone doing something like that! Thank you always for your words of wisdom - Have a awesomely uplifting Shabbos Kodesh!

(31) Anonymous, November 18, 2011 3:20 PM

bowing yes , verbalizing jesus christ this and that - no !

i think bowing is fine , but not talking about jesus christ this and that in interviews

(30) Anonymous, November 18, 2011 9:10 AM

Why on the t-shirt?

I agree that everyone should have the right to pray for whatever they want, and it's great that even a regular football player has enough faith to pray in thanks. But to plaster it on the back of a uniform? That's going way too far. Everything in today's day and age has become whatever you can post in two words on your t-shirt. If that's what religion has become, it's a travesty, and yes a MOCKING of religion. Also, does he have to pray in such a public fashion? I don't call that calling attention to G-d. I call that calling attention to yourself. Rabbi Solomon, you're right.

(29) Andcy, November 18, 2011 4:33 AM

Watching Tim Tbow beating Jets ouch

i agree. it's like Baruch HaShems but exagerrated and public. Don't like mocking but guess also one has a right.

(28) Rebekah Smith, November 17, 2011 10:29 PM

I'm frum and a gator-of course think it's great that Tim Tebow bows on the field after a good play. As Jews, we are supposed to ask Hashem for anything we lack and we should similarly thank Him for everything we get. I pray for parking spots in crowded lots, for good traffic when I'm running late, for help on exams, etc. and I don't think that trivializes anything. I also pray that Hashem give me guidance in how to walk in His ways, keep His mitzvot, and become closer to the person He wants me to be. We should all feel close enough to Hashem to ask for whatever we need and humble enough to thank Him for everything He gives us. Kol Ha Kavod to Tim Tebow!

(27) Anonymous, November 17, 2011 7:29 PM

Nothing wrong with prayer

Why should he not be allowed to pray? Muslims are. Why should he not be allowed to talk TO God? Nobody disallows curse words. Mocking? That is discrimination. Not only discrimination to God, but also to a minority group. Christians are now a minority group, and should have the same rights as other minority groups!

(26) lisa, November 17, 2011 11:50 AM

Just Pray!!

I think we all need to thank G-d for all our abilities...after all He is the one who gave us our particular stengths. It makes me feel good to see others pray....& for him to do it in public...I applaud him even more so!!

(25) Anonymous, November 17, 2011 4:26 AM

It's pronounced Te-bow, as in "Bow and Arrow"

Great points by Rabbi Solomon as usual, just a little correction on the pronunciation...

(24) Anonymous, November 16, 2011 4:16 AM

as a quick fyi the tebowing craze was started as an appreciation of tim's efforts by a jewish boy from denver after denver miraculously defeated miami a few weeks ago.

(23) Anonymous, November 16, 2011 12:39 AM

I wish he would also bow when he fails. Cause we need to thank for everything

(22) Marcie Linder, November 16, 2011 12:35 AM

Tim Tebow is pronounced Tim Tebooh, long "0".

I think it is his business bu he wants to lead evangelicals, and has a public podium. thus, he has to suffer some feedback.Why doesn't he pray to himself while on the field and say branch has hem.

(21) Kerry, November 16, 2011 12:09 AM

What's wrong with a quick prayer that does not interfere with others

A Deist here who believes it is fine to pray on the field after a good play, albeit I do not watch sports. What bothers me, is when Muslims must be allowed to leave the k-12 class to pray, or pray in streets, have public tax paid foot baths, etc.

(20) Anonymous, November 16, 2011 12:07 AM


It doesn't belong on the field after a successful play. Many players do it after they score a touchdown. Okay fine. Many more pray together at the end of a game, winning and losing teams together. That is better. Praying after a good play is not good. Why not pray after a bad play ? That would seem to be more appropriate, asking The Almighty for forgiveness. As for the mockery, why not ? Football is a highly charged sport. If the mockery gives the opposing team an edge, getting inside Tebow's head, all the power to them. And if Tebow throws an interception on the next play after the mockery, then it is open season for all opponents to mock him. Your greatest strength can become your greatest weakness. What comes next, a prayer tent for whichever religion desires one ? The prayer tent would have to be open to the fans too. The player who self-congratulates after getting a touchdown is a cartoon. Spiking the ball is better left to baboons. For some players football in particular is an outlet for their violent nature. These personalitiesare better off in a violent sport than being criminal enforcers for gangs or the mob.

(19) Jacov, November 15, 2011 10:00 PM

Tebow is not the only player to kneel and give praise when a good play is made, particularly after a touchdowns. Such demonstration of faith is common during college and professional games. Many of the players cross themselves and point to the heavens after a great play (interception, gain of first down, etc.). While I do not see it as offensive, I do feel they are trivializing their religious beliefs. I do give the players kudos for demonstrating their religion in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers but think their thanks should be given in private.

(18) Paula, November 15, 2011 8:49 PM

Being a ardent football fan (college and pro) I can tell you after following Tim for six years, he's real and not trivializing anything. He prays before and after each game (always has). I think people had dealt with fake for so long, they don't recognize real.

(17) Shoshana, November 15, 2011 8:47 PM


Living in Jerusalem we are used to seeing Arabs bowing down and praying any place and at any time so it seems quite normal to me.(They pray seven times a day). And lehavdel, elef elefei havdelim, we are also used to seeing men praying Shmoneh esrei almost anyplace, especially for mincha, like near a parked car in a trafic jam, etc. Any time a person calls on H-shem, it is a kiddish H. And by the way, it is not considered modest for woman to stand where men can see her and doven Shlmoneh Esrei, but many women do not know this and you can also see them dovening in public.

(16) Karen, November 15, 2011 7:21 PM

I think it it great!

It is hard in a moment like this to stop and praise or pray to G-d. With all the 1000's of fans around he is demonstrating his trust in the Lord and dependence. Football is not small for this man - it is his life. I praise G-d for even smaller things. Do it in public, at home, anywhere......: Shame on the mockers they will be dealt with according to their mocking.

(15) Nathan Siegal, November 15, 2011 5:52 PM

I hope people respect prayer

Hi, I am Jewish of course but I live in the Denver Metro Area. I think as long as Tim Tebow doesn't try to convert Jewish people to Christianity then I am totally fine with his outward faith. I think the left thinks the worst of public prayer and we all have the right to thank G-d and should be encouraged to thank G-d as long as it isn't done in a way that makes non-Christians feel bad. Tim Tebow seems like a stand up gentile man and I like that he is open about thanking G-d and may he be blessed and safe.

David (Ariel), November 15, 2011 9:15 PM

Live and Let Live

I'm also in the Denver metro area, a member of congregation HEA, and am a fan of football. I agree with you that anyone engaging in this sort of public display should be left alone. Lots of sports athletes and other celebrities have done this, but somehow, because Tim Tebow expressed his faith in college, he has become vilified by non-believers. I'm not sure why non-believers have more right to express a dissenting view than believers do to express their faith, but that seems to be how things have worked out, sadly.

(14) ira berkowitz, November 15, 2011 5:17 PM

mocking is either in bad taste, or worse, intentionally degradatory

to mock the piousness of another person is disrerspectful and degradatory. unfortunately, we live in a time when nothing is sacred. personally, i think that sincere prayer is beautiful, and holy, and should should be respondeded to as such.

(13) Avi, November 15, 2011 4:50 PM

Salomon, You have Hit the Nail on the Head!

1) We do need to bring Ha Shem into every phase of our lives! 2) If they censor him praying on the field, they have the right to censor Jews from praying where we want! 3) It's not good to mock someone else's religion!

(12) Noah Mishkin, November 15, 2011 3:50 PM

Hakaras HaTov

This is his parnasa (livelihood) that he has accomplished great things through a G-d given talent. It doesn't matter what you do for a living. It should always be appropriate to recognize G-d for providing you with the talent, and also for helping you accomplish your goals. Bow away, my football friend!

(11) Melanie Vliet, November 15, 2011 3:24 PM

Hurray for Tebow!

I wholeheartedly approve of Mr. Tebow's behavior. The possible mocking of members of competing teams may or may not be deserving of rebuke, depending on the spirit in which it is done. If those players are indeed thankful to G-d for the success of their plays, I see no problem with it. If, however, they intend only to mock their opponent, their action is blasphemous. The question of giving thanks for a sports victory is not a new one. One team always wins, and one team always loses. We are told to give thanks in everything, as it all comes from G-d, so even in defeat thanksgiving is appropriate (perhaps for lack of injury or reminder of our weakness and dependence on G-d). By the way, you are mispronouncing the quarterback's name. The second syllable rhymes not with "bow" as in what we do in prayer but as in "bow and arrow."

(10) Tova Saul, November 15, 2011 3:22 PM

A more basic question

I love the idea of T-Bowing, and the mock T-Bow was too funny to resist. It doesn't sounding like it was done in a malicious way----just a tease. But a more basic question is: Does God want men to play professional football, considering all the resultant serious injuries? (and yet I root for the Steelers)

Anonymous, November 15, 2011 8:51 PM

I think football is great, but to be a Steelers fan, a line has to be drawn somewhere...)

Tova Saul, November 16, 2011 8:15 AM


What, are you from Cleveland? That's OK---Mock away........

Tanya Kolker, November 17, 2011 3:31 AM

No my friend, from the Ravens town)))

lisa, November 17, 2011 11:52 AM


Of course G-d wants them to play football & get injured...thats why He made Drs!!!

(9) judy sorensen, November 15, 2011 1:43 PM

My little brother bowed almost 60 years ago.

We were gentiles living in a largely Jewish neighborhood. In fact, my brother was the only gentile among about a dozen Jewish boys of his age. Routinely they all played baseball in the street in front of our house. Also routinely, when my brother came to bat, he removed his cap, put it and the bat between his legs, bowed his head, folded his hands, screwed his little boy face into great seriousness, and moved his lips in silent prayer. The field quieted. As I recall, without complaint. This dedication caused his Jewish chums to declare he would be the next Billy Graham. (His high school debate awards some years later brought the addition, ". . . or President of the United States.") As it turned out, my little brother did become a pastor, and, now in retirement, continues to minister as health permits. Those were some of the best years of our lives. We grew to love our neighbors, and they had high regard for us. We think of them often; and, yes, we hold them in our prayers.

(8) Paul, November 15, 2011 1:40 PM

name for Tim Tebow

just call him Tim Uno Cinco.

(7) Carmin Rosenthal, November 15, 2011 12:35 PM

HaShem will judge

HaShem will judge the merit of each man's choice.

(6) Steve Skeete, November 15, 2011 12:30 PM

Praying just another antic?

People in the USA do not mock religion, they mock Christianity. They do that because they know they have mass support and that they can get away with it. There are religions (one in particular) that you do not mock especially on national television in the USA for fear of being call a whatever phobe. But not Christianity; mock it anywhere at anytime and someone will shout "way to go"! There are a lot of bad things one can do in a sporting arena, praying is not one of them. So I say, "take a bow Tim". Keep showing them from "whence cometh your help".

(5) Jewish Mother, November 15, 2011 7:47 AM

Hashem is everywhere

I think that it is a very positive thing that a person realizes that Hashem is everywhere and controls success or failure in everything, large and small. Yes, even whether or not you make the goal or not. No, it doesn't trivialize religion to show that you are thankful to Hashem, it reinforces it. As for mocking this player, well, there have always been those who mocked people who believe in Hashem -- look what Noach and Avraham Avinu had to put up with. Who cares what agnostics think?

(4) Stuart, November 14, 2011 4:59 AM

We should all emulate Mr. Tebow

One could ask if you were mocking Mr. Tebow by mispronouncing his name. Mr. Tebow walks the walk besides talking the talk. His religious conviction should be a lesson for all. Hashem is in everything this young man does and he is not ashamed of it. What could be wrong with that? Should I take my kippah off when I play ball?

(3) adina, November 14, 2011 1:57 AM

I Agree with you COMPLETELY

I agree with you that it's completely fine and beautiful to put Hashem in every part of our lives because that's what a Jew should do.Puting Hashem in our lives in our routine makes us closer to Him which should be our ultimate this player incorparating what a jewish person does is great!and mocking that is terrible!

(2) Anonymous, November 13, 2011 1:25 PM

Right on

On both counts Rabbi: 100%! To add, it was very obvious that you were playing with the pronunciation of his name to suit your purpose. I am pretty sure that you know how to pronounce his name (Tea-bough) and where the emphasis lies.

Avi, December 1, 2011 10:58 PM

mind of your own

you agree with the rabbi? You agree with him based on the his title of being a rabbi? How about having a mind of your own.., 100% sad... you work for Aish?

(1) Avi, November 13, 2011 7:39 AM


you pronounce his name as Tim Bow as in bow and arrow not bow as in bow down.. Tim Tebow...

dave, November 15, 2011 2:56 PM

bad idea

Do you daven shemoneh esrei just anywhere? Do you talk to your wife intimately just anywhere? Prayer needs quiet, serenity and seriousness. Tebow is a bad quarterback and an even worse religious custom maker

Batsheva, November 15, 2011 4:47 PM

We can and should thank Hashem anywhere

Being grateful and acknowledging Hashem can be done anywhere. We say "Baruch Hashem" all the time. He isn't "davening". He is just thanking GD in his way. He is acknowledging that there is a divine wisdom in the world that is actually in control and not him. Much better than the athletes that think they are gods. And Tim helped bring the last two Bronco games to wins, after a serious losing streak. He may not be John Elway yet, but give him time!


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