HAPOEL SOCCER: But the Ball Didn’t Touch My Hand!

A relatively common comment from youth players after the ball touches their arm and they’re whistled for a hand ball is, But the ball didn’t touch my hand!  And the player isn’t wrong.  The ball didn’t touch their hand.  Tonight, before saying Hamotzi, we’ll wash and say, al netilas yadayim.  And, when we wash, we’re not washing our hands and arms up to our armpits.  We wash our hands.  A yad is a hand.

But… In today’s Daf (Arachin 19), the sugya talks about a person saying, I will give the weight of my hand in gold.  And, what we learn is that when the person says this, they mean the weight of their hand… and arm.  At the time, when a person said a hand in this context, they meant their hand… and arm.  Similarly, we have tefillin shel Rosh as well as tefillin… shel yad.  And this tefillin doesn’t go on our hand.  It goes on our arm.  Again, a yad, in this context, means one’s hand… and arm.  

A yad is a yad.  A hand is a hand.  But there are cases where the vernacular meaning of the word yad is used.  So, in soccer, the foul is called a hand ball but, in the soccer vernacular, a hand ball is when the ball touches your hand… or arm. 

So… it’s kind of funny that today’s Daf spoke to a “hand” as a person’s hand as well as their arm up to their armpit much like we do in soccer.  Thus proving, soccer is G-d’s sport.  (Just in case, the previous sentence was a joke.  Please, no e-mails.  Please, no posts on Balti-mommies.  G-d doesn’t have a favorite sport.  But if he did… ) 

Good Shabbas.  🙂

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