Elie Kligman, MLB prospect, won’t play baseball on Shabbat

Elie Kligman, a Jewish Major League Baseball (MLB) prospect from Nevada, is seeking to become the next star as he completes his final year of high school, with the added difficulty of being Shabbat-observant and exclusively eating Kosher food, as reported on the Chabad website Thursday. In a statement to Chabad, Kligman said, “My dream has always been to be a Major Leaguer. I never thought of anything else—baseball has always been what I’ve wanted to do.” Kligman is considered a top prospect and is one of the highest ranked players from Nevada, having played baseball throughout his life. He also recently participated in the Major League Baseball-scouted “Area Code Baseball Games,” among 175 high school students from around the United States. Speaking to Chabad, Elie Kligman highlighted his connection to Judaism and noted that he has never played on Shabbat, and prays three times a day. “I have the mindset of, ‘This is what I am doing for Judaism, and this is what I am doing for baseball.’ Once the sun goes down on Friday night, it’s not a debate for me, [celebrating Shabbat] is just what I am doing,” says the teen. “When you are a proud Jew, people respect when I tell them I’m not going to play on Friday night and Saturday.”Kligman is the son of an attorney and professional sports agent, Marc, who has encouraged him to pursue his chance to join the MLB. “We’ve had a lot of help along the way. People have been kind and helpful, “Marc told Chabad.org “Our head coach at the high school makes sure we don’t schedule any games on Saturday.”

The Kligmans are members of the Chabad of Nevada.“It’s wonderful to watch Elie balance his commitment to a Torah-observant lifestyle and baseball at the same time, but when there is a conflict, his Yiddishkeit takes precedence,” said Rabbi Shea Harlig. “Because of Elie and his family’s strong sense of Judaism, even when being out there playing baseball, they once encouraged a family to meet with me, which together resulted in the family putting mezuzot on their doors and enrolling their children in Hebrew school,” Harlig added.Despite the certainty of his Judaism, it remains unclear where Kligman intends to enroll for university.

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