Friday, 13 Dec 2019 - 15 of Kislev, 5780

Football player turns rabbi: the story of Snir Gueta

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“In the last year of my career, I had plenty of offers from football clubs, but I made the decision to retire. I salute my wife – without her, it would have been more difficult to make the decision; she would have been willing to go anywhere with me.”

Rabbi Snir Gueta, once a promising player in Israel’s national Under-21 team, is now a rabbi who teaches prominent football players the Torah.

The 31-year-old former midfielder discusses his personal journey and explains why playing on weekdays, instead of Shabbat will increase the number of football stars in Israel.

He grew up in the Maccabi Haifa’s youth department, played for Maccabi Netanya, and Israel’s national Under-21 team. Today, Rabbi Snir Gueta is considered one of the most recognized rabbis among Israel’s younger generation.

Snir Gueta grew up in the Maccabi Haifa’s youth department, played for Maccabi Netanya, and Israel’s national Under-21 team. Today, he is considered one of the most recognized rabbis among Israel’s younger generation.

Seven years ago, the promising midfielder decided to retire from football. Driven by his religious beliefs, he chose to forgo the sport he loved in order to uphold further the halachot (Jewish laws) surrounding the Jewish sabbath.  Today, he is a married father of three. He receives such a large volume of inquiries that he has been helped by an assistant to help respond to the people seeking his advice. Committed to helping others learn the Bible as he has, he dedicates his time to give lessons every evening, throughout the country.

The Rabbi’s lessons are mostly about virtues, courtesy, faith, and what it means to be god-fearing. Yeshiva students sitting amongst well-known football players of Israel’s Premier League are a common sight.  “Struggling with the modern balance of today’s personal and professional lives, these motivational speeches help us to gain clarity,” said Rabbi Gueta.

When explaining his decision to quit football, the Rabbi said, “It was a very long process. Through lessons of various righteous rabbis, I realized that I was not on the right track as a Jew. I found myself at a crossroads. One choice was to wait until I’m 35, finish my career, then begin my path to becoming the rabbi I knew I could be. The other option was to follow my heart and do what I felt G-d wants for me, beginning immediately.”  Rabbi Gueta said.

“In the last year of my career, I had plenty of offers from football clubs, but I made the decision to retire. I salute my wife – without her, it would have been more difficult to make the decision; she would have been willing to go anywhere with me.”

“Giving up a football player’s salary and retiring was not an easy thing to do, especially for those who were in the position I was in, at the time,” he added.

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