West Hempstead, NY – 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Ping-Pong Player Sacrifices Win For The Sake Of Shabbos

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      Estee Ackerman, 10, is a U.S. Open table tennis competitor.   Grand Rapids Press /Landov/VINNews.comWest Hempstead, NY – Estee Ackerman, an 11-year-old sixth grader from West Hempstead, Long Island, set aside her ambition and sacrificed a chance to compete at the final event in the 2012 US National Table Tennis Championship in Las Vegas for the sake of shabbos.

    “I advanced in my round robin and then we looked at my schedule and saw the next match would be during Friday night, which is our Sabbath, so of course I’m disappointed,” Estee told the New York Post (http://bit.ly/Wei58f) in an interview. “I practiced and trained for six months for this. Ping-pong is important to me, but my religion of Judaism is also very important to me.”

    Estee’s father, Glenn Ackerman, said his daughter had to withdraw from the December 21 event because tournament officials would not reschedule it for after shabbos. “She had a shabbos-over-sports moment,” Ackerman, who trains with Estee almost daily, said. “Hopefully, other Jewish athletes will also look to Estee to pursue their dreams in whatever sport they choose.”

    The CEO of USA Table Tennis, Michael Cavanaugh, said the sport’s governing body tries to be “inclusionary in the manner in which we run our events.” The Ackermans say that with close to 800 players to schedule over a five-day period, it is understandable that Estee’s event could not be rescheduled when it fell out on shabbos.

    Estee is ranked fourth in the 8-to-11 age bracket, but she often competes against and beats ping-pong players twice her age and older. Her talent for competitive ping-pong was first discovered by professional ping-pong player, Biba Golic, at a tournament in July in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    Golic, the celebrity promoter of Killerspin ping-pong items, awarded Estee a sponsorship after seeing her play against and defeat a 30-year-old man. “Tactically and strategically she has a natural sense for the game,” Golic said. The 11-year-old now flies around the country to promote Killerspin at exhibition events, and Killerspin is considering sending Estee to China this summer for intensive training.

    For now, Estee is looking toward the future and hopes to someday join the US Olympic table tennis team. “I hope to try out for the Olympic team and one day bring back a medal for my country,” Estee said.

    Akiva Ackerman, 13, and his sister, Estee Ackerman, 10, from New York, check the tournament bracket at the 2012 Table Tennis US Open Championships at Devos Place in Grand Rapids on Friday, June 29, 2012. Both competitors are ranked in their age groups in the US. They traveled to the tournament with their father Glenn Ackerman.(Grand Rapids Press /Landov/VINNews.com)

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    40 COMMENTS

    1. We are all so so so so so proud of you!!!

      “Ping-pong is important to me, but my religion of Judaism is also very important to me.” should read:
      but my religion of Judaism is MUCH MORE important to me.

      One can’t compare the importance of ping-pong and the importance of the Holly Shabbos in any way shape or form.

      Mazel Tov!!!! for making a real Kiddush Hashem, I’m sure Hashem will pay you back, many times over.

      • Why would they misquote the child? She said what she said. She’s a kid. She made the right choice. Her actions speaks more for her importance of Shabbos in her life. Never mind what what YOU Think she SHOULD have said.
        Actions are always more important than words.

      • pick, pick, pick.

        who are you to tell her what to say? she’s a kid, and all things considered, she handled herself very admirably. no one made a comparison except you.

      • There is another Shimon. I, am a regular poster here and i too call myself Shimon (which is my name). But i am not the other one under this article.
        OK. Big Masmid, yes, me too. I, should not really be here, but i am. But almost not, because it is not hasmodo to be here, nor to be so into the internet.

        And i say as followes:
        If she said her religion of Judaism “is also very important”, then i believe this is even better. It is too easy to say “MUCH MORE”. Truth is much greater than flowery language which you say because you must.
        Halevai it is the same!!!! (Ping pong and Judaism).
        Why does the gemoro say that “know that when a person does a sin, he thinks halevai that no person will see me”? What about G-d seeing?
        But we say no! We say halevai we are as afraid of G-d seeing as we are afraid of man seeing. This is truth. But not to say that G-d seeing is “MUCH MORE” bad, even though it is.

      • I don’t think ping pong itself is, but I would think that people are taking pictures, there is no hotel nearby to stay in, that sort of thing makes not ping pong itself but the tournament chillul shabbos.

        • If you don’t want your picture taken on shabbos, then don’t walk in NYC, also many even very frum shuls have security cameras, including Satmar, Viznitz, etc.

      • Playing ping pong itself might not be chilul shabbos; however when playing professionally or in a competitive tournament, its likely a different story, the person is no longer playing to relax or for fun, but as a profession or job, and could be constituted as actual work.

    2. Kol Hakovod to Estee for the mesiras nefesh she showed in foregoing playing on shabbos. She should be a role model for all banos yisroel on the kind of kiddush hashem you manifest by standing on principle. She is truly an eshes chayil.

    3. I understand the kidush hashem outweighs playing in a tournamanet, but she could’ve competed on shabbos without any chillul shabbos.
      Yes – there is a tshuva from Rav Moishe zatzal….

      • i’d like to see this tshuva.
        1 – it’s definitely “uvdin d’chol”
        2 – most poskim say u don’t have to stop kids from playing ball shabbos, but an adult is ossur. she is playing a tournament, which is over the line.
        3 – it’s in a public building, which brings u to issur tiltul.

        please post the maarei mokom for R’ Moishe’s tshuva.

        • There is no tshuva from reb Moshe but that doesn’t spare all your comments from being silly. Sure you’re lost in ca? Sounds more like you’re lost in bp or meah shearim.

          • someone claims a tshuva from R’ Moishe zt”l being matir playing ping pong on Shabbos. U have a problem with asking him/her to show it?
            Live your life as you wish, but don’t quote R’ Moishe as your backup unless u can prove it.

            • Adiraba, ask for ma’areh mikomos the chassam soffer writes to never believe anything anyone quotes until they show it to you inside. That was ok. All your other ideas were childish without any connection to Halacha. As if said by someone lost in a kollel bubble spending too much time making diyukim in a rambam said them. That’s all I meant.

    4. It’s very nice to read how people and even children sacrifice for shabbos. But why is this news? Aren’t there hundreds of thousands of yidden around the world who sacrifice much more that a silly pink pong game?
      Just walk down 13th avenue in bp and you’ll see all stores shut down for shabbos.

    5. She knows that if she plays on Shabos, her whole extended family, neighbors and friends will degrade her as a Mechallel Shabbos or Shabbos Goy. So why would she want to ruin her social life for this.
      This social pressure, is what keeps Klal Yisroel frum, as opposed to when Yidden came here alone before the war.

    6. The day will come when this amazing bas yisroel will compete for a gold medal on a day when it is not Shabbos, and because of the sacrifice she made years ago, Hashem will give her extra strength and cunning and she will win that medal.

    7. Let’s hope that not playing ping pong on shabbos is a step in kedusha of this young girl. Because of her being moser nefesh for shabbos, HKB”H should reward her with lots of s’yata d’shmaya to continue on the right path in torah u’mitzvos.

    8. If you’re going to be a frum Jew living in a secular world, you have to be prepared to make sacrifices. Many years ago, my law school scheduled my graduation for the second day of Shavuous (not intentionally). I never had a hava amina of going, even though my uncle lived very close to the school at the time and offered to put me up for Yom Tov. I would not have had to do anything, just sit there in a cap and gown and listen to speeches. I didn’t think it was a Yom Tov dicka thing to do, so I declined. Never regretted it for one second.

    9. Estee:
      You are a heroine. I am the grandfather of one of the Houston basketball players. My uncle won first place in the New Jersey State Ping Pong Championship (1938?). Be strong. You have already learned that “Doing the Avodas Hashem is job one!”

    10. i have spent the last PESACH at a glatt kosher hotel,the clientel consisted off mostly HEIMISH and CHASIDISH people,they had 2 ping pong tables,and they were occupied almost 24 hours a day,no one had a problem with playing it on YOM TOV

      • I’ve spent more years there than you (the tables are at the far end of the room, perpendicular to the large windows facing the ocean, in case you doubt me).

        I don’t remember seeing any adult chassidishe type guy playing on Yom Tov. I’d think the possibility of crushing the balls during play would put a damper on any enthusiasm to do so.

        We’ll see this year. Will you be there?

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