Rav Nosson Wachtfogel asks, "Why is the world obsessed with sports? What is it with sports that the world is so excited about?" He explains it like this: The metzius of a person is that he is a neshama that craves to have a fight against his yetzer hara and to overcome it. This is our purpose in this world. Hashem gave us a yetzer hara in order to overcome it. This is the essence of a person and what the neshama craves. This gives the neshama joy. People however do not want to face or do this fight. But the neshama is craving for this enjoyment. So people look for another way of having enjoyment on a much smaller level. Sports is that type of enjoyment. They're both the same idea. You have two teams. You have to fight the opponent, beat him, and overcome him. Since a person is craving for the real fight but he doesn't do it, people therefore go for that smaller type of fight which gives them some type of enjoyment, which is a little bit similar to what the real enjoyment is.Rabbi Eliezer ben Dovid says a similar idea which he finds in parshas Bereishis.
He speaks about soccer, in which there are two teams. The ball they use is a piece of skin-leather which is full of air. You take the ball and you have to get it into the goal. This can't be done alone. One needs a team to help him. There is also a referee who guides and tells you what you can and can't do, and you have a person by the goals who blocks the goal and tries to prevent the ball from reaching the goal. But you need to try and pass that block. It says in Parshas Bereishis that Adam was created, "Vayipach b'apav nishmas chaim"; he has skin, the guf, and Hashem blew into the guf his neshama. The purpose of a person is similar to the ball. His objective is to get to Olam Haba-that is the goal. How does he get there? He needs help. This is your group of people, your friends, your family, those people who are around you and are going to help you reach your goal of Olam Haba. This is not enough. We also need a referee to guide us in what we can and can't do; that's one's rav or rebbe who helps him reach his goal. But in front of that goal there is a block. The yetzer hara, who wants to try and prevent you from reaching that goal. This is life; this is what you need. You need to get past the yetzer hara to get into the goal. You need the help of others, you need the help of a rebbi, and together you'll reach your goal. This is the purpose of a person's life. This is the beginning, the Bereishis. If a person reaches that goal, then he has the real satisfaction of life, the real enjoyment, and the feeling of accomplishment of what he is supposed to, instead of us going for the small enjoyment, the sport. Instead, reach for the real enjoyment of life, gain the purpose for what we are here in this world for, and feel the real joy.
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