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I have a friend who is extremely into international sports games. When the team that he supports loses an important game, he gets really upset. When his team recently got kicked out of the competition, I caught him almost crying. Now whatever his particular predilections are, why is this not forbidden? Should it not go under

You cried a futile crying and so I will give you something to cry about

that Hashem told the Jews when they cried regarding the spies?

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I have nothing against the question, but I think it would be appropriate to specify whether or not you are the same person who asked it here: needaneitzah.com/questions/20/… This way no one suspects you of plagiarism. Once you do so you'll get my +1. –  Dov F Jul 9 '12 at 18:18
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Also, you could improve this question by citing and providing more context for the quotation. –  Isaac Moses Jul 9 '12 at 18:45
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@IssacMoses Thanks for the tip, updated it now! –  yehuda Jul 9 '12 at 19:19
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@CharlesKoppelman Orach Chaim 1:3, everyone has to be sad about the churban –  b a Jul 9 '12 at 23:03
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@Yehuda, The difference being...? –  jake Jul 10 '12 at 15:43
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think the question is the phrase "crying for chinam". My suspicion is it's not "you cried about something unimportant", rather it's "you cried when there was every reason not to."

G-d had promised them they'd enter the land, and here they were crying "oh boo hoo we won't enter the land", there was no reason for them to be sad.

Whereas if my favorite team loses, well I feel upset. That's not a sign of diminished faith of any sort, G-d hadn't promised me my team would win.

There's likely some measure of good sense of proportion, how upset should a sports game make me (and how much should(n't) it allow me to reduce my normal performance of service to G-d), but I think applying the comment from the Spies is quite extreme.

Note the conversation between G-d and Jonah at the end of his book; Jonah's upset is a teaching moment, not a cause for punishment:

"Jonah, are you really that upset over a silly gourd?"

"Yes G-d, so upset I wish I was dead."

Ah-hah! Now you understand why I don't want the metropolis of Ninveh to die.

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Excellent reference to Yonah. –  Double AA Jul 13 '12 at 19:30
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Terrific answer! +1 –  Charles Koppelman Jul 13 '12 at 20:01
    
+1 for the Yona reference, but I'm not convinced your translation/interpretation of chinam is correct. –  msh210 Jul 13 '12 at 20:45
    
From now on, whenever someone gets upset over something insignificant, I'm going to say to them, "?הַהֵיטֵב חָרָה-לְךָ עַל-הַקִּיקָיוֹן" –  jake Jul 15 '12 at 16:32
    
Nice answer! I like it! –  yehuda Jul 16 '12 at 21:38
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It's not forbidden because anything that is not explicitly forbidden is permitted. What source holds that this is forbidden?

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Note the question is tagged hashkafah-philosophy rather than halacha. While the question ("why is this not forbidden") sounds like it's asking about halacha, I doubt that that was actually the asker's intent. +1, though. –  msh210 Jul 13 '12 at 16:38
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