As of now the National Football League is trying to bully the Baltimore Orioles (a baseball team) into moving their long scheduled Sept. 5th game so the NFL Baltimore Ravens can play their opening day game on this night.

The obvious solution is for the Ravens to play on Wednesday night when the Orioles have an away game.

The NFL has cited Rosh Hashanah as its reason for not playing on Wednesday. It is my understanding that the holiday runs through Thursday.

Is playing on Thursday any better for the Jewish community?

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    srock, welcome to mi.yodeya and thanks for bringing this very interesting iceberg tip to concerned Jewish fans' attention! – WAF Mar 22 '13 at 20:25
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    @SethJ I think the question "Is it better..." is a valid one, since there could be other legal and societal considerations involved in answering a question like that, beyond when Rosh Hashana is. What about proximity to the end of yom tov? What if I had money on the game? Is there a part of the day which is more susceptible to distraction by sports than other times? – WAF Mar 22 '13 at 21:32
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    @SethJ, I think asking whether playing on Wednesday night versus Thursday is on-topic. If the Thursday game would be before the end of the holiday then the answer is easy ("no, it's a problem either way"), but if it's just after the end of the holiday, as WAF said, there are substantive questions there. – Monica Cellio Mar 22 '13 at 22:04
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    To clarify, Rosh HaShana begins at sunset on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, and continues for two days until dark on Friday, Sept. 6. Of course Shabbat begins at sunset on Friday, Sept. 6, as it does every Friday. So observant Jews would not attend any game on Wednesday or Thursday evening that week, nor on Friday evening that week or any week. – Ari Brodsky Mar 24 '13 at 6:20
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    @AriBrodsky, oh! So the game to be rescheduled was on RH anyway! The question doesn't indicate as much (and I didn't realize). Sheesh, that changes things quite a bit. I mean, I suppose it doesn't actually change the question as asked here, but it is relevant to the decisionmakers in the sports world. – msh210 Mar 24 '13 at 8:23

Rosh Hashana is a two-day holiday. If Wednesday night begins the first day, as noted by Ari Brodsky in a comment on the question, then playing on Thursday, either before or after sundown, doesn't help -- it's still Rosh Hashana, moving into the second day.

If Wednesday night began the second day of Rosh Hashana (which isn't actually possible according to our calendar, but let's pretend), then the Thursday-night game would have to be long-enough after dark (not just sundown) that participants would not begin any preparations on the holiday. In September in North America (where the NFL operates), that probably places the start of the game late enough that they wouldn't want to hold it for other reasons, like not being fully in prime time on TV.

(Rosh Hashana can't start on a Wednesday (Tuesday night) because that would place Yom Kippur on Friday, and YK is prevented from being on either Friday or Sunday because of the interference with Shabbat.)

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