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The World’s Strongest Girl

Meet the world’s strongest girl. An Orthodox Jewish 10-year-old from Fair Lawn, N.J.

naomi kutinWhen Naomi was 8 years old, her parents brought her to her first meet, in Clearfield, Pa. She lifted 148 pounds, setting her first national record. Today, her purple-painted bedroom is dotted with medals; a shelf of trophies overflows onto a pile of stuffed animals.

The Kutins are Modern Orthodox Jews — he became religious as an adult, while she converted from Christianity. They refrain from competing or practicing on the Sabbath. First, there is the problem of driving to a meet. But even if the Kutins found a competition close enough to walk to, they still might encounter halachic quandaries. At powerlifting events, for instance, judges gauge the quality of each lift by blinking a white or red light to indicate that the maneuver either passed technical muster or didn’t. If a person judging a Saturday meet happens to be Jewish, then the Kutins would be violating Halacha by asking him or her to blink lights on the Sabbath on their behalf.

Another problem has to do with the physical act of weightlifting. The Torah prohibits carrying objects on the Sabbath to a public area from a private home. Technically, Ed Kutin said, the family could still lift weights in their basement gym. But this would interfere with the restful spirit of the Sabbath. “We try to avoid it,” he said.

At most two-day powerlifting meets, women and adolescents compete on Saturdays and men compete on Sundays. Because the Kutins won’t participate on the Sabbath, Naomi must lift at the Sunday meets, which are typically filled with muscle-bound, tattooed men. But she isn’t intimidated. “They are an unusual look for us,” Neshama Kutin said. “It’s not like you go to synagogue and see that.”

Read the whole thing.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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