Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dovid in the Herald-Sun: Radical rabbi's movement of faith

From: Herald Sun March 03, 2012

Radical rabbi's movement of faith
Skateboarding rabbi
Rabbi Dovid Tsap uses skateboarding to connect with young people.
Picture: Mike Keating  Source: Herald Sun
By John Masanauskas
 DID you hear the one about the skateboarding rabbi?
It's no joke: Dovid Tsap is a rabbi who happens to be obsessed with skateboarding and he reckons it's kosher.
"Skateboarding is a form of motion in the physical world and being a rabbi is a form of motion in the spiritual world," he said yesterday.
"So skateboarding and being a rabbi are in harmony with each other."
Tell that to the judge, some might say, but Rabbi Tsap, 34, insists his passion is helping him to connect with young people.
"There's nothing wrong with skateboarding," he said. "It's a sport, it's a form of exercise and if you can use it as a medium in order to help others then it's kosher."
Wearing religious garb, Rabbi Tsap regularly skates with youth in inner-city areas such as Docklands and Port Melbourne, and he even blogs and has written a book on the subject.
A member of Chabad-Lubavitch, a major Orthodox Jewish movement, Rabbi Tsap admits that he is seen as eccentric by some of his peers.
"For a rabbi who is supposed to be dignified, what I do is really unconventional," he said. "I've had a few curious people asking me, 'What are you wearing?', asking me interesting questions, but I've had nobody mocking me or scoffing at me."
But Rabbi Tsap, who resumed skateboarding last year after doing it as a teenager, said the sport's pros had nothing to fear from him.
"Everybody wants to have a game of skate with me because they know I'm going to lose, I'm not very good," he said. 


  1. Rabbi Tsap,
    I think you'd be very interested in this piece on Longboarding and Spirituality in my January issue of Concrete Wave Magazine
    You can see it here...

    feel free to contact me via

    Glad to read you're back on, I've never left...and this year is going to be 37 years riding...

    Michael Brooke
    Concrete Wave

  2. Hello Rabbi Tsap
    I think you are a very inspiring person to be living what you love in both sides of skating and your faith. I think that is very lovely.

    I wrote an article on skateboarding and spirituality recently and I think you'll be able to relate to it :)

    Blessings and love

    ps it is even more amazing that this article on your blog was written on my birthday! :)

  3. I read your article. It's concise and exudes positivity from begining to end. It's good to connect with someone with such similar orientations as myself. Your pics are great as well.
    If you are ever in Melbourne, it would be great skating with you...