Talk:Games on Shabbat

From Halachipedia

i don't understand the opening statement of this page. whether a person will get olam habo or not, should by no means affect his will to do the ratson hashem! olam habo can be inspiration for kids as much as candy's are inspirational. this especially applies to halachic ruling!!!

You are right that doing something for Olam haba doesn't have a place in this halacha, however, it was included because that's the opening line the shemirat shabbat kehilchata on this topic. Anyway, I removed it.
Explanation of Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 16:1

The Riaz (commenting on the gemara that says its forbidden to play with nuts on the ground on Shabbat because you may come to smoothen out the ground) says if one is playing a game with nuts competitively (le'natze'ach zu et zu) its forbidden because its similar to gambling (see Shabbat 148b which has gezerot of playing in a lottery for free because of its similarity to gambling). However, the Shiltei Giborim argues on the Riaz saying one may play it on Shabbat since the nut game involves some wisdom and isn't similar to gambling. The Mahara Sason (responsa Torat Emet Siman 180) writes that chess is included in the above machloket and then says that he would make a compromise to permit it during the week and forbid it on Shabbat because it does involve sufficient wisdom to make it not similar to gambling, but isn't a wisdom that's of immediate purpose and so may not be used on Shabbat (and he compares it to mekach umemkar that has wisdom but no immediate purpose and also compares it to the gemara Shabbat 148b but I didn't quite understand why that's only a Shabbat issur). From all of the above, we see that there's somehow an issue of playing a game on Shabbat because it doesn't involve wisdom which has an immediate purpose.

Magen Avraham 338:8 quotes the Mahara Sason who says that playing games on Shabbat is an issue because there's no purpose in having a knowledge of that game. The Pri Megadim E”A 338:8 adds that even during the week one should be careful because of the issue of Moshav Leytzim. [The Mahara Sason clearly thought that it wasn't moshav leytzim because games did involve some sort of wisdom and it wasn't similar to gambling.] The Mishna Brurah 338:21 quotes the Magen Avraham and Mahara Sason.

Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata first quotes this Mishna Brurah and says that there's an issue with adults playing games on Shabbat. Then he adds his own explanation saying that Shabbat was given to klal yisrael for spiritual pleasures. For that explanation he quotes the Ibn ezra shemot 20:8 who basically says Shabbat is about spiritual elevation. In any event he's attempting to explain the Mahara Sason's idea of not playing games on Shabbat and why the issur should be specific to Shabbat. He doesn't mean that Shabbat was given for spiritual pleasure and not oneg, because that's not true as we know oneg Shabbat is all about physical pleasure (Rambam 30:7 and Mishna Brurah 242:1). Rather he means that we shouldn't waste time on Shabbat because really Shabbat is meant to be a spiritual day. In my opinion it's similar to Mishna Brurah 307:4 who says that even for things which are completely oneg Shabbat such as good food, still you shouldn't overindulge because Shabbat was given to learn torah (and that's not saying its an issue of bitul torah because that's asur even during the week, but that on Shabbat we should be even more careful about our time).

Being Spiritually Active on Shabbat: Another reason to avoid games on Shabbat is because the essence of Shabbat is spiritual and we should ensure that our activities are spiritual. The Ramban (Vayikra 23:2) writes that Mikrah Kodesh regarding Shabbat indicates that we should use the day for praying together and praising Hashem. In fact, the Gemara Yerushalmi (Shabbat 15:3) writes that Shabbat was given for people to learn torah.