HALACHOT for England v Croatia Football Match

From the Sefer ‘Zeh Magiah Ha Bayita’ - It’s Coming Home book of Jewish Law!!


1. Before the game begins, don’t forget to count – (yesterday was 27 days of the World Cup.) If you forget and the game has already started, as long as it is before half time you can still count with a bracha. If you remember in the second half – you can still count, but without a bracha. Once the game is over you cannot count. According to some opinions, extra time is considered too late to count, others are lenient. 

2. Everytime England score we are accustomed to recite the blessing ‘Ha Tov v Ha Meitiv’ - That G-d does goodness. Conversely, if Croatia score we should say ‘Dayan Emet’ - we accept G-d’s judgement. There is a discussion whether to recite these blessings on red cards. For sure no one holds to say the blessing on a yellow card unless it is for an England player who may miss the final (see Gazza 1990)

3. If you daven Maariv after the game and England have won, you add ‘Al Hanisim’ in the Amidah. “We thank Thee for the miracles (of winning a penalty shoot out), the redemption (from rubbish England teams of old), and the triumphant victories, which Thou hast wrought for our players at this world cup.”

4. At the end of the game, if England have won, any one born after 30th July 1966 needs to recite Shecheyanu for getting into a World Cup Final. According to some opinions, if you were not old enough to remember the miracles of 66, then you can recite the bracha. Since we are during the three weeks, Ashkenazim should get a Sephardi to say it for you.

5. There is no need for Musaph even if the game goes to Extra Time

6. People are accustomed to stand during parts of the game, others to sit. During a penalty shoot out, it is a strong custom to stand and pace around, for those who are able to do this, it is an admirable custom. 

7. Upon an England victory, Hallel without a bracha is to be recited. If Football does come home on Sunday, then full Hallel with a bracha may be recited.