Football Pro Keeps Her Faith on the Gridiron
Gable grew up Orthodox, with nine siblings, in Monsey, N.Y., and is a running back for the New York Nemesis. Six weeks into the 10-week season, the team is undefeated (5-0) and has a strong chance of making it to the National Women’s Football Association’s equivalent of the Super Bowl, to be held July 26.
The more daunting challenge for Gable is adhering to Jewish law in a league where all games are played Saturday, women wear pants and the goal is to carry a football on the Sabbath.
“Most Orthodox people would say it’s not in the spirit of Shabbat,” said Gable, who considers herself Modern Orthodox. “I respect that,” Gable said. “I thought about it. I believe rules should be followed strictly, but if I’m not breaking anything, then, I guess I’m allowing myself to be lenient.”
Gable travels to game sites Fridays, finds the hotel closest to the field and makes sure there’s a fence around the stadium (which acts as an eruv — a Sabbath barrier — and permits her to carry things, such as a football, within its boundaries). She then memorizes the route from the hotel to the field, because she can’t carry the map on the Sabbath, and walks as far as five miles to get to the game the next day.
Gable was a standout student at the Heredi Orthodox all-girls Bais Yaakov in Passaic, N.J., before graduating from Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, N.J., and attended Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim in Israel during the 2001 intifada. When she returned to the United States, Gable attended SUNY Rockland Community College. In 2006 she graudated from Cornell, where, a year later, she earned a master’s degree in health administration. She now works as an analyst at Hewitt Associates, a health management consulting firm.