World’s Strongest Girl is an Orthodox Jew

World’s Strongest Girl is an Orthodox Jew

This past March, 10-year-old Naomi Kutin of Fairlawn, New Jersey broke a world powerlifting record for all age groups by lifting 215 pounds, meaning that she is almost certainly the world’s strongest girl. Seeing this video below about this sweet Orthodox girl, who refuses to compete on Shabbat, reminded me of the Orthodox girls who fill our schools and our communities. So many sweet girls, like Naomi, and because of their gentleness and goodness and refined character trains, you could easily overlook the tremendous inner powers of these girls who will one day, IY”H, become the powerful JewishMOMs who enable the Jewish people to continue to exist and thrive. So even though the idea of a young girl lifting such heavy weights makes me nervous, I still loved this video; since it proves to the world something that we JewishMOMs have known forever about our frum daughters: that there’s no contradiction between being a gentle and good and religious girl, and being a POWERHOUSE.

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8 comments

  1. In light of the secular world, this is amazing, that a young girl is so strong. But in the religious world, strength comes from an inner love of doing chesed and all types of mitzvot. My Israeli granddaughters are always busy learning and helping others. I think they display an extreme strength.

    Also, this girl, when mentioning Shabbat and how she misses some of the competitions, sounded as if the competition was more important than Shabbat.

    While it was an amazing article, it only shows physical and not spiritual strength, the ingredient that makes a Jewish woman who she is. Would we admire Rivka, Rochel, Leah, Ruth and all our Imahot if they spent their time lifting weights? I think not. Their strength was directed to improving the Jewish people.

    Thank you,
    Chaya Rivka, Irvine, CA

    • I got a very different picture. Yes, I don’t want my daughters to do this, but for those who feel that Yiddishkeit is restrictive, it is a beautiful example of how Torah and Yiras Shomayim are a light source and complement to ALL we do.

      I didn’t think Naomi was complaining about Shabbos, she seemed to be just learning how to deal with the conflicts of mitzvos vs her passion, and the mitzvos win!

      Whether her passions remain with weightlifting or change, the fact that she had to decide to do these as an observant Jewess is her true strength.

    • Ed Kutin

      You misconstrued what she meant. There are women her size and other kids who also powerlift. She rarely sees them. Seeing them is NOT more important to her than observing Shabbos. She was merely bemoaning that there are few opportunities to lift with those who are nearest to her peers. But questions about observing Shabbos? G-d forbid! She would not even remotely consider suggesting such a thing, and I doubt she would feel such a thing. In fact, she regularly gets accolades from her teachers at school for the seriousness of her davening, and her thougthful, insightful qustions in class.

  2. feminist angle aside, how is this any different than parents who take their daughters to beauty pageants or any other competition? You can’t tell me the 8-yr-old just wanted to do this out of thin air–she can feel her parents’ true desires, she is echoing their hopes for her, their non-Jewish values. And yes, she did say that it’s annoying that she can’t see her weightlifting friends on Shabbos…

    • Ed Kutin

      That is exactly what we are saying; she wanted to do this, and from the first time she touched a weight my wife and I have made it clear to her that she can stop whenever she wants to. She just hasn’t wanted to. Certainly school (yeshiva) comes first always, but is it a disaster for a girl, even a frum girl, to be athletic? We don’t think so. She loves yiddeshkheit, takes her learning and observance very seriously, and is well thought of by her teachers and other students for her middos. As for our “non-Jewish values”, do you really thing it proper to publicly draw such a conclusion about us?

  3. Roni Cohen

    We (me & my son Benjamin who is 8 years old, and my daughter Maya, who is almost 6 years old) just watched your video and discussed it.

    Benjamin thinks it’s amazing that Naomi can lift over 200 pounds. He thinks that Naomi’s family is not forcing her to lift weights but she LOVES it! She should keep doing it! He thinks Naomi is doing a great job observing Shabbos even if it’s hard sometimes.

    Maya thinks that girls can be strong too!

    I think that it a wonderful thing when Hashem gives a special talent and you take that talent and be the best at it that you can. It seems that Naomi spends time, effort, and much focus on her gift. She and her family should be very proud of her for being so mature at a young age. It would be a shame and an insult to waste any talent Hashem bestows upon us. Hashem wants us to have an enjoyable life and take pleasure from our individual likes and hobbies.

  4. That is really awesome. Physical strength and the determination to progress from goal to goal and strength to strength is something that makes everything we do more successful. I think that through her learning to strive, focus and achieve her physical goals it is obvious that this is the formula for success and she will continue to achieve with the wonderful support from her family all of her spiritual goals as well. Good luck !

  5. I give the Kutins tremendous credit. Naomi is blessed to have them as parents. The dad welcomed his daughter into a field that most girls don’t enter, and both parents encouraged and helped their daughter to do something worthwhile, with probably as much “pressure” as we give our girls to practice their piano.

    To answer some of the comments:

    It’s not precisely Torah and mitzvos, you’re right, commenter, but it’s very healthy to be strong and it’s normal to enjoy competing with other girls your age. I think most Rabbanim nowadays do encourage exercise, just as they encourage healthy eating.

    I don’t see how you (another commenter) can compare weightlifting with beauty pageants! Are you serious?

    I would be very proud if this were my granddaughter. I would grieve if my granddaughter was busy with beauty pageants G-d forbid.

    YASHER KOACH Mr. and Mrs. Kutin, and yasher koach, Naomi!
    I see this article was written several years ago. Can we have an update, please?

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