« Red Sox zimmun (or beit din?) | Main | Sports are healthy even for observant Jews »

August 24, 2005

Comments

Ron Citro

Very interested in this topic, look forward to more.
A friend of mine recently told me that he asked an Orthodox man who was standing nearby enjoying a cigarette why it was halachically permitted to smoke, and the reply: The torah is not supposed to be hard (said as he extinguished his cigarette).
Of course, drinking hard liquor and overeating are prevalent in the Orthodox world and are also self endangerment issues, and people do know better and are embarassed if attention is called to it.
At my shul, there is a group of 20 somethings who call themselves the kiddish club and meet regularly during musaf to have some scotch. If I am standing there and hear their l'chayim (to life), I usually think to myself l'mavet (to death). Perhaps I am right about the physiological consequence of heavy drinking, but they are right about the social consequence. I am guily of separating myself from the group (tsibur), which is not a Jewish thing to do. The good effects of alcohol consumption are more proximate than the harmful ones, and alcohol consumption is halachically permitted. Perhaps the same logic applies to smoking, a habit which is difficult to kick as much for the loss of social ties with other smokers as for the nicotine withdrawl.

Perhaps this is what the Orthodox smoker in the aforementioned story meant by "hard" -- individual Jews are not expected to separate from the tsibur. If the halachic process were to somehow able to come out with a ruling that it was asur to smoke then I am sure all of a sudden people would throw away their cigarettes. But, as you mentioned, the halacha is concerned about the reputations of rabbis, many who smoked, and, I would add, the reputation of halacha.

kaspit

Ron, you are right to be concerned about alcohol. While some drinking is permitted, some Orthodox Rabbis justly oppose excessive drinking on halakhic grounds.

While I mention the concern with the reputation of rabbis and of halakhah, I did not mean to imply that smoking is permitted. Indeed, I think the practice of smoking is basically asur (prohibited). Hopefully, I'll explain this in the follow-up post(s).

You'll do a world of good by staying close to your tsibur (community) and lightly guiding the 20 somethings to healthier socializing.

Take care, good shabbes,

Kaspit
You

Yaakov Menken

Quicksilver,

Since you recently commented on C-C, I thought to return the favor -- especially as I have previously discussed this very topic.

In 1963, the dangers of smoking were hardly well-established, even among doctors. I can explain how I know this, if necessary, but it's true.

Here is the first half of the last paragraph of Igros Moshe ChM 2:76: But certainly it is appropriate for any man, especially bnei Torah, not to smoke since there is a risk of danger, and there is no benefit, and [not] even pleasure to those who are not accustomed to it. And as a result, certainly one should not accustom himself in this, and a person should not let his young sons accustom themselves to it even if he himself is accustomed.

The "defense" of Reb Moshe, assuming such were necessary, is rather simple: "who is wise? He who perceives the future." If he had prohibited smoking entirely, it would have been honored in the breach -- people truly addicted to smoking are not able to stop immediately even when a doctor tells them that they are in imminent danger, so why would any reasonable person imagine that even bnei Torah would exhibit superhuman strength, en masse?

Rather, he said that even those accustomed to smoking should not allow their sons to smoke. And within one generation, smoking in the American charedi community went from ubiquitous to rare -- a far more precipitous decline than that in secular society, despite the medical evidence.

There's simply no [logical] grounds for criticism, at least from what I can see.

lindsey

you need to say some known poisons in cigarette smoke!!

lindsey

e cigarette

Like fermaldihide, rat poison!

viagra online

For health Smoking - the real problem of modern society continue to smoke - it's not our decision, not our choice.

buy cialis

Thank you for your post. Yes, chocolate can compromise your health. But smoking is dangerous for your health, money and time, and should be avoided at all cost.

Volker  from Germany

Hi,
I randomly came on this side and would like to leave nice greetings. I would be glad if you visit my homepage also! Maybe you want to visit Sylt Westerland in Germany http://www.MeerblickSylt.de or the Baltic Sea http://www.OstseeblickHolm.de for vacation?! We have there very nice flats with a nice view. Maybe we'll see soon!
Kind regards

john prashath

I have an electronic cigarette myself and it works great, using it about few months and haven’t had any problems with it yet.The best part about my experience is that this new device has helped me quit traditional smoking for good. I think this is one of the best ways to quit smoking forever.

Curly

Hi this is curly i am tobacco smoker. But its before 2 years. Now i quit smoking tobacco cigarettes coz i started using E Cigarette. Because i planned to quit smoking tobacco cigarette for my health sake. So i switched to electric cigarette and now am feeling healthier than before.

custom hockey jerseys

Because i planned to quit smoking tobacco cigarette for my health sake. So i switched to electric cigarette and now am feeling healthier than before.

xinji

http://vuns83h.tumblr.com/

Cheap Cigarettes

Smoking can be prohibited as self-endangerment.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

March 2007

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Blog cosmos

  • Jewish Blogging


  • Subscribe in NewsGator Online

  • Listed on 
BlogShares





  • <<List
    Jewish Bloggers
    Join>>
Blog powered by Typepad

Google and Newswire


  • Google
    %(domain)s %(domain)s