Bachurim Smoking in Yeshivas

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    Reb Eliezer
    ☕️coffee addict

    BH when I grew up I was instilled with a disgust towards smoking that when I held a cigarette for the first time in my life in 11th grade (the tobacco was taken out beforehand) I thought you had to light the filter

    Reb Eliezer

    My wife a’h used to smoke light cigarettes but when her aunt died from lung cancer, she quit cold turkey.


    Boruch Hashem I only took a puff of a cigarette twice in my life and each time i threw it on the floor in disgust

    It made me cough and was so disgusting….

    Save yourself from putting your health and life at risk and also keep the mitzvah of vnishmartem meod lenafshosheichem….. Watching your health


    can’t say i know the nissoyon but its pekuach nefesh to you and those around you. also, many girls (like me) don’t wan to marry a smoker. bare that in mind

    Reb Eliezer

    The Magen Avraham assers smoking on Yom Tov as it is not shova lechal nefesh, done by everyone. The Karbon Nesanel in Betza 24 is very strongly against it for extinguishing it on Yom Tov.


    Those who lived in places where smoking was popular: can we estimate the timeline: when science showed the danger, when it became widely known, when teshuvos were written, when new smokers declined, when older smokers started quiting

    The little I know

    I read articles and threads on this subject on this site (and sometimes others), and I am stunned by something. The same bochurim would go out on a limb for the latest chumroh, would plead the case for learning 20 hours a day, would think lowly of someone who chose to pursue a career to provide for his family and support mosdos, and would reject various hechsherim as not stringent enough. But smoking, pronounced a violation of a mitzvas lo saaseh by countless poskim, is something they will indulge in. I have heard several claim that Reb Moshe Feinstein ZT”L was matir smoking – a vicious lie. Let’s pretend that the issur of smoking was not min haTorah, but miderabonon, or maybe a chumroh. Should not a bochur who seeks chumros in every other part of life follow this for smoking?

    It is clear to me that the chumroh game is insincere, and is more about a display for others than about Yiras Shomayim.

    The hypocrisy is stunning, and I am puzzled why our Roshei Yeshivoh are not consistent with rejecting such bochurim from their yeshivos, as they would be with someone with a fully filtered smartphone.

    Reb Eliezer

    There is no question in my mind that if it came to pasken again the issur for Yom Tov, including the Pnei Yeshua who was matir as it helps in digestion, that everyone would asser it by the reason of the Magen Avraham above, not used by everyone as it is so harmful to one’s health.


    Did you notice anyone here promoting smoking?


    TLIK – the difference here is that it’s not just a halacha issue where there’s a chumra and a kulah, and you’re astounded at how otherwise very scrupulous people can be so lenient on thus shaalah.

    Aveirah gorerea aveirah. If they were doing something halachikally wrong, it would spill over into their other practices as well, but as you noted, it doesn’t.

    Let’s look at it from a bochurs perspective. The gedolei olam, people on whose every word we hang, people who we’re medayak in….almost all of them smoked. Some did even after finding out it was harmful; perhaps the boost it gave their learning (which it does) was more important; nevertheless, no gedolei yisroel encouraged it. Some already discouraged it in Europe, including the heiligeh chofetz chaim. There are still a few extremely choshuv roshei yeshiva who smoke. Smoking isn’t evil, it doesn’t display a bad midah or lack of yiras shomayim….it isn’t much different halachikally from eating a case of donuts everyday; actually, the donuts are worse, because it’s just a taavah, while smoking has mental benefits… it’s a stimulant which helps many people focus. I have never smoked, nor do I ever intend to, but I’ve known too many ehrliche yidden who do to be able to dismiss it out of hand as some sort of aveirah.

    Comparing it with a device of clear ruchnius destruction is twisted; smoking was also not forbidden by ‘tons of poskim’. To my knowledge, the only body of ‘poskim’ who all of the sudden woke up and decided to forbid something was the RCA in the early 2000s. They let the internet, television, movies, intergender relationships, tznius, hair covering, and all manner of wanton sinfulness fester in their communities…but smoking!! Out come the payos – iz doch an issur gamur, venishnartem!! They also are the same types who isolate themselves from covid yet allow the diseased outside world directly into their souls, imbibing repulsive avodah zara, shfichus damin and gilui arayos without a second thought….and they expect us to take this ‘psak’ seriously? They also ‘paskened’ bot too long after about climate change….these wre are the self righteous, preaching to the choir activities of the largest branch of modern orthodox rabbis.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    ” I have never smoked, nor do I ever intend to, but I’ve known too many ehrliche yidden who do to be able to dismiss it out of hand as some sort of aveirah.”

    Avirah – you contrived this whole post just because of the emotional trigger I copied above. While it is very important to assume ehrliche yidden have reasons for doing things that many have deemed wrong, creating a dissertation on it may be overkill. Your information is off and forced. Better you should have simply posted the above line, and moved on.

    The little I know


    Perhaps you might rewrite your critique of my comment differently if you would study the subject matter. I did so and have amassed a sizable stack of references. Smoking is not just assur as a chumrah. It is halacha psukah. I can provide you with documentation and references. The poskim issuing such psak are the same ones that the general Klal Yisroel – Shomrei Mitzvos – Olam Hatorah revere as their Gedolim. It is correct to note that Many greats of yesteryear smoked, some quite heavily. That predates the extensive documentation on the dangers. Others may have found out more information when it was too late for them to stop. I believe one of the heavy smokers, Rav Fisher ZT”L from the Badatz in Eretz Yisroel continued smoking after he was already dependent on an oxygen tank. He had staunchly refused to concur with the issur on smokinig issued by his colleagues. However, he did make a public statement sometime closer to his passing that he regretted smoking and not being more challenging as a posek. He declared it as an absolute issur.

    As for the tons of poskim, I suggest you seek the education about the subject. Here are two seforim you should purchase (or borrow) and review in detail.

    פאר תחת אפר

    חיים ללא עישון

    I will not bother to copy the list of poskim whose statements are quoted there. There are prior threads on the subject in the CR, and you may be able to search and find them. I’m not becoming defensive here. You do not favor smoking any more than I do. But I am relating the strength of the piskei halacha issued from our Gedolei Yisroel, and I am providing resources that prove my point.

    Lastly, the aveiroh goreres issue is a decoy. You and I do not know what these bochurim do when away from view. We do not know the sincerity of their connection to the RBSO when confronted with physical desires. No, I would not expect to find a yeshiva bochur who smokes sneaking into Burger King.

    Reb Eliezer

    חיים ללא עישון can be downloaded from

    The little I know

    Reb E:

    Thanks for checking. To anyone who checks out the sefer: Peruse the haskamos, read through the direct quotes in the sefer from the array of gedolim. Note the overwhelming majority who did not just say it is ossur, but that it is an issur d’Oraysa.

    I heard from older talmidim from Lakewood that Rav Aharon Kotler ZT”L stated this openly. I was told that it is recorded, though I have not heard that recording.


    as a bachur i can testify that its a lost battle every bachur smokes especially the electric cigs. and not allways do u know abt it. so give up on it and just focus on more important stuff. a better approach would be to be mechanech your kids to be honest with u, and they shouldnt smoke in hiding and the rosh yeshivas should allow it and talk about doing right so u should be able to stop when u get married


    They vape, they dont smoke

    Reb Eliezer

    Smoking outside is a chilul Hashem.

    The little I know


    I don’t take lightly a comment that says the problem exists but just ignore it and move on. Do you mean to say that if there was a issur on something and the yeshiva made that a rule, that these heilige lomdim would flagrantly violate? It is more important to throw talmidim like this out of the yeshiva than someone whose parents can’t afford tuition. It is not a “simple mistake” to be oveir an issur d’Oraysa that is concurrently an issur of yeshiva policy.

    So your choice is to make it muttar? Would you say the same for eating chazzer or shrimp? If everyone will violate the issurim, just legalize it? Maybe we should eliminate that mitzvah of Venishmartem? Is that what you advocate?

    As a bochur, you should be bent on doing everything conceivable to follow Dvar Hashem and to become closer to HKBH. Looking to permit indulgence in gashmiyus should NOT be consistent with your thinking.


    Avira > Let’s look at it from a bochurs perspective.

    you may be right that we have biases. MOs have a bias to follow “science” and can be biased to follow them into danger. More conservative groups have the bias of “tradition”. Obviously, Torah rulings change when facts (or our knowledge of them) changes. So, it is culturally hard to stop smoking if a heilige rosh yeshiva from previous generation did. And, after you read or hear enough of hagiographies about gedolim who were always right in everything, it becomes a statement of faith: if I stop smoking, I am betraying my Rosh Yeshiva.


    Gavk: who are u trying to kid? you really think people say: “oh, I’m in shidduchim now! maybe i should stop smoking? it an ADDICTION


    One day my Mashgiach in Yeshiva began accosting me about smoking. “It’s Assur Deoraisa.”
    I had really never thought about it before. So, as I do try to be particular in Halacha, I asked my Rebbi.
    Now, I had been smoking for about five years at the time, about a pack a day, and a bachur of 21 with an extremely addictive personality. I was very ernst, deciding I would quit on the spot if it came to that, and I wanted to know what he really held; not looking for a ptur.

    “Rebbi, is it asur to smoke?” yes, or no. Mutar or asur.


    > and I wanted to know what he really held; not looking for a ptur.

    good suspense. Waiting for the answer. Meanwhile, I do not understand the question. Do you ask same question when you are confronted with a sandwich with suspicious ingredients or see an ad for a movie? Does saying Shma twice daily fulfils obligation of limud Torah? Does saying “good morning” poters you from kibud Av vaEm the rest of the day?

    I presume you usually do the safe thing and do not push towards the boundaries and try to do best in positive mitzvos. You may also look at your Rosh Yeshiva and try to be as polite, thoughtful, learned as him.

    Why suddenly here you are ready to ruin your health and make yourself unattractive for a shidduch unless ordered so by your Rebbi?

    The little I know


    I find your comment shocking. Your mashgiach told you clearly that smoking is ossur d’Oraysa. You then run to ask the Rosh Yeshiva? Really? If that is your relationship to talmidei chachomim, you seem to want to pick and choose. You distrust the mashgiach?

    Why are you even asking? You were given a hora’ah. Oh, you’re addicted to tobacco. That permits trashing the psak from the mashgiach. That’s your problem. Your personal drives and desires are allowed to shape your adherence to halacha. Such a shame to adopt a derech like this. It flaunts your personal taavos as priorities over Torah and Halacha. And you are a yeshiva bochur?


    The little I know


    I think it is legitimate to go ask a higher authority, it was just not worded properly. He had to disclose what mashgiach told him and also ask for the best option rather than “mutar or asur”.

    Even the dilemma is invalid: mutar in some contexts means that it is wrong but not punishable as asur.

    Eved – so what was the answer? unless he just kicked you out?

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    TLIK – thank you for writing was i was thinking. And so much better than I would have.


    We could all rant and rave about a hundred things that our youth should or should not be doing. But if they do not ignore us and return to their books, there would not be any youths to yell about.

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