giving tzedakah to aniyim who smoke

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  • #615230
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    what does the cr think about giving tzedakah to aniyim who smoke (either you see them smoking or you could smell it on them when they come collecting?

    im sorry if most of my posts have something to do with giving tzedakah, however when money gets tight one cant go and give people that don’t really need it or might use it innapropriately

    #1067079
    Joseph
    Participant

    What about giving tzedaka to aniyim who post in the coffee room instead of looking for a job? Or aniyim who wear brand name shoes or clothing or a Borsalino-brand hat instead of cheaper no-brand clothing? Or aniyim who you witnessed buying a lottery ticket? Or aniyim who you know eat junk food or expensive meat or you saw ate out in a restaurant? Or aniyim who you saw sitting near you at the concert instead of them spending that ticket money on food and necessities?

    #1067080
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Giving someone cigarettes is a sin. Giving someone a concert ticket or brand name clothing might not be what you want, but there’s nothing very wrong with it.

    #1067081
    Chortkov
    Participant

    RebYidd23 – That is a very big statement that “giving someone cigarettes is a sin”. Whether smoking itself is Muttar or Assur is, as has been posted here many times in the past, a fierce debate. An addicted smoker is only more lenient. And even if it is assur, it does not mean that it is assur to give him cigarettes. But that isn’t todays discussion.

    Giving money to somebody in need is a mitzvah. Tzedoko. If the guy needs medication to ease suffering from an illness he caught, you would give it to him. Smoking – to a truly addicted smoker – is no more than an illness. Perhaps sponsoring clinical help to stop his addiction would be more ideal, but for the short term, cigarettes is a need.

    Bear in mind, he isn’t collecting for cigarettes. They are coming to collect for families with medical conditions, with no food for Shabbos, with no money for weddings. It so happens that a small expense includes smoking. But not giving him because he also smokes means denying his innocent children shabbos food.

    #1067082
    Sam2
    Participant

    Someone once came up to me asking for a money with a story about how he hadn’t eaten in two days and has no money for food. He had a pack of cigarettes sticking out of his shirt pocket.

    #1067083
    Joseph
    Participant

    The OP’s question wasn’t about giving cigarettes to a poor person. His question was about giving needed food to a poor person who uses cigarettes. Quitting a cigarette addiction isn’t necessary possible simply because you need money for food.

    #1067084
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    also to add to what rebyidd said, it says you have to give a person whatever luxxuries he used to have, however i dont think a cigarette is considered a luxury

    #1067085
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    yekke2,

    lifnei eeveir isn’t assur?

    #1067086
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    CA, yes, but whether or not something constitutes lifnei iver is not always so pashut.

    #1067087
    Chortkov
    Participant

    CA – It is only Lifnei Iver if you are enabling him to do the issur. If he has other means to be oiver, there is no prohibition of lifnei iver. And, like I pointed out, it certainly isn’t a clear cut issur, however many shittos there are to asser it. And therefore he has ?? ?? ?? ????? ????. I have seen Shu”t sefarim who discuss giving cigarettes to smokers. If you want the mekor I can try have a look for you.

    #1067088
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    yekke2,

    these shaylos utshuvos are recent? i understand 50 years ago it wasnnt clear cut but now it is

    #1067089
    Chortkov
    Participant

    Very recent. 2010. The entire sefer is written on smoking and the halachic ramifications of the various different concepts involved. The author is very much of the opinion that it is assur to smoke (at least to begin smoking), but he still says that Lifnei Iver is not necessarily a problem.

    #1067090
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    and the reason is……..

    #1067091
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Joseph – No, the OP did not ask about giving food to someone who smokes. It was about giving tzedaka to someone who buys cigarettes. And that makes two out of two attempts to twist around a legitimate question into something so not what was asked.

    I have been fortunate enough to distribute food, money and other things to people who need (as the middle man, not my funds). I would not think twice about giving shirts and food to poor people who smoke, we still have an obligation to supply them their needs. Would I give them money? Probably not. I refuse to supply someone with their cigarette money. I would pay a bill for them or give them store money to a store that does not sell cigarettes.

    I have been responsible for supplying things to individuals who are poor because they and their husband embezzled money and he got arrested. The family was left with no assests and no income. I asked if there is a question on giving them things paid for with maaser money if the situation was self made and I was told there is no question.

    #1067092
    Chortkov
    Participant

    Coffee Addict: Imagine sitting at a Shabbos table. You are thirsty. There is a bottle of Coke, unopened. You don’t open bottles on Shabbos. Your host, however, opens bottles on Shabbos al pi the psak from his LOR. Can you pass him the bottle?

    #1067093
    Joseph
    Participant

    Syag: Do you refuse to give money to poor people who eat junk food (and may even be overweight as a result)? What about poor people who you know go to a concert sometimes?

    #1067094
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    no

    #1067095
    Sam2
    Participant

    yekke: Yes. But you are assuming that there are legitimate Shittos Bizman HaZeh that allow smoking. Pashtus is there are none.

    #1067096
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    and as an aside, even tho it is too dumb of a comment to address, i also distribute tickets to plays and concerts that were donated by the organizations who put the shows on. free of charge to those who cannot afford them.

    #1067097
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    yekke,

    yes i would!

    what you aren’t understanding over here is that there is a general consensus that smoking kills from the first cigarette and when one stops there is a significant improvement in their lungs

    by opening bbottles there is a gadol b’torah that says its muttar

    you said yourself “The author is very much of the opinion that it is assur to smoke”

    #1067098
    ABS-SA
    Participant

    Sometimes it seems that the same people who are experts in finding the most outlandish chumras in Kashrus, Shabbos etc, are also experts in finding the most bizarre leniencies when it comes to smoking. Just saying…

    #1067099
    Chortkov
    Participant

    yekke: Yes. But you are assuming that there are legitimate Shittos Bizman HaZeh that allow smoking. Pashtus is there are none.

    Sam2 – You are definitely much more of a Talmid Chochom than I am; no question about that. I unfortunately don’t profess a bekiyus in the contemporary Poskim, so I cannot verify nor dispute your statement. I do know the stance of todays Poskim about beginning to smoke, but do all poskim hold that smoking [for somebody who has been addicted for 20 years] is assur?

    #1067100
    Joseph
    Participant

    Syag: Pray tell why you refuse to give money to a poor person who wastes money on the unhealthy habit of smoking but you do not refuse to give money to a poor person who wastes money on the unhealthy habit of overeating himself overweight with junk food.

    Obesity and heart disease are responsible for more Jewish illness and even deaths than lung cancer.

    #1067101
    interjection
    Participant

    Syag lachochma.

    Why should their family lose out? I don’t know who you’re talking about but in such a situation, their father is an idiot and they have to live with the shame but why should they also have to live without food?

    Op.

    The same question goes for someone who smokes. Their kids know that the father would sooner spend money on his cigarettes then buy them bread. If he only has enough money for one, he will buy the cigarettes. How can you refuse this person money knowing that his kids will be the ones suffering bec your idealism of not giving money to someone who smokes?

    #1067102
    writersoul
    Participant

    I actually was faced with the sheilah once of whether I should return cigarettes to a smoker.

    On the one hand:

    They were in a place where the person would find them if I did not return them

    He used to smoke in such a way that many people (including me) were forced to spend hours inhaling the second-hand smoke

    He had other cigarettes at that moment

    Lifnei iver?

    On the other hand:

    Hashavas aveidah

    He would keep smoking no matter what I did

    I believe (IIRC) that I was told to return them.

    I read a great teshuva from the YU roshei yeshiva that would assur smoking. I don’t remember if it touched the lifnei iver aspect.

    I know that my grandfather used to smoke and was told by R Moshe that bemetzius he should not smoke so he stopped.

    Lung cancer is not pretty.

    (I am aware that very little of what I just wrote is germane as far as the matter at hand is concerned- I just have very strong opinions on smoking. The week after a relative of mine passed away of lung cancer I literally yelled at a yeshiva guy who was smoking. SO yeah.

    My friend had to actually drag me away.

    And he was also wearing a Kahane Tzadak sticker so that didn’t really help matters.

    Boy, everyone will know who I am now…)

    #1067103
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    interjection – I must not have been clear. I was asking if there was a question of giving with maaser specifically, as opposed to other food I get, and the answer is that the person is in need and it doesn’t matter how they got there. I wondered if there was any difference in the halachik status if the person’s lack of funds are self imposed.

    #1067104
    Joseph
    Participant

    coffee addict: Obesity (junk food, et al) is a bigger killer than smoking.

    #1067105
    Chortkov
    Participant

    Lifnei Iver only applies to something that is (a) definitely assur, and (b) when you are enabling the issur. If the person doing the “issur” has a heter to do so, or if you are merely assisting by making it more convenient, but not enabling directly, then there is no problem.

    #1067107
    interjection
    Participant

    Syag lachochma.

    I thought you were saying the opposite. I originally understood your comment to mean that one is not supposed to give maaser if the situation was self imposed. Thanks for clarifying:)

    #1067108
    Daya Zooger
    Member

    1. The question should divided to two: Halachic and moral.

    2. Halachic discussion is twofold as well: A. Hilchos Tzedakah, B. Hilchos: i. Lifnei iver ii. MeSaye’ah. [This is assuming that the issur of smoking is unequivocal. This can be debated, though not in this venue. (A doctor told someone I know that one cigarette a day will not harm him.)]

    Disclaimer: Although I am far from having reached the level of asukei shma’atsa aliba de’hilchisa, I would like to suggest some points, leaving the verdict for those more qualified.

    A. Hilchos Tzedakah: The halacha requires us to provide the destitute with their needs, ‘Dei Machsoro’ (this is not translated as luxuries). This probably does not include feeding an addiction (aside, perhaps, for one of coffee 😉 )

    However, giving funds (cash, check, wire, transfer, or money order) as opposed to providing the cigarettes directly, is not necessarily considered providing for the addiction, provided that he has other things to spend money on (such as shoes for his children for yom tov). More on this contrast below.

    B. i. Hilchos Lifnei iver, ii. MeSaye’ah: This involves two very complex, and though often intertwined, distinct sugyos. It would seem:

    i. Because the pauper presumably has enough money on him to purchase cigarettes, this would probably be considered ‘Chad ibra de’nahara’ (same side of the river), and would not constitute Lifnei Iver.

    ii. Since he is not providing cigarettes, but money, this probably does not constitute MeSaye’ah.

    Since halachicly there is no compelling reason not to give, you would still be left with your mitzvas aseh of tzedakah, and issurim for turning the ani away.

    3. Moral question is basically do I refrain from giving a child who is in dire need for money because he is likely to use some of his money to buy a knife, which he may use to hurt himself.

    Since your intention is altruistic, to provide the ani with his (unalienable) necessities, you can assume that your money will be funneled toward that specific cause. This as per the famous story with Reb Chaim of Volozhin.

    #1067109
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ‘Dei Machsoro’ (this is not translated as luxuries). This probably does not include feeding an addiction

    It does include luxuries, actually, if he’s accustomed to them. I’m not sure why it shouldn’t include an addiction.

    A doctor told someone I know that one cigarette a day will not harm him.

    I wonder if for this reason, there’s no lifnei iver on giving a cigarette or match. Even if we assume it’s assur to smoke, it’s the totality of the habit/lifestyle which is dangerous and assur, not any individual cigarette.

    #1067110
    Sam2
    Participant

    yekke: I mean, there are plenty of Poskim out there with incorrect opinions (remind me someday to tell the story of the Posek who made an Al HaMichya on qinoa), but presumably the only Heter for an addict to smoke is that he is Anus, not Muttar.

    DZ: So you can give the poor kid outside the Beis Zonos a sack of money to tie around his neck presuming he’ll use it on food?

    #1067111
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    So you can give the poor kid outside the Beis Zonos a sack of money to tie around his neck presuming he’ll use it on food?

    Are you seriously making that comparison? I can give you four chilukim off the top of my head; there may be more.

    #1067112
    The little I know
    Participant

    I will only provide a few references, and let readers check them out. Participating in arguments on this subject is futile. Those who care don’t need the arguments. Those who don’t won’t listen. So, here are some places to check out.

    ??? ???? – ???? – ???? ?”? ??? ????? ?????? – ??????? ???”?

    ????? ????? – ??”? ????????? ???”?

    ??? ??? ??? – ??????? ??”?

    ???? ??? ????? – ??? ??? – ??? ??? ?????

    This is just a small sample of references. Addiction is serious. Does withdrawal constitute illness or pikuach nefesh? Ask your LOR.

    The discussion about assisting someone to commit an issur is a major issue.

    #1067113
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    TLIK, where can one see those references?

    #1067114
    Chortkov
    Participant

    A. Hilchos Tzedakah: The halacha requires us to provide the destitute with their needs, ‘Dei Machsoro’ (this is not translated as luxuries). This probably does not include feeding an addiction (aside, perhaps, for one of coffee 😉 )

    I’m not so sure about that. Once one is addicted, surely this is a need? Perhaps a harmful, self inflicted need, but a need nonetheless?

    #1067115
    cherrybim
    Participant

    It’s also like giving tzedaka to a poor hungry non-religious Jew so that he can buy some food, knowing that he will use it to buy a ham sandwich; or even if you give him kosher food but he will not wash or make a bracha on it.

    Bottom line is, as much as you don’t want to, you $give the smoker.

    #1067116
    The little I know
    Participant

    ????

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=52116&pgnum=1

    The other sforim are not on Hebrewbooks. Maybe it is found elsewhere. Some might be in sforim stores.

    P.S. Check out the haskamos and the clear statements from recognized poskim and Gedolei Yisroel.

    #1067117
    Chortkov
    Participant

    Someone mentioned Hashovas Aveida on Cigarettes… It reminds me; when I was in a certain Yeshiva Ketana, a bochur found a pack of cigs, and wasn’t sure whether he was allowed to return them. The Mashgiach took them, and put up a sign saying that the bochur who wants them back can come and claim them from the Mashgiachs room.

    #1067118
    sirvoddmort
    Member

    And lived forever

    #1067119
    Chortkov
    Participant

    And lived forever

    A dangerous joke. No, I don’t go around broadcasting my views on smoking. Yes, maybe I should. But I know at least three people personally who have died from smoking. One very recently, one about five years ago, the other about twenty years ago. (The third I never met, but I am very friendly with his family)

    It is a very immature teenage outlook that is unfortunately extremely prevalent in our generation – I smoke, I feel fine, none of my friends have died, so I Am Safe. A rebellious ‘I-am-clever-than-thou’ attitude.

    #1067120
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I couldn’t figure out what that line was connected to. i thought he had posted in the wrong thread.

    #1067122
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    TLIK, thank you. I will try to look through it later.

    I’ll tell you now what I expect to find: some poskim who say it’s assur, some attempts to show that even R’ Moshe would be chozer given today’s knowledge, and coming away that it’s indeed a terrible thing to smoke, that many poskim do indeed asser but unconvinced about what R’ Moshe would hold.

    #1067123
    sirvoddmort
    Member

    As far as the above comment is concerned, I would just like to clarify that my personal opinion on smoking tallies with Y2’s. It is dangerous, wrong and of course, ossur. Unfortunately, many start before they are old enough to appreciate the risk and/or lie to themselves about the obvious dangers, such as ignoring the obvious correlation between smoking and disease, as Y2 pointed out. The above comment was a mispost.

    #1067124
    doleofyou
    Participant

    Sirvodmort, I hope Syag was right that you posted in the wrong thread, because the only other interpretation sounds like you’re poking fun on the concept of the danger. The multibillion dollar industry doesn’t write “smoking kills”, “smoking harms pregnancies” and other hopefully offputting facts on their boxes for fun. Of course it is dangerous. Just because some get away with it doesn’t make it safe. A very insensitive thought. The gedolim didn’t ban it because they didn’t like the smell.

    #1067125
    sirvoddmort
    Member

    Unluckily, you must have pre-empted my explanation. Just to reclarify, yes, smoking is dangerous, ossur and wrong. It would take a bit too long to explain, but the above post was completely out of context, as Syag guessed (never agreed more with the verse his name alludes to).

    #1067126
    catch yourself
    Participant

    Yekke, even according to those who are of the opinion that opening the soda bottle is a ????? ????????, there is a permissible way of gaining access to the soda (by cutting open the bottle), so if someone opened the bottle in the normal way it is definitely ???? to drink the soda. In such a case, you would not be deriving any benefit from the ?????.

    #1067127
    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: Just referencing a Gemara.

    #1067128
    apushatayid
    Participant

    lets assume for arguments sake that smoking was 100% assur, do you have to assume that the $20 you gave went to buy the cigarettes and that someone elses $20 went to buy food for supper?

    should i withold my maos chittim pledge because someone may purchase chametz with the money?

    im sorry if some are offended by this comment. this thread sounds more like “finding reasons not to give tzedaka” than anything else.

    #1067129
    Chortkov
    Participant

    catch yourself – I wasn’t talking about drinking after he opened it, I was talking about passing it to him to open for himself, as is pretty evident from my post.

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