Speaking Out Against Smoking in Yerushalyim

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    Misterzee- does any serious self resecting bochur go on the internet?


    Thank you to those who replied to my post in a positive way. I appreciate your thoughts.

    I also appreciate that Random replied as he did. We can all express thoughts that are not popular with other people, but if done with d”e, at least those other people may read them and consider what was said. Listen, we all have something to say, and some subjects are touchier than others. But the only way to have a real dialogue is to speak and not deride.

    Smoking is a very difficult issue – it is such a powerful addiction that a person dying of lung cancer will often still try to smoke to the end. Now that we know the dangers both of first and second-hand smoke, there is simply no excuse for any rov to refrain from giving a serious mussar shmooze on the subject. It also pollutes our environment, and frankly I hate how my clothing stinks whenever I have been exposed to a room filled with smokers, and that is the LEAST of it. Some of the strongest people I know are people who have kicked this awful habit.

    Abie Gezunt

    1. Add R’ Moshe z”l to the list of those who assered smoking. He did this in a letter to the talmidim of BMG.

    2. At today’s prices, smoking is outright ba’al tashchis. I was fortunate enough to be able to quit 25 years ago with the support and encouragement of my eishes chayil. I would be spending $2,500-$3,000 a year on cigarettes at today’s prices. Given the economic matzav, I thinking spending that much money on self-indulgence borders on Lo Saamod al Dam Reiecha.

    3. My rosh yeshiva z”l used to smoke, even during shiur. I met him at a funeral as we were filling the kever. He turned to me and said “Yenem tzu bagroben is gring.” A few month later he was gone from lung cancer.

    4. No more burn holes in ties, shirts and pants. No more burn marks on the furniture or seforim. Dave maariv Motzei Shabbos b’nachas, not rushing to get the first smoke of the new week.


    Abie Gezunt, please translate the yiddish on number 3. Sorry, I didn’t understand.





    Misterzee- does any serious self resecting bochur go on the internet?

    why not?

    As well, JoJo, i hope that you are talking (typing) tongue in cheek, b/c if you really believe what you posted, I really feel bad for you


    mazal: “Yenem tzu bagroben is gring.” –> To bury another [person] is easy.


    For those who tell SSIY that he has no right to comment – what about hocheach tocheach?

    I cannot believe that some of the pro -smoking writers are actually bnai yeshiva – they are far too ignorant of the reality of the damage smoking causes both to the smoker and those around him. Smokers are mezikim to themselves and others.


    kol haposel bemumoy posel


    flatbush 27-i can not answer for all bochurim,my son does not speak or understand english so your stupidity is compounded.see you weekly at the cancer ward together with th eothe rsmokers.why is it that the secular world has understood that it is not a sign of intelligence to smoke,and we actually have to debate the issue?and then your off sided attempt at insulting any bochur who goes on the yeshiva world site.i am sure some do and if that i swhere they go it is bette rthan smoking.where they may go from here is another question.


    anyone who is thinking of smoking or who already smokes, why dont you google ’emphysema’. 80 – 90% of those who get emphysema are smokers. when people think of illness due to smoking, i think they often think of lung cancer. check this one up too. what an drawn-out, awful way to die.


    How do these smokers finds Shidduchim? Which parents in their right minds would allow their daughter to marry a smoker, and which daughter would agree to do so?


    misterzee. i do not smoke nor did i ever. i am not sure why you think i do. and i just feel all smokers know the dangers so if they do it we cant do anything to stop them. we could tell them to stay away from nonsmokers who dislike it and try to prevent young smokers

    in l.a.

    I’m not sure if it was appropriate to mention of a specific yeshiva, because it is unnecessary. This is a problem in the community as a whole, not just at the yeshiva. A bachur becomes a husband, a father, and then subjects his wife and children to both the effects of his second-hand smoke (asthma, allergies, illness in his newborns due to his wife’s inhalation) and other related effects. He wastes the family’s money. He teaches his kid’s it’s o.k. to smoke. He could die early, or fight for his life due to cancer or emphysema…G-d Forbid. Even gedolim who smoke can and do get cancer. No person can think that they are immune. Moreover, as a BT, I have to verify that seeing a person dressed “frum” and then smoking is an incredible chillul Hashem: it shows disrespect for others’ health, it is undignified, and it is wasteful. When I saw this before becoming religious (when visiting NYC, not E”Y), it made me loose respect for the yeshiva world.


    frumgirl ny- all smokers know it kills. your not enlightening anyone. they continue to smoke because they are ADDICTED! me and you dont understand it but obviously nicotine is very hard to quit. i have read alan carrs book, the easy way to quit smoking and would suggest it to smokers out there


    mrzee- 2 bad you dont speak english or understand english cause apparently you cant read my posts and understand them and your posts dont make much sense


    30 years ago, i attended a yeshiva (no longer in existance) that was the first to ban smoking outright. that was for all bochrim, even if over 18.

    the yeshiva was held up to redicule.

    now many who smoked continued, by hiding it, going off campus

    but it did stop many from even taking up the addiction

    i do believe that at the least, yeshivas should ban smoking in the dorms and the beis medresh….its just a thought.


    bacci-most yeshivas these days have banned smoking in the bais medrash


    What happened to plain old “u’nishmartem mi’od es nafshoseichem?” i understand that sometimes people needa chill out, but this is a really dangerous way to do it! why can’t we find other ways to “chillax?” also, if some are nervous that if the rabbanim would issue a kol koreh and no one would listen, that’s pretty sad. look at the yiridas hadoros going on over here-it’s not even normal-NOT TO LISTEN TO RABBANIM?!?! what type of thing is that?!!?


    “did you ever think that maybe smoking is a way for a bachur to relax from his strenuous lifestyle? “

    So is drinking a bottle of booze. Would anyone in their right mind suggest that this would be a great way for a bochur to “relax from his strenuous lifestyle?” Maybe he should try reading a secular non-fiction book, getting a little exercise, writing letters to friends and family who might be out of town, instead of texting them or using the internet. There are lots of things people can do to relax. I cook or bake. I also post interminable posts on the YWN CR (it RELAXES ME, OK???) Smoking should not be an option. It can relax that bochur permanently and six feet under.

    Also re: secondhand smoke and pipe tobacco. Secondhand-smoke is any smoke that comes from another smoker, whether it is the smoke from the end of the cigarette OR the exhaled smoke, which contains numerous toxins and noxious gases. Pipe smoking is responsible for lip, tongue, cheek cancer, and assorted esophageal and gastro-enterological cancers as well, according to what I have heard. I will give the pipe smokers this – pipes smell yummy. It still can be deadly.


    To all who have supported me Thank You. We need the silent majority to speak up about this problem. To all those that have been attacking me, you are all part of the problem. You don’t know anything about me, so to question my behavior is just makes you sound unintelligent. Just for the record I have not been to an Internet Cafe once since I have been in Israel. The main point of my article is how smoking effects others. I am not expecting every smoker to quit cold turkey tomorrow. However, please respect those around you. It is clear that smoking is deadly. If you have to smoke do it in private, where you are only harming your own body and nefesh. At least one day hopefully you will do teshuvah for the harm that you have brought on yourself. That is something that is up to each individual. However, If you smoke recklessly and harm others Teshuvah will not help for the many serious isurei doreisa that you are oiver Yom Kipur is not Mechaper for Bain Adam Lchavero. There are many things which individuals do privately that are not right. It is not my place to criticize them or tell them what to do. Our Gedolim can speak out about things which silently harm Klal Yisrael. We are not on the level to judge someone when we don’t have the slightest clue who they are. When someone does something in the open and is harming other people there is a chiyuv to protest.

    Please we need the silent majority of non-smokers to speak up. When you see someone smoking near you or inside a building go up to them and tell them to go away and stop. Don’t just sit idle by and say there is nothing you can do. Please Klal Yisrael take a stand.


    To all those who are upset at ssiy for telling them to ‘stop smoking’ – I suggest you read the letter again. Not once did he say “stop smoking”! Granted, his name DOES stand for that – because thats what we all should strive for. In fact, ssiy sounded pretty understanding….if you look again, he did say the following:

    “I realize that people who currently smoke can’t just quit and that is not what I am expecting them too do immediately. Unfortunately, smoking is extremely addictive and it is extremely hard to quit even if someone wants to. However someone who is addicted to smoking should be concerned about those around them. If they want to kill themselves, that is their problem but when they are harming others it should concern everyone”

    To random88

    “how about the gedolim and their views on the internet especially when it comes to yeshiva bochurim….GET OFF THE INTERNET! YOUR IN THE MIR! What would R Nissin Kaplan, R Arieli and the Rosh Yesiva R Noson Tzvi Finkel say to you being here this late at night?!”

    Better to be Dan L’kaf Zchus – maybe ssiy came online JUST for the purpose of making others more aware of the dangers and insensitivity of smoking (around others) – which IS good reason. Second, I doubt 11:30 pm is considered LATE for any bochur….

    To Very Random and all others who said “even Gedolim used to smoke”


    Long ago, the dangers of smoking were unknown. I’m sure that if they were, many of these Gedolim or R”Y would NOT have smoked!

    “You Say you’re currently in the Mir “Learning!? Why do you even have a computer? And why are you waisting your time posting….”

    Again, Dan L’Kaf Vchus – who said he personally has a computer? Maybe he is at a relative or friends house. And I wouldnt consider this a ‘waste of time’ either. It’s actually a very important issue that needs to be addressed. Maybe on this website it can be a waste of time – only cuz the people who read it seem to be more or less uneducated.

    To Es why

    “Which cafe do you go to? The one near Hilel? Strudel? Net games? I can attest that I think going to these places are probably worse than smoking.”

    What makes you think he’s at a cafe? There are MANY frum families in E”Y with internet – believe it or not! (Some kollel wives in E”Y actually work online to support their family. You would think it’s the husbands job, but thats another issue…)

    And to ALL those smokers out there: Not only is this for the sake of others – ITS (mostly) FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!!

    I’m in shidduchim now – and so are many of my friends. I can tell you one thing for sure – from my point of view and i think i can honestly say ALL my friends….if i hear that a guy is a smoker, i will IMMEDIATELY drop him (and not even waste a sec to look into him.) Most girls will NOT marry a smoker! And if your lucky to find a girl who will – think about the future of your wife and family. Smoking can cause MAJOR defects and illnesses to an unborn child! If you really care about you, your wife or kids – you wouldnt start smoking. And if you already have, you would make EVERY effort to stop the addiction. Hatzlocha!!


    if you plan on going up to people and telling them to go away and stop in the mir area or for that matter anywhere in israel i dont think anyone will listen to you and its easiar for you to just keep walking by and not be bitul zman or bitul tora. i agree with you but your plan aint going to work in my opinion but good luck anyway


    “turnedoff: maybe ssiy came online JUST for the purpose of making others more aware of the dangerss and insensitivity of smoking (around others) – which IS good reason

    It’s actually a very important issue that needs to be addressed. Maybe on this website it can be a waste of time – only cuz the people who read it seem to be more or less uneducated.”

    that is not a good enough reason for mir bachur to be on line especially if “on this website it can be a waste of time”. Let the Gedolim and the rebbeim and higher ups continue to work against the smoking issue like they previously have against the internet issue which ssiy apparently ignored


    What really bothers me is that we have so many tzaddikim Talmidei Chachamim who “learned” in the Mir for years and still returned to the internet within a short time.

    Tzaddikle, your being on the internet is worse for Am Yisroel than his smoking!!!


    I have pretty serious asthma, and, yes, the smoking really bothers me. At work also I can barely walk outside, because people are always smoking right at the door and all around the plaza.

    And I barely go to shul to learn ever, because in just about every shul there are usually people smoking. I already abandoned one shul completely because of this. Once I had to daven Mincha alone outside, because at the only shul there where I was, someone inside was smoking while others were davening mincha. (And even if he would have gone outside, it would have taken at least an hour with all doors and windows open to get the smoke out.)

    I also really, really don’t understand how people can smoke on Yom Tov.

    There are some translations of interesting letters from the gedolim here: http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/chareidiview.htm under “Smoking”. (I assume YWN will allow this external link…)


    I dont know what got this idea into my mind but I see smoking as not an refined thing. When i speak about it to my sons they ask me who portrayed smoking to me in such a bad light. I just simply say, that i dont think it is good for ur middos, to NEED a puff, and that I don’t think highly of smokers *. They respect their father a lot, Baruch Hashem, and aspire to be like him, and he would NEVER spoke. It is simply below a respected talmid chachim and business man like him to puff a deadly, smelling poison. I tell my sons to leave the smoking for Bums that stand outside of bars. And towards the end of our discussion I told one of my sons that used to smoke but now stopped, B”H, that just as I daven him to have good chavrusas,to find satisfaction and enjoyment in learning, to have good Middos, I daven for him to be disgusted from cigarettes.

    Obviously this is a very touchy topic, since pple that are addicted to smoking will ALWAYS try to defend themselves and their fellow smokers. I am simply stating my personal opinion.

    I wouldn’t compare this to internet, drinking etc., these are different Nisyonos, just as we dont compare smoking to dressing non tzniusdigly.

    *(I know some pple are thinking that many gedolim have smoked. When u will get to their madraiga then you can discuss it. )

    RI 02906

    How much worst is it to give someone a pack of cigarettes?


    To Daniel Breslauer Thank You for your post. Your story shows why something must be done about this. The reason I wrote this post is because of the difficulty I have breathing when I inhale cigarette smoke. Obviously your case is much worse. It reminds me of a freind I had in high school who father was a chain smoker when he was a child and do to that he developed a severe case of asthma. People that smoke in public are harming other people. How much suffering do innocent bystanders have to go through. When you harm another person you are a Mazik. Smokers in Israel have no regard for their fellow Yid. You can’t have the attitude that everyone does it so it is ok. It is interesting in the link you posted the Gedolim only talked about smoking itself no one mentioned about the effects it has when done in front of others or the issurim Bain Adom Lchavero involved. It must be that it is pashut that you should have common sense to know that you don’t blow poisonous gasses into other people faces. We don’t need Gedolim to tell us this any person who is a frum jew and especially someone that learns the whole day should be able to deduce this on their own.

    On another front once again you don’t know who I am. I am not sure why you even assume I am a bachur. As you are all testament due to your commenting on this site, you all use the Internet. I have been using the Internet for years it is part of my daily life. Almost every one that I know in the Mir has an American line and with it the Internet. It is the only way to stay connected with the world especially when you can’t speak Hebrew. What someone does on the Internet is their own nisayon. It is not my place to tell someone what they should do or not. But when someone is doing something that affects you as well as others, shouldn’t there be a chiyuv to speak up. I personally can’t take people smoking in my face anymore.


    I’m not here to aggree or disagree-but I personally will not date a boy who is a HABBITUAL smoker-Don’t I want to share many healthy years with my husband and childern-together?!?!-I know many girls do not feel this way and I am not out to judge them-but it’s something for everyone to think about!!!


    Random88 said: yaakov: thats pure kefira and opikorsis. keep it to yourself. The Gedolim never said anything like that in regards to smoking and neither can you. Was the Steipler Gaon not a “talmid chacham, kadosh, or a chasid”? Plenty of Gedolim smoked and some still do.

    Random — You are blinded by your smoking addiction. Stop defending your aveirah. Regarding past Gedolim, they didn’t know the health dangers of smoking like we know today. I am talking about today, not yesterday. I read in an Artscroll bio about – I think it was Yaakov Kamenetsky (please forgive me if I got the wrong Gadol) – that he smoked but the moment he heard it is dangerous to one’s health he quit on the spot and never smoked again.





    oomis – great post.

    i think all those knocking ssiy are immature and themselves addicts to cigarette smoking. he raises good points in a respectful manner, and i am extremely impressed by his ideeas, eloquence, vocabulary, and spelling [a refreshing change when it comes to yeshiva boys].

    smoking is a terrible habit, as we all know. guys who are what they call “yeshivish out of their minds” [disgusting term, by the way] and keep every chumrah available out there… these are the ones smoking, a clearly forbidden action. and about girls refusing to date smokers – my husband was what they call a “casual” or “social” smoker, and when i dated him, i made it perfectly clear that the one thing i cannot tolerate is smoking. ever. he stopped completely during our engagement and is smoke-free for almost a year [yes, i do believe that he has really quit and isn’t cheating ;)]. so it is possible! we women do have power! let’s use it!


    i would def. recommend Alan Carr’s book “the easy way to stop smoking”. it didnt make me quit instantly but it doesn’t try to. it just changes your mindset about quitting, 3-4 weeks later I couldn’t wait to be rid of cigarettes.Without having read the book I dont think i would have ever quit (and now been smoke-free for a year, with no desire to start ever again)

    Y.W. Editor

    To SSIY: Check out the following link to a YWN story from August 2007, in which Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky talks about the issur of smoking.



    question … the rabbanim never assured running into traffic. Does that mean it’s ok? you don’t need to ask the gedolim whether is’ okay to sneeze, and you don’t need to ask about smoking. Smoking will kill you!!!


    There is no Gadol that smokes, today.


    The Letters of Gedolei Yisroel About Smoking

    Letter of Gedolei Yisroel Against Smoking

    We hereby appeal to our precious, beloved young folk who are not yet addicted to smoking, the bad habit whose end result can be very bitter: Please, dear brothers, do not do harm to yourselves and do not contaminate your surroundings by taking up this evil habit. Our holy Torah is a code of life which we must live by. Hashem wants us to guard our health so that we will be able to serve Him. Far be it from us to take this matter of health lightly, all the more so in an area which doctors are convinced is very damaging. Whoever can avoid smoking and prevent others from doing so, is obligated therein.

    Whoever has already succumbed to this habit is obligated to try to the best of his ability to wean himself from it. He must surely refrain from smoking in a public place where others can inhale the smoke.

    Yosef Sholom Eliashiv

    Aharon Yehuda Leib Steinman

    Moshe Shmuel Shapiro

    Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz

    S. Nissim Karelitz

    Shmuel Auerbach

    * * *

    Letter from HaRav Shmuel Wosner About Smoking

    Wednesday, parshas Bo, 5760 (4 Shevat, 5760 — January 11, 2000)

    People have asked me what is my humble opinion, daas Torah, about smoking cigars, cigarettes, and the like, which are well known to be exceptionally damaging to one’s health. I will comply with their wish and answer in brief.

    1) “The Chachomim have prohibited many things because they are life- endangering. Anyone who disobeys and says, I am willing to endanger myself and it is no one else's affair what I do in these matters,' orI am not careful about these matters,’ is to be punished with makkos mardus” (Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Rotzei’ach, 11:5).

    2) The Rambam includes in this issur various sorts of food and drink that are dangerous to life, as he enumerates in the cited perek (halochos 6-16). The Ritvo (on Shavuos 27a) writes that the Torah forbids eating food which damages one’s health when it writes, “Only take heed to yourself and greatly beware for your nefesh” (Devorim 4:9).

    3) After the Chasam Sofer (Chidushei Chasam Sofer, Avoda Zorah 30) cites the above-mentioned halocho of the Rambam’s, he writes, “The duty of the Sages to see to it [that we do not endanger ourselves] is inferred, according to the gemora (Mo’ed Koton 5a) from the posuk `blood will be upon you’ (Devorim 19:10). According to the gemora, if the Chachomim do not take care to eliminate the hazards listed in the gemora (and similar ones), and as a result a person’s blood is spilt, the Torah considers the Chachomim as having spilt that blood.

    4) We learn from the above that the Sages of today have the responsibility to warn the public about the enormous danger of smoking cigarettes and similar acts, which have been proven [dangerous] beyond doubt in extensive medical research, and because of which hundreds of thousands of people die prematurely. Likewise, medical reports from all over the world substantially confirm that smoking is a major cause of lung cancer, heart disorders, and many other diseases.

    5) The halocho is therefore obvious. It is completely forbidden to begin smoking when one is an adolescent or when one is young. The Torah definitely requires parents, teachers, and educators to prevent young people from smoking.

    6) Anyone who has already acquired this bad habit should make efforts to gradually wean himself from it, for the sake of his future and his [present] benefit.

    7) One may not, cholila, smoke in public places, since research has shown that the smoke [when breathed in by others] damages others’ health too.

    8) Since this bad habit is tremendously damaging, those who publish advertisements in newspapers and other publications have a part in harming others.

    9) In light of the grave matter written above, according to the Torah, anyone who can prevent himself from smoking or help others not smoke is obligated to do so.

    May everyone who listens to what we have written enjoy a serene and secure life. May he merit long life by guarding his own life, that of his family, and that of those around him, according to the Torah’s demands. He will be zoche to what the Torah promises: “I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I brought upon Egypt, for I am Hashem Who heals you” (Shemos 15:26). “For through Me your days shall be multiplied and the years of your life shall be increased” (Mishlei 9:11).

    I sign for the benefit of our holy nation, awaiting Divine mercy.

    (signed) Shmuel HaLevi Wosner

    HaRav Wosner is rav and av beis din of Zichron Meir and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, Bnei Brak



    “Let the Gedolim and the rebbeim and higher ups continue to work against the smoking issue….”

    I actually think that it was a mature way to approach the issue. Speak up about it to the ones it involves directly. Instead of going to “mommy” with the complaint “he’s bothering me” – he’s actually trying to work things out first. Most adults will actually do it this way – if they understand the concept of communication.


    Go ( smokers and non smokers alike) to the BDTZ Juice stands in Geulla and drink a big cup of Mitz Gezer or Pomegranate Juice ahh the Vitamin A and anti oxidants repairing the damage done from smoke pollution, now does n feel good-keep it up!!!

    YW Moderator-42

    Here’s a smoking joke, does this go here or under Humorous Item?

    Don’t Smoke

    A couple of hours into a visit with my mother, she noticed I

    hadn’t once lit up a cigarette. “Are you trying to kick the

    habit?” she asked.

    “No,” I replied. “I have a cold, and I don’t smoke when I’m

    not feeling well.”

    “You know,” she observed, “you’d probably live longer if you

    were sick more often.”


    mod42: i think it cold go in both.$


    mod42: ha i liked it!!! yeah put it in the humor thread!!!!

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