Out Of The Mailbag: Speaking Out Against Smoking in Yerushalyim

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yw story logo.jpgI have been in Israel since Ellul learning in the Mir. Boruch Hashem everything about Israel is amazing. However, there has been one thing that has really been bothering me, the out of control smoking in Israel, Yerushalyim and finally the Yeshivish world in particular. Since I have been here I have not seen one Kol Korah from the Gedolim saying anything about this situation.

Unlike in America smoking in Israel is rampant. I saw somewhere that about one in four Israelis smoke. My question is why isn’t the other 75% speaking up. In my mind smoking by an Erlich Jew is a crystal clear “Chillul Hashem.” We don’t need Gedolim to tell us this it is obvious. How many Isurei Doreisa is one over when he smokes in front of someone who it irritates. It is a reckless disregard for Bein Adam Lechavero which are Averois which Yom Kippur is not Mechaper for. When someone smokes near me I personally have difficulty breathing and that is why I am so opposed to it. Smoking is so out of hand in Israel.

I have seen smoking inside such various places as bakeries, fruit stores, grocery stores, supermarkets, butchers, Yeshivas, Shuls, Mikvah’s, restaurants, and just about any other place you could imagine. (By the way it is Illegal to smoke indoors in Israel which carries a 1,000 shekel fine, unfortunately it is a joke and not enforced by the police or the municipality.)

I have seen young children and even pregnant women smoking it is out of control.

However, what disturbs me the most is the smoking that goes on in the Yeshiva. If you ever come to visit the Mir Yeshiva you will be greeted by the sight of smokers any which way you turn, outside the Yeshiva. It is virtually impossible to walk into the Yeshiva’s doors without inhaling some smoke. This is a clear Chillul Hashem as well as a Bezayon Hatorah. These are people that learn the whole day do they not care about any one else besides for themselves.

Since it has turned cold it seems that many people in the Yeshiva think that the bathrooms are their new smoking areas. The bathrooms are literally littered with cigarette buds. Why is there silence I have not heard one thing from the Hanhalla of the Yeshiva about this. While we can’t control what Secular Jews do we need to speak out about this Bezayon.

I have three suggestions that I think if enacted by the Gedolim and actually enforced would get rid of most of this problem. I realize that people who currently smoke can’t……

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