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Chacham Ovadia Shlita Comes Out Strong Against Smoking

ovadia2.jpgChacham Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlita, in his motzei Shabbos shiur, came out strongly against smoking in the chareidi community.

He made reference to the local custom of a choson giving out cigarettes to his friends, calling it foolish, suggesting the distribution of sweets as an alternative. He advises roshei yeshiva who see talmidim smoking to rebuke them immediately.

The Rav made reference to a proposal by Deputy Health Minister (Yahadut HaTorah) to raise the cost of a pack of cigarettes by a shekel, stating that one who is willing to pay NIS 20 for a pack to smoke will spend another shekel or two without hesitation, discounting the validity of the move.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

11 Responses

  1. #1 I would not want to be married to you if you break off a marriage because I handed some cigarettes out to people that already smoke anyways. Boy, you got a Temper. I think a Temper would be a valid reason to break off a shidduch

  2. I am shocked only one other person has commented on this news. the yeshiva guys are too busy with chavrusa tumult to read. this. this issur should be spread to the entire yeshiva velt as well. in
    todays economic crisis the expense of cigarettes should be the first to go.

  3. #2: Smoking is an Isur d’Oraisah according to many Poskim. If the Chosson were to eat pork, or cause others to do so, wouldn’t that be grounds to break the Shidduch?

    #5 is alluding to the “Shidduch crisis” in advising the Kallah to stick with the smoker Chosson, who encourages others to smoke as well. My response: there are plenty of guys out there, if you have no standards whatsoever.

  4. I was once set up to meet someone for shidduch, everything was A-1 – family had great reputation for chesed and hachnosis orchim, my “date” had a good name in the community, even walking every Shabbos to the nursing home to visit residents, etc., good looking, witty, I mean, what’s not to like?

    We went to a little cafe in the park where you could order a coke, had a drink, took a nice walk, wonderful conversation, and then, boom, out come the cigarettes and the lighter.

    Ugh. Nothing is more unattractive on a girl than a cigarette. I did not go out with her again.

  5. #7 do you know that many gedolim are smokers ?
    like hrav kopelman shlita from luzern, hrav Mandel Atik shlita, and much more are you accusing them with the same isur of eating pork?

  6. To #9: Read my post again. I said that “smoking is an Isur d’Oraisah according to many Poskim” (the Tzitz Eliezer among them). According to those opinions, it’s as severe as eating pork. In fact, it’s worse: Chamirah Sakantah mei’issurah. Not to mention the Chillul Hashem involved.

    Someone, especially a Rav, who feels compelled to smoke, should do so privately to avoid setting a bad example and making a Chillul Hashem.

    I have heard that Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, ZT”L, used to smoke, but quit immediately when it was shown to be dangerous. When asked how he could quit so abruptly, his response was something along the lines of: If it’s Ossur, how could I NOT quit?

  7. #7 Loshen Hara Is an Isur d’Oraisah also. Should we start divorcing our spouses if they spoke Loshen Harah? Are you honestly suggesting that every Sidduch or marriage be broken if the spouse smokes? What type of fool are you?

  8. To #11: No, I am suggesting that Bochurim who smoke are not good candidates for marriage, for numerous reasons, none of which are novel Chiddushim. First, there is a certain lack of maturity for anyone to start smoking over 40 years after the Surgeon General first issued his warning. Second, what young lady wants to risk being a young widow, R”L. Third, what kind of example would the smoking father be setting for his children (and grandchildren, if he lives that long)? Fourth, what guarantee does the young lady have that the smoking husband would not expose her and their children (born or unborn) to secondhand smoke?

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