8th Grade Journal Responses

Last week in school we had a red ribbon week.  Red Ribbon Week is a week that promotes good he alt, and is primarily towards drugs.  There has been a question going around Judaism for a very long time.  Is smoking permuted by Jewish law.  The last response to this question was in the early 1900.  This was when smoking was believed to be healthy.  The rabbis of that time said that smoking was permitted, and even encouraged, because it was healthy.  Now we know smoking is on of the leading causes of death in the world, and is very unsafe.  I think that smoking should not be permitted by Jewish law, and anyone who smokes right now should immediately try to quit.

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It says in the torah, D’varim 4:15, וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם מְאֹד לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם, and you should value your life.  There is also a major mitzvah called pikuach nefesh, or saving a human life.  This can include you own life.  It says that this mitzvah takes precedence over all other mitzvahs, because life is so precious.  Smoking is a direct violation to these laws, and causes death much quicker than normal.  There are many instances in the torah that say you should value life over everything, and smokers are not valuing their life over everything.  Smoking is very addicting and this is also a problem.  Someone could have been succored into smoking, and never intended to become addicted.  In this case, the person should try to quit as fast as they can.

There is also a problem of second hand smoke.  When someone smokes it isn’t just endangering themselves, but also the people around them.  If a loved one smokes and you see them a lot, than the smoke can affect you greatly, and is very bad for your lungs.  Even if no one you know smokes, you could be around people that smoke a lot, and this could still affect your health.  Smoking is a very big problem, and is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.  I believe that smoking should not be permitted by jewish law, because it isn’t just endangering the smoker, but also the people around him.

BY: Shelby

Dear Wannabe Smoker,

Although I do not share the urge with you to smoke, I do understand why you might want to. Many people these days smoke cigarettes, fully aware of the physical harm it does to your body. Some of whom, you might be around a lot which might make it seem more ok,fun, and cool. The first thing you need to know,is that you should never give in to pier pressure. Secondly, we know now that a substance in cigars called nicotine, is addictive and bad for your body. If you become addicted to something that could eventually kill you, well… That’s what society has to say about it, what about Jewish law?

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D’varim 4:15  states, “ Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire.” This verse explains to us that you need to take good care of yourself. Smoking can lead to lung disease, lung cancer, and heart and brain malfunctions. If you willingly smoke, Jewish Law says you are willingly putting yourself in harms’ way. By these standards, smoking is prohibited in the Jewish religion.

Sincerely yours,

Not So Sorry Advisor

Credits:

http://www.michigan.gov/images/corrections/NoSmokingSymbol_227808_7.jpg

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