Excellent Journal Writing

This week’s Journal assignment was the following:

Read these students’ responses:

Yes or No to Tobacco?

If I had to write a responsa to a “Wannabe Smoker,” this is how it would go (a responsa is a response to a question for a rabbi, usually regarding Torah or something related to Torah):


Dear Wannabe Smoker,

You asked if according to Jewish law if you could smoke tobacco. In an earlier response from years ago, Rabbi Jacob Emden wrote the following responsa,

“Tobacco is a healthful substance for the body…its natural action is important in helping to digest food, cleanse the mouth…and help the movement of essential functions and blood circulation which are the root of health…It is indeed beneficial to every healthy man, not only because of the pleasure and enjoyment it affords, but because it preserves one’s health and medical fitness.”


This may seem pretty peculiar now, but this responsa was written just after consuming and smoking tobacco was discovered. This is also when people thought tobacco was beneficial for health.

You asked,
“Based on the medical information that we have today I am wondering if this opinion on the use of tobacco still holds – According to Jewish law is it permissible to smoke?”

According to a verse in Deuteronomy, verse 30:19, if there is a chance of death, choose life.

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed.”

Now that we have a lot more information about tobacco, I have come to a conclusion. No, you cannot smoke. By following the laws of the Torah, smoking is not permissible. Smoking does horrible things to your lungs, causing cancer and other bad diseases. In a case where you can choose between life or death, choose life, therefore, do not smoke.

For more information about smoking and how to quit smoking, click here.

Information Credit: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0530.htm

Image Credit: http://www.clker.com/clipart-2650.html

Smoking…Right or Wrong?

Posted on February 11, 2014 by eliorl

For this weeks journal, I would like to talk about wether it says in Judaism that you are not allowed to smoke. Some people may say that Judaism says you are allowed to smoke and others don’t. I believe that it does not specifically say that you are allowed to smoke, but there are a few hints.  For instance, in the Torah,  in parashat Leviticus 19:16, it says “neither shall you stand by the blood of your neighbor”. This verse does not just mean that you should not let somebody else die. It also means that you should take care of your self also. People used to think smoking was healthy, but if someone added a verse in the Torah now, it would say something about smoking being bad for your health and that you should not do it.

Smoking is not just bad for your health, but I also believe that it is bad for your soul too. It is like you are wasting one of G-d’s creations on your own selfish needs. G-d put us on this earth for a reason and it was not to smoke. So my answer is that I think it says in Judaism that you should not smoke. It just does not say it directly in the Torah. Some people may think smoking is good for your prayers when you offer them up to G-d, but I say their wrong. Smoking just make your prayers less meaningful because you can’t put all of your heart and soul into it. That is why I think it says in Judaism that you should not smoke.


The Awfulness of Smoking

♥ February 11th, 2014 , Tags :  , No Comment

Smoking is very bad for your lungs. Many people die from it, or get lung cancer. It should be prohibited everywhere. People who smoke are just slowly killing themselves. They are also causing themselves extreme pain.

Jewish law does not permit smoking. In Judaism, there is a law about saving a life. By not smoking, you are saving your own life. In responsa for today, it says that there are at least Cigarette_with_a_red_mark_over_it_making_a_no_smoking_signthirteen reasons why smoking is prohibited in Jewish law. One of my favorite reasons is in Deuteronomy(4:9,15): “Take utmost care and watch yourself scrupulously”. This means that  you should watch your health and be careful of what you do.

Smoking is very bad for your health and should be prohibited everywhere. People are dying from it, or are in extreme pain. It causes lung cancer. It alsoIllustration_of_men_carrying_a_casket_at_a_funeral-3 wastes money because buying a pack of cigarettes is very expensive

Image Credits: Microsoft Clip Art

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