Is Smoking Permissible by Jewish Law?

Dear Wannabe Smoker,

You asked if smoking is permissible by Jewish law. Many years ago, when the440px-No_Smoking.svg responsas were written, tobacco was believed to be beneficial to the body. It was believed to help digest food and clean the mouth, among other uses. Since cigarettes were not created until hundreds of years after the Torah, we don’t have an official answer for whether smoking is permitted by Jewish law. It says in Vayikra 19:16: “Neither shall you stand by the blood of your neighbor.” Pikuach Nefesh, the obligation to save a human life, was derived from this verse. Saving a human life takes precedence over everything. Smoking kills, so we should not allow smoking in order to save human lives.

rainbow1234In recent years, we have learned that smoking is in fact dangerous to our health and can lead to cancer and heart disease – even shortening your lifespan by ten years. We learn from the Torah, in Deuteronomy 22:8, that if you are building a house, you must put a guardrail on the roof, so you are not guilty of murder. This talks about preventing danger. If we know that smoking is deadly, we should prevent people from doing it. I believe that smoking should not be permitted according to Jewish law because God tells us to save a human life and prevent possible danger, neither of which we are doing if we allow smoking.

Sincerely,

Sabrina

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 10:24 PM and is filed under 8th Grade, Jewish Studies, Journal, Language Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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