Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Halachic ruling forbids smoking


I have been waiting for this. I'm not sure about the validity of the source, but the message is right on: smoking is causing death, it is slow suicide.

I know those who smoke will find something wrong with the ruling, as they will do anything to avoid stopping. However, avoidance of the topic doesn't stop the damage. Smoking hurts you, hurts everyone who loves you, and you need to stop.

I know, I know. I have heard how hard it is to stop. Is it harder than breaking Halacha with intention?

That's your choice, whether you agree with this particular court or not, the argument is clear. Smoking causes disease and death.

JPost.com » Health and Sci-Tech » Health » Article

Jul 7, 2008 22:24 | Updated Jul 8, 2008 10:26

Jews are not allowed to smoke, and they are required to observe a healthful way of life, said Rabbi Moshe Shaul Klein, rabbi of Bnei Brak's Ma'ayanei Hayeshuva Medical Center and representative of the halacha committee of one of the city's leading rabbinical arbiters, Rabbi Shmuel Wosner.

Klein was addressing a conference of rabbis and hospital staffers on the subject of Medical Ethics and Halacha over the weekend.

"Let's take the example of tobacco smoking. Anyone who is intelligent and offered a certain drink that just one out of 10 doctors says is poisonous would not drink it," said Klein, implying that smoking - which has incontrovertibly been proven deadly - is forbidden by Jewish law.

A handful of rabbinical arbiters had previously stated publicly that it was forbidden to smoke; many others have ruled that it was forbidden to start smoking, but have stopped short of requiring those who already smoke give up the habit, while others say this only privately.

Klein said at the hospital conference that the requirement to live a healthful life includes undergoing preventive tests for early diagnosis of disease, as survival rates are much higher when diseases are detected early.

He endorsed mammographs for women and colonoscopies for both men and women who were over 50.

Another leading rabbinical arbiter, Rabbi Yitzhak Zilberstein, took the conservative haredi view (contrary to that of national religious rabbis and some haredi rabbis abroad) that death - after which one may halachically take organs for transplant - means the cessation of heartbeat, and not lower-brain death in which the heart can continue to beat. He also attacked the phenomenon in some hospitals of demented kidney-failure patients being denied dialysis and other medical treatments.

"There is no difference in giving medical treatment to a demented patient and one with a wise and acute brain," he said.

1 comment:

  1. How refereshing to read this.
    I read an article in Rabbi A. Twerski's book where a woman was beseeching the Rabbis to issue such an edict as she felt that she and her whole family were suffering from her husband's addiction to smoking.
    She claimed that if the Rabbis would say that smoking was outright forbidden, then this would help deter an stop smokers.


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