Five Questions, Five Minutes
This month's topic: Smoking
(Kislev 5763/November 2002)
Compiled by Audrey Shore
5. Depending on where, it's definitely realistic and a good idea: i.e. Israel, Brooklyn, other highly Jewish-populated areas, including "Jewish" Universities. In areas without Jews this would definitely be strange...
1. Marc Grinberg
2. Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
3. No. I have never tried
4. No. I'm from California and there is no smoking in or near any buildings. I think this is a good things since second hand smoke is unhealthy and annoying.
5. Jewish concepts apply to every aspect of our lives. Why not smoking? Smoking is a desecration of one's own body and Judaism should take a strong stance against it.
2. University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
3. Yes, for four years.
4. Not really.
5. I think that is the entire purpose of Jewish thought and legal practice. The Halacha is supposed to instruct us on every aspect of our lives and so this is not strange.
1. Mandy Granek
2. SAIC (Chicago, Illinois)
3. No, actually, I'm very allergic to it.
4. I think if people want to smoke its their choice. I'm glad that some places give them the venue to do so without their bad habit effecting my lungs. However, I do get a kick out of the artists in my school who wear a respirator while working on a project, then on their break go outside to smoke.
5. When I was in high school I attended a seminar which addressed this question. Religion can influence all aspects of ones life so its not outlandish to apply Jewish concepts in regards to smoking.
2. University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, Illinois)
3. No, I have never tried it and never will.
4. It bothers me when there is a smoking section anywhere but it seems even more ridiculous to have a smoking section in a college dorm.
5. Yes I feel that smoking would be against Jewish morals because of the harm it causes.
2. USF (Tampa, Florida)
4. It bothers me when there isn't, because there are people out there who do want to smoke and there are people around them who don't want them to.
5. Good idea.
1. Ryan Evans
2. LUC (Chicago, Illinois)
3. No, and I have never tried it.
4. It only bothers me if the lack of a smoking section results in people lighting up anyway.
5. I think its very realistic to apply the Jewish moral code to something as physically harmful and self-destructive as smoking. Smoking is the quintessence of counter-productive in respect to leading a long and healthy life, which in turn might prohibit you from doing good works and living morally.
1. Alicia Cohen
2. Occidental (Los Angeles, California)
3. No, and I've never tried it... never had the desire to.
4. I don't mind so much if there is a smoking section, but when I am in places where smoking is permitted inside, I am a little uncomfortable by it. Partially because the secondhand smoke is irritating to my sinuses; but even more so, because in California it is illegal to smoke in most public places, so I'm not used to it.
5. I think that its great to be able to apply Jewish concepts to any activities... it helps me to think, act and live more "Jewish-ly."
2. University of Illinois (Champaign/Urbana, Illinois)
3. No...tried it a few times, maybe have on occasion.
4. As long as there's not only one section in the facility...in other words, either have a smoking section, or make the entire place no smoking.
5. I think it's very realistic, and a good idea. Smoking in excess (which is I'm guessing what most smokers do) is definitely a bad thing, and I'm guessing that if it were looked at a lot closer, it would be found to be against Halacha.
2. Binghamton University (Binghamton, New York)
4. There should be smoking and non-smoking sections everywhere and college dorms should be smoke free.
5. For sure its realistic; why shouldn't Jewish concepts reflect the issue of smoking? Smoking may not be "against Judaism" but it is damaging one's body and should be a huge debate in our religion.
1. Lawrence Szenes-Strauss
2. Brandeis University (Waltham, Massachusetts)
3. No; never tried.
4. It doesn't really bother me not to see smoking sections. I realize how inconvenient it is for smokers to have no place in the restaurant where they can smoke, but this seems like a trifling annoyance compared to the health problems many of those people will eventually have to face. A different set of priorities might be in order.
5. Why should it be strange? Damage is damage.
1. Audrey Shore
2. JTS / Columbia (New York, New York)
3. Today marks the one-month anniversary of my quitting smoking. I started while in Israel on Nativ, and that was about four years ago.
4. Even when I was a smoker, I didn't expect there to be places to smoke inside at all times. I knew which restaurants in my area had smoking sections, however, and tended to frequent those. One of the things I have always hated about going dancing is that, smoker or not, you get home and smell like an ashtray. College dorms should have smoking areas, but the idea of smoking in your room is slightly gross to me, just because that means everything you own will smell.
5. One of the most beautiful qualities of the Jewish faith is that concepts stemming from our heritage can be applied to every aspect of life. Of course I knew that smoking was bad for me, but I did it anyway; the same way that I know not sleeping enough, eating the wrong food, or getting drunk at a party is bad for me. (These three examples are very collegiate, I feel.) For some reason, I'm unable to synthesize what in my mind I know is wrong to do, and what I end up doing. Jewish values try to find their way into my life on these issues, but sometimes I manage to outrun them. It's unfortunate.
2. University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
4. Yes, because it makes it an uncomfortable situation for all those affected especially me because it's hard to breathe.
2. William Paterson (Wayne, New Jersey)
3. I quit two years ago after smoking for nine years.
4. I really don't like to be around cigarettes at all now. When I leave a bar my hair smells like stale cigarette smoke! Also smoking is a real turn-off.
5. Shouldn't we try to apply Jewish concepts to our lives in general? That would include matters related not only to our own physical/mental health but also to environmental concerns as well. To poison either one is like throwing away this beautiful gift.