And maybe go for a run and get your colon examined!

From Jpost

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. If you are someone who is of the Jewish faith and are a smoker, it is never too late to give this up, especially now that you’ve got companies such as MagicVaporizers willing to assist anyone make this positive life changing moment. There’s no harm in asking or looking for help, especially when it comes to your health. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you smoke and are religious, but it does put you at risk when it comes to your health. Even if you don’t know where to start, doing some research into sites such as could be the first step towards becoming a non smoker. Later down the line, you will thank yourself for making a positive change.

Smoking is definitely not worth it, no matter your religion. To find an alternative to smoking, click here for more info. This will work out in the long run and you will thank yourself for making a positve change.

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.

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  • Yes, froyo, there were clearly felatio-related concerns behind this edict.

  • …I’m always amazed at your erudition. Here, you’re obviously familiar with the academic literature on the effects of smoking on oral sex in laboratory rats. How do you do it?

  • Muffti knows of a certain fellow who had a girlfriend who swore that his semen tasted better if he ate pudding that day. So why shouldn’t smoking ruin the taste? The good rabbi may not have had fellating in mind but the doctrine of double effect is false and so…

  • I’ve heard that drinking pineapple juice makes it taste sweet.

    Since frum Yidden are not supposed to deposit their seed anywhere except in its “correct” recpetacle, I think it’s safe to say that fellatio was the furthest thing from the good rabbi’s mind, even if he knows what it is.

  • Tom, that’s because I’m a retarded prostitute. Ask ck.

    Ephraim, I’ve read the same about pineapple juice, but my overall experience is [censored].

  • Froylein, your semen is unaffected by pineapple juice?

    Why can’t frum yiddin deposit their seed in other ‘receptacles’? Muffti has heard this but what is the source of the halacha?

  • Oh, yeah, Tom:

    It’s not artichokes that are the problem, it’s asparagus.

  • As one of Muffti’s old professors once said about the word artificial, the possessive is ‘deliciously ambiguous’. And so it remains.

  • Onan, right. Muffti is a bit confused – was Onan’s ill doing that he came all over the ground or that he failed to fulfil his duty of impregnating his late brother’s wife???

  • That’s a question I’ve always wondered about as well. I think his sin should have been confined to the latter, but you know those rabis. The Torah sez not to “boil a kid in it’s mother’s milk” so all of a sudden we can’t have Chicken Kiev? I mean, what they hey, man.

    Anyway, the Rambam sez in Moreh Nevuchim (very near the beginning, IIRC) that wanking was just about the worst thing you could do.

    I pretty much stopped reading at that point.

  • Whoa! Wanking is the worst?

    Muffti supposes by implication that offering your semen up for a taste after eating pineapples or what not is covered under the wanking clause?

  • I’m just sayin’ is all…

    Onan pulled out of Tamar, his brother’s widow, just before he came, thus spilling his seed in defiance his father Judah’s wish that he impregnate her. So God killed him. Make of it what you will…

  • Onan did that because:

    1) he knew the kids would not be considered his, and
    2) Tamar was seriously hot and he wanted as much as he could get. Once she was pregnant I suppose she would have been off limits (and not as hot).

    I’ve always thought his main sin was his deliberate failure to get her pregnant, which was his job.

    But that’s just me.

  • yoni: interesting article but the author completely fails to mention the fact that Onan spilled his seed noit just in defiance of the tradition of levirate marriage, but also in defiance of his Father’s express request. Whether or not his Father cared, Onan would still have been kind of obligated to get with Tamar. And yet the Torah passage specifically mentions the his Father Judah made the request.

    Also bizarre is the notion that this Catholic publication sees the sin as rooted in non-procreational activity. Isn’t priestly and nunly (?) celibacy non-procreational too??

    Oh those whacky Catholics!

    No offense…

  • Now now, don’t blame us. We’re doing the best we can with the raw material you guys have left us.

  • Tom: We never said anything about celibacy! Where the heck did y’all get that from? Christmas trees? Cucumber and mayonaise sandwiches? Gimlets in the afternoon?? We had nothing to do with that.

  • Yeah, but what did y’all do with polygamy? What was wrong with that?

  • ck, celibacy actually is / was known in Judaism as prophets were supposed to live a celibate life. Now, the monastrious movement, starting with the early monks that lived on pillars, is vastly marked by asketicism – an idea that was also entertained by the founder of the Litvish movement. Also, when rabbis argued that the song of songs was not about sex but about god’s love for his people / a believer’s love for god, they followed the same line of thought of engaging in a relationship with something superior. There are many arguments for and against priestal celibacy that Catholicism finds in the gospels and the Acts, but when it became mandatory for Roman Catholic priests, the consideration, as some sources say, was also a political one. Priests of the Eastern Catholic churches (aka Orthodox) and Anglican priests can still get married. When the Anglican Church, however, agreed that women could be priests, a large number of Anglican / Episcopalian priests became Catholic. So, in actual numbers, about 20% of Catholic priests are married. Now, the legal issue with the removal of celibacy is that it was dogmatized by an episcopal council, which means it has the second-highest rank in validity after the Bible. Dogmas are believed to be divinely inspired and can’t be made undone (similar line of arguing many Orthodox rabbis use when explaining why certain customs of non-biblical origin cannot be abandoned today) but since celibacy also is a matter of Catholic administrative law, as can be found in the Codex Iuris Canonici, the loophole is that the Pope might actually permit marriages under certain conditions. Anyhow, those that argue against celibacy are usually those least affected by it. Afterall, it’s a decision people take deliberately. There are people out there, not just Catholic ones, that are plainly asexual.

    Christmas trees are inspired by Celtic traditions; greenery symbolizes fertility in Celtic tradition. Initially, rich people put up those trees and hung delicacies on them for the pauper to get and enjoy over the holidays. A lot of Jewsh people pre WW2 would put up Christmas trees as they were not distinctively Christian. BTW, the state of Israel grows fir trees to give away to foreign diplomats and journalists for Christmas.

  • Cucumber and mayo sandwiches have a clear Torah basis, as God in his severe testing of Job gave them to him to eat.

  • froyo: Any person that can talk to and summon God can be celibate for all I care. They can do whatever they want and it’s fine with me. Now when I say “Catholic” I don’t mean Anglicans or any of the Orthodox denominations. The point is that celibacy in Judaism is highly exceptional – though oddly, sadly and inexplicably not so exceptional when it comes to aggunot – women separated from husbands who refuse to give them a divorce – talk about retarded… and X-mas trees still have nothing to do with Judaism.

    And you said nothing of Gimlets and mayo/cucumber sandwiches.

    As for Polygamy, we’re having a hard enough time getting Jewish men to marry ONE Jewish woman, let alone several.

  • I’m not so keen on mayo, so I can’t tell (cue/mayo sandwiches are not so common in Germany). Gimlets are unknown to me. If it’s anything containing alcohol, I’m still on antibiotics, mind you.

    Anglicans and Orthodox are indeed Catholic, just not Roman Catholic Apostolic (what people generally call “Catholic”).

    Xmas trees are not of Jewish origin, admittedly, but many traditions in Judaism, e.g. wedding customs, are not of Jewish or biblical origin either. Even the smashing of a glass is an adoption of a common practice in the Rhineland (these days people usually ask friends and family to join them for the smashing of lots of glass- and chinaware the night or the weekend before the actual wedding; the couple then sweeps the street together which is said to symbolize that they will deal with every future mess together). The Talmud only says one shouldn’t enjoy too much b/c of the Temple being gone, but it was only in hindsight connected to the smashed glasses. Originally, they were thrown against northern walls of houses, as evil spirits were believed to come from the north. Later, congregations used special carved stones to throw the glasses against. One can still be seen in Bingen.

  • Didn’t the ancient Israelites ply the Canaanites with gimlets before chasing them off the Holy Land?

    It may come as a surprise to some readers to learn that cucumbers can be eaten and not just used for that, you know, other thing.

  • “We’re having a hard enough time getting Jewish men to marry ONE Jewish woman” – I take offense with your phrasing. I get that it’s in the context of polygamy but in general I’d argue that Jewish women are the hotter commodity. But of course, I would say that. Oh, did I just refer to women as a commodity?? Oops! Blame it on my sexist brother.

  • Shut up Tiffy! There’s nothing there that I wrote that suggests that Jewish women are in fact not hotter. In my opinion they are in fact hotter. How can you blame your sexism on me?? That’s just plain retarded…

  • Shut up Tiffy! Oh brother! Spoken like a Moroccan man with knife skills. 🙂

  • is it polygamy if you marry someone with multiple personality disorder?

  • Tom, Catholics may not marry people with mental problems (it’s in the CIC), no matter whether diagnosed or assumed. And I’m retarded, so I don’t qualify anyway.

    Hotness is not a matter of religious affiliation, I think, but rather a matter of being authentic.

  • Not sure about that, froyo. A little inauthenticity seems to go a long way. Ask those women with breast implants.

  • There’s nothing inherently wrong with cucumber and mayonnaise sandwiches, so long as you use good white bread and proper English cucumbers, not the horrible dry American ones with the hard seeds (which are not worth eating no matter how they’re prepared). Japanese or Persian cucumbers work quite well also.

    Bland, yes, but not everything has to have hot peppers in it. Besides, they’re just for afternoon tea, anway. You don’t make a meal out of them.

    A good gin and tonic beats a gimlet any day, IMNSHO. If there’s one thing the goyim know how to do better than us, it’s mixed drinks.

    You know the definition of the most miserable man in NY, don’t you? The guy with an Irish psychiatrist and a Jewish bartender.

  • ck came up with that moniker. Figured it had official permission.

  • Just this once, I’m with ya Froyo! 🙂 Back to the topic, I really like that rabbis are forbidding smoking.

  • Ephraim, I like cucumber as salad, stewed with dill, some instant vegetable broth, & white balsamico vinegar (goes well with fish and boiled potatoes), and pure. I also love gherkins, which are sour here. I’ve noticed that veggies in NYC supermarkets look pretty old; is that just NYC or is that normal?

    Mixed drinks, now you’re talking. Kir Royal makes me nostalgic. One New Year’s Eve we went to see the fireworks above the Rhine River in Koblenz and went to the old city afterwards. It started to rain, so we chose a little pub. Their choice of mixed drinks was awesome plus they used quality spirits, the Mai Tai came with a 73% rum. The guys stuck to Scottish single malts though. But that was back in the day when we’d party till 7:30am just to make it in time for class at 8:15am and I could put away eight bottles of Moselle Riesling in a night. Uhmmm, so that’s the past. Now I’m tame and retarded.

    Tom, Aaron came up with that and he uses it because he likes frozen yoghurt…

    Tiff, I’ve truly never meant to upset you.

  • Everyone is ignoring the fact that cigarette in Hebrew is סיגרי’×”, which can also be read as “G-d closed in”, i.e., being closed in to addiction is a Divine decree. As it is written, “it is not up to you to complete the task [of smoking], but it is not up to you to quit from it either!”

    But seriously. The “previous rabbinical arbiters” (this was arbitration?) have not gone against their previous rulings, and smoking is still not unanimously forbidden. However, most Ashkenazi smokers were up until now, reliant on R’ Shmuel ha’Levi Wosner, who had previously just said “don’t start”. R’ Elyashiv, I think, has been against smoking for a while now.

  • Y-Love, isn’t that a cute way of getting around the principle of not deliberately doing anything harmful to your body? 😉 Also, what if God speaks Yiddish?

  • … and I thought this thead would be safer than the Topless DJ thread….

  • I think that everyone is missing the most important point: Israeli cucumbers are the best.

    Please make of that what you will–I need some entertainment. 🙂

  • “If there’s one thing the goyim know how to do better than us, it’s mixed drinks.”

    “You know the definition of the most miserable man in NY, don’t you? The guy with an Irish psychiatrist and a Jewish bartender.”

    Ephraim, I’m a Jewish bartender. Been one for years. Don’t love my job but it allows me freedom to pursue things I do love. And by bartending I don’t mean pulling drafts and cracking Bud Lites for college kids. Last nite I spent 8 hours mixing Green Geishas (vodka-based Japanese green tea liqeur infused Mojito) along with every mixed drink imaginable (sans Rob Roys). And the only complaint I got was we ran out of Diet Coke.

    You want a Marg, you get Marnier, not Triple Sec. That’s how this Jewish bartender rolls. So take it back. Like I said, I don’t love my job, so the last thing I need to hear is that I don’t stack up to my Gentile co-workers.

    I wonder what the Rabbincal Arbiters (not to be confused with Damon Albarn’s new side project Rabbincal Arbiterz) say about men wearing sandals and cargo shorts in a sushi restaurant? They don’t allow smoking but they allow that?

    BTW – Ephraim, I’m not the only Jewish bartender who knows it’s bad luck to garnish with an even number. Although it’s a stupid tradition and only a a snooty prick (I’m talking to you… yeah, you with the Ralph Lauren polo shirt… asshole… nice tip…) would point it out before I even stuck the olives on spear.

    Now excuse me while I go outside and have a smoke with my demented, kidney-diseased brother’s widow.

  • All well thank you. Say, while you’re in the Rotten Apple check out a place called Spotted Pig. If you’re into drinking and eating and maybe seeing a few b-list celebs and all that.

  • The exception always makes the rule. I’m sure you’re a good Jewish bartender, and I’m sure there are others.

    But when it comes to the ins and outs of booze, I still think the goyim have it all over us, in general.

    Thanks for telling me what’s in a Green Geisha. I’ll know never to order one. It sounds absolutely horrible.

    The joke about the Irish psychiatrist vs. the Jewish bartender is essentially that the Irish psychiatrist can’t stop telling his patient about his own problems (playing on the cultural stereotype that the Irish can’t shut up and they’re always exaggerating) and the Jewish bartender is telling the guy how he shouldn’t drink because it’s bad for him and where’s your umbrella in this weather and you should visit your mother more often (playing on the stereotype that the Jews are pushy busybodies always minding somebody else’s business).

    You had to be there I guess.

  • Ramon, I’m afraid I wouldn’t recognize any celebrities even if they jumped right into my face, partly because I don’t have a TV by choice, partly because they probably look pretty average when they’re not all dolled up. Whenever I go to NYC though, some students of mine or another will ask whether I’d seen 50Cent. My standard reply has become, “Yeah, I suppose I have. If he takes the train into Manhattan, that is.”

  • Ephraim – it is true that historically (American) Jews were not as hard drinkers as Gentiles. The hard stuff was limited to the weekly poker games. But (unfortunately) that’s changed. With women also. Might have something to do with that glass ceiling. Gotta be able to hang with the bosses at happy hour. If you don’t like Captain Morgan and Diet Coke and Patron shots you better learn to.

    I was being a bit facetious of course. It’s a depressing job and no one need aspire to be one. It’s a good thing to have in your back pocket when you need extra cash. Really, the best Jewish bartender is the one who’s working his way through law school.

    Froylein – so you won’t know that’s John Cusak buying you a drink at the bar? He’ll love that.

  • ramon, here’s one gentile you can mix a drink for anytime (provided it’s not one of those sickly-sweet, girly things). Having said that– you get no sympathy from me, not the way the Twins are playing.

    An Irish psychiatrist may turn your appointment into a revival of Endgame:

    Apart from that, how do you feel?
    I don’t complain.
    You feel normal?
    CLOV (irritably):
    I tell you I don’t complain.
    I feel a little strange.
    Have you not had enough?
    Of what?

  • Ramon, now I’ll have to google John Cusack. 🙂
    Sometime when I was in NYC last year, I was shopping at Century21. I was standing in line at the check-out, pretty much loaded. Behind me was some older guy and he just had a pair of sunglasses to pay for, so I offered him to go ahead. He noticed my British accent and asked where I was from, so I replied that I was from Germany but had lived in Britain for a while and asked whether he was a New Yorker. His response, “Actually, I’m famous.” This prompted me to ask, “You’re famous and buy your sunglasses at Century21?” Methinks he didn’t take too kindly on that. 🙂

  • This one’s really, really good. A masterpiece of latter-day film noir.

  • “The Grfters” is a great film. Both Cusak and Anjeclia Huston are incredible.

    A real downer, though.

    Captain Morgan and Diet Coke?


  • Muffti did some bartending once. He was pretty young at the time. One night a woman said that she wanted ‘a drink and a date’ and as the restaurant was in a bar, he went off searching for what interpreted to be an odd request for a fruit.

    Muffti isn’t all that bright.

  • Yes, such stories bring back painful memories. I have to force myself to not think of all of the missed opportunities in high school resulting from my utter cluelessness, just to prevent myself from bursting into tears. What I wouldn’t give for a time machine.

  • CLOV (returning to his place beside the chair):
    If age but knew!

  • Such an edumacated bunch of posters Jewlicious does not even deserve.

    The memories aren’t that painful, are they ephraim? Besdies, if you had a time machine, you’d just show up all of the sudden and the relevant embodiment of missed opportunity would say ‘what’s this dude dong here?’

  • No, actually, they are.

    I get to imagine how the time machine thing would work, Muffti. It’s not supposed to be realistic. Is this what you went to school for?

  • There are time machines, but humans wouldn’t survive them. Don’t ask me about the specifics, but scientists managed to accelerate molecules and sound (a tune by Chopin) to a speed beyond the speed of light, and apparently something told them that the molecules and the tune had travelled in time.