Rav Avigdor Miller On Slavery in the 21st Century (Part 1)

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Q:
Is it okay to drink coffee all the time?


A:
You have touched on a very important topic and that is the slavery to habit. Many people have habits. Now, let’s say you’re a slave to smoking. Now, if you’re a slave to smoking you have to know that you have lost your free will. I was once in Boro Park and across the street I saw a man who I knew, who was standing with a Yerushalmi. So I went across the street and this Yerushalmi tells me that he’s very ill. He came to America for treatment because his lungs are diseased. He’s telling me this and he’s puffing on a cigarette. So I said to him, “Why don’t you stop smoking?” So he tells me in Yiddish, “Don’t tell me that. No, don’t tell me that.” He’s an eved. An eved Ca’nani. He sold himself out to this habit. He’s not a free man anymore. He’s a slave.

Some people are slaves to drinking alcohol. I know a man who drinks and becomes inebriated. A shikur. Many people are like that. They drink too much. They’re slaves to the bottle. They’re slaves to nothing. And eating as well. People can even be slaves to eating. People overeat. Overeating is not good for your health. And it’s a shi’bud. Every type of shi’bud – of being mortgaged, enslaved – to wrong habits is a person giving up his freedom. The freedom to make something out of yourself.

I never drank coffee. As long as I can remember I never drank any coffee. Why should I drink coffee?! It’s unnecessary. To become mi’shubad to a habit?! Some people are coffee addicts. They must have coffee all the time. They’re slaves. And any habit that enslaves you, means that you can’t serve Hashem bi’shleimus.

TAPE #E-182