What do you think of a yeshiva bochur who smokes?


It says in Mishlei: אולת אדם תסלף דרכו – The foolishness of a man makes his way crooked; he makes trouble for himself, ועל השם יזעף לבו – but his heart becomes angry at Hashem.

I was standing in Boro Park one day and across the street was a yeshiva bochur who knew me so I went across to greet him. Next to him was standing a Jew from Eretz Yisroel. He was coughing; coughing and coughing and puffing away.  Coughing and coughing and puffing away.

So the yeshiva bochur said, “This is my friend from Eretz Yisroel. He came to America for medical care because he has trouble with his lungs.” Who would have guessed? He has trouble with his lungs!

So I said to the man, “Why don’t you stop smoking?”

He said, “Tell me anything except that.”

Now, if a person reads on the package of cigarettes what the Surgeon General of the United States – he knows something about medicine – and he’s telling him that smoking could cause lung cancer and this frum Jew disregards that, then I say he is a beheima!  That’s what I think of him.  That’s all he is – he is a beheima!  

I walked into a yeshiva once and I saw a boy sitting at the table smoking.  And under the table was littered with cigarette stubs.  At least pick it up and put it in the garbage can. He’s a double beheima!

And so, you need a great deal of yiras shamayim to be taught in the yeshivos today.  And yiras shamayim means how to save yourself in this world. Mussar, yiras Shomayim is for the purpose happiness in this world too.  If you learn mussar, you won’t smoke.  If you’d learn mussar, you’d take care of your health. If you’d learn mussar, you’d be a mentch.  You wouldn’t drop cigarettes on the floor.

And therefore, we follow the advice of Mishlei: החזק במוסר – Hold on tight to mussar, אל תרף – don’t let go.  Again: החזק במוסר אל תרף – Hold on tight to mussar and don’t let go.  נצרה כי היא חייך – Guard it because it’s your life.  Mussar is your life! When people don’t learn mussar, they don’t know how to live.  

That’s why people who didn’t learn mussar, when the little children visit them, when their grandchildren visit them, if the  grandfather never learned mussar so he lets the windows remain open. And what happens? A child fell out of the window. Yes; a child fell out of the window because the grandfather never learned mussar.  If the grandfather would have learned mussar, so hewouldknow, the first thing you do when little children come into your house, the first thing is close the windows.  

So החזק במוסר אל תרף – Hold on to mussar; don’t let go.  נצרה כי היא חייך – Guard it because that’s your life.  And therefore, you have to learn mussar in order to know that smoking cigarettes is a very big sin equivalent to committing suicide.  That’s what it is. No two ways about it.
TAPE # 845

By |2023-07-15T01:44:43+08:00April 1, 2020|Q & A|0 Comments

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