I am not the first to write about the following issue, but I am writing from a different perspective. This issue bothers me, as well as many other Yidden. I hope, be’ezras Hashem,that this letter will result in a positive change.
Please, fellow bochurim, I beg of you – the future of Klal Yisroel – not to smoke. If you have already succumbed to the habit, please stop. A number of gedolei Yisroel have proclaimed that there is no heter whatsoever to smoke. If you quit, you will be fulfilling a chiyuv De’oraisa of “zikeinechah viyomru lach.”
There can be so much more Torah learned with the time spent smoking. The money that goes towards cigarettes can be used for the countless poor people in Klal Yisroel.
A distinguished talmid chochom said, “All smokers will be held accountable when they’re missing minyan and Torah because of the sicknesses they brought upon themselves.” Don’t shrug these words off.
I am not writing this for me. I am writing this as one of you. It is my hope that it will possibly help. I doubt your rabbeim want you to smoke. I suspect that your parents are not fond of smoking either. I am pleading with you. When a person actually faces a nisayon is the best time to do teshuvah (Koheles). One who says “Echteh v’ashuv” (I will sin and I will repent) will not do teshuvah (Yoma). So, please quit smoking. There is no better time than now. Hillel tells us in Avos, “V’im lo achshav, eimasai – And if not now, when?” As you know, we pasken like Hillel.
The Mashgiach of the Radin Yeshiva stated in a shmuess with a clear voice, “There is nothing in the Torah that is a reshus (optional)! You are either obligated or forbidden to do so, as the posuk (Devorim 6:18) says, ‘V’asissa hayoshor v’hatov.'”
Please, this letter is not being written with anger. It is written with sadness and pain. The smoked-cigarettes on the ground are a busha to us. It is not kavod for Hashem’s palace.
How will it feel when you leave your wife an almana and children yesomim, while they know it was your own fault? How will it feel to come to Shomayim at sixty-five years old when everyone there will see that you brought your demise upon yourself?
I wish you hatzlacha.
A Fellow Yeshiva Bochur