In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Walking along a Brooklyn street recently, I saw a scene that could very well be used in a dictionary to explain the word nachas. A young father, who appeared to be in his later 20′s, was pushing a stroller, occupied by a wide-eyed baby who looked about 8 months old. Beside him walked a toddler, who judging by his long golden curls was about 2½. On the father’s other side was a little girl who looked under four.
It doesn’t get better than this I thought – until I saw him lift his hand to his mouth and he took a puff out of a cigarette.
What I felt could best be described as looking down at a peaceful pastoral landscape – a lush green countryside, lazy cows peacefully grazing, when all of a sudden, a warplane whirls into view.
How sad that this young father had taken up a nasty addicting habit – probably in his yeshiva days - and was ruthlessly controlled by it, to his and his young family’s detriment. I have no doubt he had tied to quit. Once his responsibilities as a husband and father became a part of who he is – and being aware of the health risks of smoking – I am sure he had tried a number of times to free himself of this life-threatening habit. It is impossible, in this day and age not to be aware of how deadly smoking is. Besides cancer and lung disease, smokers in their 30′s are five times as likely to get a heart attack as those their age who don’t smoke. Appearing to be a loving, involved father to his beautiful children, I know that he would like to be around to escort them to the chupah and be a part of their children’s lives. But emancipating himself from nicotine was a battle he had fought unsuccessfully.
Now there are some misguided folk who would argue that there are no guarantees in life and will point out that everything is m’hashamayim (decreed in heaven) and if one is fated to live a long or short life, it is out of one’s hands and therefore any effort to try to elongate life is not necessary. They gleefully point out people in their 90′s who are going strong – despite having been chain smokers for over 70 years. Likewise we all know people who routinely exercised, watched their weight, never smoked and nonetheless died of disease at a young age. While our lives are in G-d’s hands, the Torah does admonish us to watch over ourselves. You just can’t jaywalk across a 10-lane highway and say that if it’s bashert (meant) for you to die – than you will.
Hashem wants us to do what we possibly can to extend the days of our lives. That is why we are allowed to desecrate Shabbat and the laws of kashrus if it doing so increases the odds of survival.
That is why I cannot understand why the past few generations of rabbinical leaders have not declared cigarette-smoking treif.
When it became clear without a shadow of doubt that smoking is extremely dangerous to one’s health, a rabbinic decree should have been issued making smoking as forbidden as eating pig meat or shellfish.
Allowances perhaps could be have been made to those older, long-term smokers who were already heavily addicted to nicotine to continue if they – despite all their efforts – could not quit. These would unfortunately include teachers, rabbanim, educators and other role models who unfortunately have been poor role models for their impressionable students.
But once smoking was halachically banned, upcoming generations, especially yeshiva bachurim, would no sooner pick up a cigarette than they would a ham sandwich. It would be disgusting to them and not even be a temptation. And the current crop of rebbeim and teachers would themselves be non-smokers.
Many young people view smoking as a means to look “cool” or they puff away to rid themselves of stress. They start smoking as teenagers. But if today’s young shomer Shabbos smokers had been raised knowing smoking was not kosher – if they were taught to consider smoking as a chillul Hashem – than they would never start in the first place. And they would not end up as young fathers taking their little ones for a stroll out on the avenue, cigarette in hand, leaving a trail of smoke for the Angel of Death to follow.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.
One of the subjects I was taught as a young child in school was Tefillah. Since we spoke only Ivrit during our Limudei Kodesh and secular Hebrew studies – literature, creative writing and Jewish history – we pretty much understood the words we were davening.
Shortly before Pesach, I received a rather agitated call from a long time reader of The Jewish Press who pleaded with me to write a column regarding what she insisted was the unwarranted high cost of Pesach food – in particular shmurah matzah – and how hard it was for young families to pay what she felt were over-inflated prices in order to keep strictly kosher.
The price of deliberate obliviousness is very high – emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.
How is it possible that a person of seemingly normal intelligence (nowhere does it say he is simple) not have the ability to ask a question – to not react and enquire as to the why of the hustle and bustle around him?
It was one of those cold, rain-soaked evenings – the kind that make you look forward to a hot drink, a good book and a soft couch to curl up on. With those happy thoughts in mind, I proceeded to cross to the other side of the street.
The other day I was shopping at a large supermarket and happened to go down the frozen foods aisle, past the endless freezers containing every imaginable flavor, shape and size of ice cream. I rarely buy. Rather I am like a tourist in a museum – gawking at wondrous objects that I know I can’t take home with me.
He stood his ground despite the intense pressure to do what everyone else was doing. His integrity was more important to him than “fitting in.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/going-up-in-smoke/2004/11/03/
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