letters to the editor
I read Zvi Gluck’s enlightening article regarding the excess drinking situation among our youth in Eretz Yisoel. This is something which must be combated with our full and absolute support, and kudos to Amudim and those organizations that do just that.
While we are discussing the challenges to our youth, I am very disheartened that the issue of smoking is seldom mentioned or addressed. On my many trips to Israel, I have often walked by some very well known yeshivos and have seen hordes of yeshiva bocherim, some as young as 16, puffing away.
When I stopped to comment on the dangers of smoking (in Hebrew, Yiddish or English depending on the type of yeshiva) I was either scoffed at, laughed at or even cursed at.
Now I ask, where are the Roshei Yeshiva on this issue? Would any of them allow these boys to eat pork rinds in front of the yeshiva?  Halachically speaking, smoking is probably a more serious transgression. There is no one today, including even the the tobacco industry itself, who disputes the proven fact that smoking is an absolute killer.
Sadly, our Jewish leadership ignores this scourge and allows our youth to embark on this deadly path (which also harms those around them who do not smoke). Why this deafening silence?
Shlomo Orbach
Queens, NY

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