ISRAEL @ WAR: Hey, brother, got any smokes?
I am privileged to live in a community that has raised a lot of money and supplies that have been put towards making the lives of our soldiers up north just a little bit easier during these difficult times. Among the items that we were given to deliver to our soldiers yesterday were: junk food, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, underwear, socks, undershirts... and cigarettes.
Over the course of the 3+ hour car ride up north, from my home to just south of Kiryat Shemonah, I had a lengthy discussion with my friend Josh, as to whether it was appropriate for us to be bringing our soldiers cigarettes.
Here are the two sides of the debate, as we saw it:
* While smoking may not be good for you, it is socially / societally acceptable, and as such, it's not for us to decide whether a soldier should or shouldn't be smoking.
* While it may be a fact that smoking is unhealthy (in the long term), if smoking will help calm the nerves of our soldiers (those who smoke) and thus help them to carry out their duties more successfully, then by giving them cigarettes, we might be helping them (in the short term).
* By giving our soldiers cigarettes, we are basically poisoning them - the very opposite of the purpose of our mission.
* It is highly problematic, according to Jewish Law.
What would you do?