Author Topic: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?  (Read 16798 times)

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Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2011, 12:18:07 PM »
muman613,

Quote from: Deut4.9
But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children's children

Quote from: Deut 4.15
And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire.

Deut 4.9 and 4.15 don't talk about injures, but instead, if they are not picked out from their context, and their meaning is clear: - it's a "take heed not to make yourself idols" thing. It's not about health.

while Deuteronomy 25:3 speaks about punishing another, not self-infliction. and the tattoo is too different than smoking and drinking alcohol.

So perhaps it is not biblical the commandment not to harm yourself (e.g. by means of smoking, alcohol, etc.)


Look, if you insist on the notion that the Tanakh does not say to guard health and you wish to force that interpretation into the text, you are able to do that, as you can do with just about anything.  But that doesn't make it a believable interpretation.  And why you have that conviction, I don't know.  But to me, your position is contrived and forced.

Many of the Jewish sages have interpreted this verse to be dealing with physical health, and it's a very sensible and reasonable interpretation given what I'm about to explain to you.

On the other hand, it appears to me that you are misinterpreting Devarim 4:9.

You can't even pinpoint what exactly the prohibition is.   Look what you wrote:  "it's a "take heed not to make yourself idols" thing. It's not about health."

First of all, it's not a prohibition because it commands to do something.  (Ie, it's a positive commandment, not a negative commandment   - Look at the language).  
It's not a "'take heed" not to make idols thing' because that's not "a thing."   Is it take heed of something?  Or is it don't make idols?    Refraining from making idols is an actual action.      What do you mean take heed?   We already have the prohibition against idol worship, and every time it is said, it is said very much UNLIKE this current expression in Devarim 4:9.  It is said as  behavioral prohibition, Do Not Make Idols.      Saying "Guard yourself," (or guard your life/guard your soul) is not the same thing!    

BTW, the translation is beware and guard your soul excessively, not "watch yourself."    "Watch yourself" is an imprecise butchering of the Hebrew with English.

Rabbis understood that we know we're not supposed to sin, and we have prohibitions elsewhere dealing with specific behaviors including idol worship which are forbidden.  We also have instructions on specific behaviors we're supposed to do.    This phrase at the beginning of this set of verses is clearly something else, but it is commanding something.   So what action is it commanding when G-d says Guard your Souls.    And how does one guard his soul (which is contained by his body) ?   So these rabbis sensibly interpreted that guarding your soul refers to maintaining your physical health and the physical health of your body which is the container of the soul.      Btw, the translation of 'your soul' as 'your life' or 'your self' I think can all fit here because nafshecha refers also to those things in other contexts, so that adds to this interpretation.   It's not a simple word even though it is commonly translated as "soul" it also includes the concept of life and self.      

Hence in the shema we have bkol levavcha, ubkol nafshicha, uvkol meodecha.    Bkol nafshicha was considered fulfilled when someone gave up his life al Kiddush Hashem and even when dying and having his life taken from him he is saying the shema's affirmation of God's oneness:  Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeynu Hashem Echad.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 12:25:31 PM by Kahane-Was-Right BT »

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2011, 12:21:56 PM »
It's quite clear from some of your posts that you smoke the occasional joint, LOL! :::D :::D :::D :::D :::D :::D

Really, Like which ones?

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Dr. Dan

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2011, 01:33:53 PM »
Genesis, of all the herbs you shall eat.

Though the stimulant and hunger-suppressant properties of coca had been known for many centuries, the isolation of the cocaine alkaloid was not achieved until 1855.thus cocaine heroin lsd etc is man made poison the effects are alot more potent then the coca plant.

Now with weed , it can lead to abuse, but it wont kill. however, the prohibition not to worship foreign gods may apply because all you want to do when really high is eat and self gratification. Its a medicine for those that need it.

1. It is written you can "eat"...never mention about smoking and inhaling.
2. Mushrooms and LSD are not herbs.
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Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2011, 10:21:01 AM »
Btw I will add to zenith, I'm sure not every single person interprets that verse the same so even if you don't agree that its speaking about health, I still think it is common sense even if the Torag does not say it explicitly.  We all agree that suicide is forbidden right?  By the same logic to harm oneself is a wicked thing to do.   

A person has to use common sense because not everything is written explicitly, we are expected to use our minds, not be robots.  And to be overly literalist misses the whole point of living a life dedicated to the Torah.

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2011, 04:37:46 PM »
If you think all foods damage people you are being too paranoid and/or you can also grow your own food.  If you're talking about all food (even which is not processed) then you're definitely being too paranoid - there is no comparison with the affects of drugs or poison.

It's not me with that problem. I hear all around people saying "this food is unhealthy!", "this drink causes harm!", etc. and some people eat only meals according to their sanguine group (there are meals that are said to do harm for certain sanguine groups and that are said to be appropriate for other sanguine group). Also, I've heard many times that the juices (like Pepsi, Fanta, etc.) are doing harm and there are people whom even say that the Mineral Water is unhealthy. Now of course you cannot know for sure which is healthy and which is not, because there are many different opinions. Anyway, the idea is: if Pepsi is unhealthy, I do not believe it is a sin against God to drink Pepsi. And if it is not a sin against God to do harm to yourself by drinking Pepsi, that makes me believe that smoking cigarettes is also not a sin against God.  Also about other forms of harming yourself. And I believe masochism is actually a psychical problem, rather than a sin forbidden to the 'normal' man (I believe a psychically normal man cannot feel pleasure and cannot enjoy injuring himself).

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2011, 05:19:52 PM »
I think you can generally have an idea of what is healthy and what isn't.  Soft drinks are not healthy because of huge amounts of processed sugar inside.   So intake should be limited (I don't drink any).  If someone claims something is unhealthy they have to be able to give a rational nutritional reason as to why that is so.  Not simply make claims about random things.    The degree to which one damages himself by having one drink of pepsi is rather small - and its also a functional form of nutrition, not just a poision like a drug- so I don't think the idea that any drink of pepsi is a sin against God is a correct attitude to take.  But if you imbibe tons of it in an overall process of letting yourself become unhealthy and living an unhealthy lifestyle where you have no concerns for such things - then that would be sinful.

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2011, 05:25:32 PM »
Devarim 4: 9-10

It is a positive commandment to take care of ourselves.   Its not a prohibitive statement against damaging oneself but I think its common sense that doing so is negative and doing so is also in violation of this warning.

You know, something sounds odd about your interpretation of Deut. 4.9 (i.e. about health): it's as if G-d sends a man (i.e. a prophet) in a place, and when that man steps out of his house, G-d tells him "take care!". I hope such a situation does sound odd to everybody. And I think the reason for that is that it's man's natural instinct to seek his welfare.

About my interpretation of Deut 4.9, that you said:
Quote
You can't even pinpoint what exactly the prohibition is.   Look what you wrote:  "it's a "take heed not to make yourself idols" thing. It's not about health."

First of all, it's not a prohibition because it commands to do something.  (Ie, it's a positive commandment, not a negative commandment   - Look at the language).  
It's not a "'take heed" not to make idols thing' because that's not "a thing."   Is it take heed of something?  Or is it don't make idols?    Refraining from making idols is an actual action.      What do you mean take heed?   We already have the prohibition against idol worship, and every time it is said, it is said very much UNLIKE this current expression in Devarim 4:9.

Sorry, I was a bit in a hurry, and perhaps I didn't say it properly.

First, let's see the verses:
Quote
7. For what great nation is there that has G-d so near to it, as the Lord our G-d is at all times that we call upon Him?
8. And which great nation is it that has just statutes and ordinances, as this entire Torah, which I set before you this day?
9. But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children's children,
10. the day you stood before the Lord your G-d at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, "Assemble the people for Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.
11. And you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of the heavens, with darkness, a cloud, and opaque darkness.
12. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice.
13. And He told you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.
14. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you should do them in the land to which you are crossing, to possess.
15. And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire.
16. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female,
.....

1. Look at the context and see that it has nothing to do with physical health. The context talks about a totally different subject.

2. It seems that the commandment to "watch yourself" is repeated in verse 15. In verse 9 we are told to watch ourselves because, but doesn't get to say about what you should watch yourself. Instead, the focus is put in what happened, which must be related to the commandment to "watch yourself". And this would make the interpreted "health" commandment sound odd, because it would mean that one should be commanded to keep himself healthy because G-d appeared on the mountain, because He spoke to the people from the fire, because He gave them the Ten Commandments, etc. - it just doesn't make sense this way.

3. Instead, the focus of the context is the keeping of the commandments that were given. So "watch yourself" is meaningful because one must be careful to keep the commandments and must be careful not to fall (e.g. by making idols). And the focus is also put on "watch yourself" not to make yourself idols, because, as the context suggests, G-d did not appear in a human form, so that people would not make any image of Him, and to strengthen His commandment to people not to make and not to worship any idol (perhaps I am not wrong if I understand idol as "a material representation of someone (e.g. G-d, angel, "saint", etc.), for worship").

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2011, 05:41:34 PM »
Remember Zenith that there is much more to the Torah than the simple meaning. It is said that there are as many as 70 interpretations of each sentence in the Torah... There is the concept of PaRDeS... The simple meaning {Phat], the deeper interpretation Remes, Drash is integrating the Phat and Remes, and then there is the hidden, the Sod...

So in order to understand deeper levels you must study more...


Quote
http://www.closetotorah.com/tag/moshe-rabbeinu/
The greatness of Moshe’s actions is clearly pristine. The words of Chazal explain that Moshe was zocheh to burial by Hashem himself due to his actions. As was already mentioned there must be a greater significance beyond the fact that Moshe did something that no one else was willing to do…isn’t that what Moshe was all about? The Chazal quote a pasuk in Mishlei that expounds upon the grandeur of his actions, חכם לב יקח מצות. On that pasuk the Baal HaTurim comments that the gematriah of Mitzvos is 612 (if you spell out each letter as he explains), which is the same as the words תלמידי חכמים. It is without question that there is a connection with the word Mitzvos and the 613 Mitzvos in the Torah. It is also interesting to know that the gematriah העצמות is Torah. Additionaly the word atzmos contains the mitzvos. In fact perhaps it is that the עין or eye of the Torah is Mitzvos. That means that the 70 interpretations of Torah as well as its sense of sight is associated with it intrinsic value. The word atzmos means both bone and core or essence. That means that the Talmidei Chachamim and the Mitzvosand the eye of the Will of Hashem is the essence (העצמות).
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2011, 05:59:47 PM »
Btw I will add to zenith, I'm sure not every single person interprets that verse the same so even if you don't agree that its speaking about health, I still think it is common sense even if the Torag does not say it explicitly.  We all agree that suicide is forbidden right?  By the same logic to harm oneself is a wicked thing to do.  

A person has to use common sense because not everything is written explicitly, we are expected to use our minds, not be robots.  And to be overly literalist misses the whole point of living a life dedicated to the Torah.

I know it is the common sense of man that it is bad to do harm to himself and to kill himself. Though I don't believe that in any circumstance, a man that suicides is to be condemned by G-d afterwards (by being destroyed, going to hell, whatever). There are people whose lives are too horrible, and I'm sure that we are not much stronger than them to resist more than they do. So "common sense" tells me that we should not regard a man as worth being destroyed (after death) or burnt in hell because we never felt what he felt and never lived what he lived.

About harming yourself... I really have doubts that G-d condemns a diabetes man for eating a cookie (i.e. he's had relish for cookies), though he is forbidden to. And if Pepsi would do some kind of harm, it's hard for me to believe that G-d would condemn a man for drinking Pepsi.

And if you support the idea of not doing anything that harms you, how can you prove the drinking of wine (i.e. alcohol) as ok? And if the chemical ingredients of foods are unhealthy, does that mean that you are supposed to eat only natural foods? consider also that many cannot afford eating only natural foods.

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2011, 07:13:22 PM »
I know it is the common sense of man that it is bad to do harm to himself and to kill himself. Though I don't believe that in any circumstance, a man that suicides is to be condemned by G-d afterwards (by being destroyed, going to hell, whatever). There are people whose lives are too horrible, and I'm sure that we are not much stronger than them to resist more than they do. So "common sense" tells me that we should not regard a man as worth being destroyed (after death) or burnt in hell because we never felt what he felt and never lived what he lived.

About harming yourself... I really have doubts that G-d condemns a diabetes man for eating a cookie (i.e. he's had relish for cookies), though he is forbidden to. And if Pepsi would do some kind of harm, it's hard for me to believe that G-d would condemn a man for drinking Pepsi.

And if you support the idea of not doing anything that harms you, how can you prove the drinking of wine (i.e. alcohol) as ok? And if the chemical ingredients of foods are unhealthy, does that mean that you are supposed to eat only natural foods? consider also that many cannot afford eating only natural foods.

Zenith,

All the Jewish faith says is to do things in moderation. A few cakes and cookies will not kill you. A cup of wine on a Friday or Saturday night will not kill you. But smoking cigarettes pretty much is doing damage, and will kill you. Doing cocaine and methamphetamines will kill you. And if you believe, as Jews do, in the concept of reward and punishment {though it seems from your comments that you seriously doubt this}, then we are held accountable for every time we did something with the intention of damaging ourselves. The fact that we are not aware that certain things are killing us is not the point. The point is that if we do something which we know will have damaging consequences then we are commanded not to do it. That does not seem to hard understand to me.

I do believe that a person who kills himself is judged for violating the command to not kill. Why should he not be? We Jews believe that we are judged for the good and for the bad on 613 commandments, including observing Shabbat, eating Kosher, what we say about our fellow Jews, and how we treat the poor, amongst many of the commandments.

PS: Another important concept of the Torah is Pikuei Nefesh {Saving Life}... This concept means that when there is a contradiction between carrying out Jewish law and living, living takes precedence every time. So saving life is the most important Mitzvah of them all...
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2011, 10:19:30 PM »
I know it is the common sense of man that it is bad to do harm to himself and to kill himself. Though I don't believe that in any circumstance, a man that suicides is to be condemned by G-d afterwards (by being destroyed, going to hell, whatever).

I agree, and this issue is debated among the great rabbis.  There are sources which say you cannot judge such a person, and there are also other sources which examine mitigating circumstances that can exist in a case like that.

Quote
There are people whose lives are too horrible, and I'm sure that we are not much stronger than them to resist more than they do. So "common sense" tells me that we should not regard a man as worth being destroyed (after death) or burnt in hell because we never felt what he felt and never lived what he lived.  

But none of this has anything to do with what I was saying.

I'm not talking about some depressed guy who is abused and beaten, etc.   I'm talking about "you and me" a person in a normal (so to speak) situation who wants to know what he should do.    It IS common sense not to damage yourself.  And even if that verse we looked at is NOT about physical health, I really don't think G-d needed to command it!  It's one of those things that doesn't even need to be said - any person should understand implicitly that he has to preserve his health.

(Similarly, there are other commandments like this that are commanded even though they are common sense (ethical commonsense) - for instance, Do not murder.   Do not steal.   Rambam writes that one can arrive at all of the Noahide laws by deep philosophical thought, even though they are also commanded explicitly, they are the inherent morals that a person - if he is properly refined, educated, and of worthy character - should be able to arrive at through logic and philosophical investigation).   I think this one is similar.

Quote
About harming yourself... I really have doubts that G-d condemns a diabetes man for eating a cookie (i.e. he's had relish for cookies), though he is forbidden to.  And if Pepsi would do some kind of harm, it's hard for me to believe that G-d would condemn a man for drinking Pepsi.  

I really have no idea what you are talking about.

Quote
And if you support the idea of not doing anything that harms you, how can you prove the drinking of wine (i.e. alcohol) as ok?  

I think you need to read my post again because you are twisting what I said.

Also it sounds as if you imagine the only way we can be COMMANDED (that means obligated) to do something is if a person is perfect and can achieve it every single time always without fail.    I don't think any person can be expected to do that, I don't think G-d expects that kind of perfection from people, AND YET, nonetheless, G-d commands the Jewish people and also the Gentile people with obligations which they must enact/perform in all sorts of areas.    
If something is difficult G-d would never obligate an IDEAL as a standard we should strive for?    I find that line of reasoning specious.   In fact, it was an old missionary claim that they used to bash Judaism with.  They would say, no person can possibly fulfill all the mitzvoth without fail, therefore (they claimed) they are abrogated because G-d found out that no man can fulfill them.    That whole line of reasoning is a joke to any moderately Jewish ear.  Especially for those myriads of traditional Jews who DID keep all the laws, observed the shabbat, the customs, etc even while this so-called argument was being spewed.   It is possible to keep all the commandments one is obligated in.   That doesn't mean a person will be perfect and never fail.  But as a whole it is possible and that is precisely why G-d commanded them because He knows man capable of fulfilling them.
 
Quote
And if the chemical ingredients of foods are unhealthy, does that mean that you are supposed to eat only natural foods? consider also that many cannot afford eating only natural foods.

I think you are reading into my words something I haven't said.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 10:30:47 PM by Kahane-Was-Right BT »

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2011, 10:22:17 PM »
You know, something sounds odd about your interpretation of Deut. 4.9 (i.e. about health): it's as if G-d sends a man (i.e. a prophet) in a place, and when that man steps out of his house, G-d tells him "take care!". I hope such a situation does sound odd to everybody. And I think the reason for that is that it's man's natural instinct to seek his welfare.


What?

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2011, 10:24:06 PM »
And since you quite clearly did not read this from a comment above, I will quote myself again:

Quote from: KWRBT
"The degree to which one damages himself by having one drink of pepsi is rather small - and its also a functional form of nutrition, not just a poision like a drug- so I don't think the idea that any drink of pepsi is a sin against G-d is a correct attitude to take.  But if you imbibe tons of it in an overall process of letting yourself become unhealthy and living an unhealthy lifestyle where you have no concerns for such things - then that would be sinful." 

Maybe this will help clarify your seeming confusion about my comments.

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2011, 10:26:48 PM »
Btw, one cup of wine is not unhealthy.   The scientific journals say it's healthy to have one glass of red wine per night, in fact.

Where do you get the idea that one drink of wine is unhealthy?   Unhealthy to what, exactly?

The liver is built to process a certain amount of alcohol in a certain period of time.  It's when you imbibe more than this amount (or even having that small amount to frequently) that you are damaging yourself.

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2011, 03:31:08 PM »
Zenith,

All the Jewish faith says is to do things in moderation.

Well, there should be something concrete to know if a particular thing is good or is evil. A religious man is usually trying not to do "bad" things, rather than saying to himself "oh, this is just a little one, so if I do it, it's no big deal." And if you ask a non-smoker, most surely he would agree that smoking is sin, while a smoker would say "smoking is ok, but getting drugs is very dangerous, so bad". Taking into consideration that moderation is very subjective, how do you deal with it?

Quote
And if you believe, as Jews do, in the concept of reward and punishment {though it seems from your comments that you seriously doubt this}, then we are held accountable for every time we did something with the intention of damaging ourselves.
I do believe in reward and punishment.

Quote
The fact that we are not aware that certain things are killing us is not the point. The point is that if we do something which we know will have damaging consequences then we are commanded not to do it. That does not seem to hard understand to me.

Then answer me this concrete question: If chemical ingredients of foods are unhealthy, do people sin against God if they eat them, knowing that they are unhealthy?

Quote
PS: Another important concept of the Torah is Pikuei Nefesh {Saving Life}... This concept means that when there is a contradiction between carrying out Jewish law and living, living takes precedence every time. So saving life is the most important Mitzvah of them all...
I suppose that idol worship is an exception to it.

Offline The One and Only Mo

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2011, 03:31:30 PM »
Drugs are bad mmkay?

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2011, 03:49:14 PM »
Zenith,

One more try on my part to explain to you the Jewish beliefs...

We do not believe anything is 100% good or 100% bad... Each of us contains the potential for good and the potential for bad. We call these two parts by various names depending on how we are trying to relate to them.

1) Nefesh Sichli vs Nefesh Behami

These two refer to the Human/Intelligent soul versus the Physical/Animal soul... Each of these two souls have different drives. The Intellect/Holy soul is what drives us to do good, to help others, and to have lofty goals. This is the soul which Torah says is made in the image of Hashem, and it is the life-breath which he breathed into our nostrils.

Nefesh behami, the animal soul is the part of us which is driven by lusts and desires, called Teiva/Arrogance. The animal soul is responsible for our hunger, pain, and lusts.

2) Yetzer Tov vs Yetzer HaRa

These two refer to the same concepts as the Nefesh haSichli & Nefesh HaBahami... The Yetzer tov is the 'Good inclination' which is driven by the Nefesh Sichli while the Yetzer HaRa {the 'Evil Inclination'} is driven by the Nefesh Behami. The Evil Inclination is in all of us and we all struggle with this internal force.

There is some connection between the Yetzer Hara and what the Jewish faith calls HaSoton. But I will not go into that here.

Remember that originally Hashem created a perfect world... But because of Adams desire for more, his Arrogance/Lust to be like Hashem, he brought death and confusion into the world. Things are no longer 'Black and White' and now we can only see things in 'Shades of grey'.

What is important in life is to do the right thing. It is not important to be rich, live a long life, etc.... The goal is to get close to Hashem and perform the commandments which he commanded in order to bring rectification to this world.

I think it is important to realize that the world we live in is imperfect for a reason. It allows our free-will to be exercised...



References :



http://www.theshmuz.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=Prod&Product_Code=Shmuz_Number_13&Category_Code=Mussar
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#13 Free Will – Part 1: Nefesh Habahami, Nefesh Hasichli    Has there ever been a time when you reacted to something, and you couldn’t believe that it was you who was speaking that way? Have you ever said something and had a feeling of, “What came over me – it was as if I were possessed?

In this introduction to the inner workings of the human being, we come face to face with the understanding that I am created from very diverse elements. Within me are different forces pulling in opposite directions. Not only isn’t this accidental, it is actually a necessary component of FREE WILL. Free Will means that I could go either way. It is my choice, not something that I was programmed to do that made me choose this way. Yet without this there would be no temptation, and Man would do good - only good, not because he chose to, but because he was programmed for it, hence there would be no Free Will.

http://mobile.chabad.org/m/article_cdo/aid/54662
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 03:55:02 PM by muman613 »
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2011, 05:09:42 PM »
Quote from: KWRBT
Quote from: Zenith
About harming yourself... I really have doubts that G-d condemns a diabetes man for eating a cookie (i.e. he's had relish for cookies), though he is forbidden to.  And if Pepsi would do some kind of harm, it's hard for me to believe that G-d would condemn a man for drinking Pepsi.  
I really have no idea what you are talking about.

I don't understand what is unclear to you. It was about the idea that harming yourself is a sin against G-d. So literally, this would mean that a diabetes man would sin against G-d if he ate a cookie, and if indeed Pepsi is unhealthy, anyone who drinks Pepsi knowing that it is unhealthy sins against G-d.

Quote from: KWRBT
Quote from: Zenith
And if you support the idea of not doing anything that harms you, how can you prove the drinking of wine (i.e. alcohol) as ok?  
I think you need to read my post again because you are twisting what I said.

Also it sounds as if you imagine the only way we can be COMMANDED (that means obligated) to do something is if a person is perfect and can achieve it every single time always without fail.

There is a big difference between doing something wrong because of negligence (unintentionally) and doing it deliberately. The fact that no person is perfect means that he will inevitably do wrong, even if he struggles hard to do only good and not to do anything bad. However, there are also people that say "no man is perfect" as a justification for something bad they are about to do. The first is negligence, the latter is deliberately doing something bad. And if offerings were needed for unintentional breaking of commandments, then what to say about deliberately doing something wrong? So this would mean that if it is indeed prohibited to harm yourself, then it is also strictly prohibited to eat unhealthy foods and drink unhealthy drinks, because you harm yourself by using them.

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In fact, it was an old missionary claim that they used to bash Judaism with.  They would say, no person can possibly fulfill all the mitzvoth without fail, therefore (they claimed) they are abrogated because G-d found out that no man can fulfill them.    That whole line of reasoning is a joke to any moderately Jewish ear.  Especially for those myriads of traditional Jews who DID keep all the laws, observed the shabbat, the customs, etc even while this so-called argument was being spewed.   It is possible to keep all the commandments one is obligated in.   That doesn't mean a person will be perfect and never fail.

Leaving out the fact that I don't believe that the laws are abrogated because nobody can fulfill them without fail, I don't understand what you blame that missionary of. I mean, even if the myriads of traditional Jews DID keep all the laws at certain times/moments, the fact that they failed other times proves wrong the saying that "It is possible to keep all the commandments one is obligated in", because "It is possible to keep all the commandments one is obligated in" means, without failing. That is, you cannot claim to keep all the commandments if you have once stolen something, or you have killed somebody one day - just because most of the time you did not steal and did not kill. In other words, you become a breaker of the law the first time you brake (or, fail to keep) a law. The same as the state laws: you are labeled by it "a criminal" if you break once one of its laws (e.g. the prohibition to kill), though you've always been and you will continue afterwards to be a "nice guy".

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Quote from: Zenith
And if the chemical ingredients of foods are unhealthy, does that mean that you are supposed to eat only natural foods? consider also that many cannot afford eating only natural foods.
I think you are reading into my words something I haven't said.

I don't understand what exactly you mean... the topic was harming yourself, which is considered to be a sin. And, in my logic, this would mean that we must eat only natural foods.

P.S. sorry for going off-topic.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 09:18:34 PM by Zenith »

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2011, 05:21:02 PM »
Quote from: KWRBT
Quote from: KWRBT
"The degree to which one damages himself by having one drink of pepsi is rather small - and its also a functional form of nutrition, not just a poision like a drug- so I don't think the idea that any drink of pepsi is a sin against G-d is a correct attitude to take.  But if you imbibe tons of it in an overall process of letting yourself become unhealthy and living an unhealthy lifestyle where you have no concerns for such things - then that would be sinful."
Maybe this will help clarify your seeming confusion about my comments.

I understand what you mean, but the problem is that nothing is exact. Should a man just decide for himself what is ok and what is sin, and expect to be judged by G-d according to his own beliefs?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 09:22:28 PM by Zenith »

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2011, 05:23:19 PM »
Btw, one cup of wine is not unhealthy.   The scientific journals say it's healthy to have one glass of red wine per night, in fact.

Where do you get the idea that one drink of wine is unhealthy?   Unhealthy to what, exactly?

The liver is built to process a certain amount of alcohol in a certain period of time.  It's when you imbibe more than this amount (or even having that small amount to frequently) that you are damaging yourself.

doesn't the alcohol kill neurons? that's what I've heard.

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2011, 05:40:43 PM »
Quote from: muman613
Things are no longer 'Black and White' and now we can only see things in 'Shades of grey'.

You know, there are still things that must be regarded as "black and white". You know, in the Tanakh we see punishments for different sins, and offerings for sins (even unintentional sins). That makes me believe that the law issues must be "black or white". That is, if the Temple had not been destroyed, and if the Jews in Israel had been in peace, etc. should there be an offering for a breaking of the law not to harm yourself because a Jew ate an unhealthy food or not? Should there be an offering given because he's smoke or because he has sat among smokers while they were smoking, or not?

That is my point with "which exactly is it?". If it is still wrong to view the eating of unhealthy foods as either ok or sin, perhaps you now understand my view better and you can give additional explanations.

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2011, 06:08:27 PM »
You know, there are still things that must be regarded as "black and white". You know, in the Tanakh we see punishments for different sins, and offerings for sins (even unintentional sins). That makes me believe that the law issues must be "black or white". That is, if the Temple had not been destroyed, and if the Jews in Israel had been in peace, etc. should there be an offering for a breaking of the law not to harm yourself because a Jew ate an unhealthy food or not? Should there be an offering given because he's smoke or because he has sat among smokers while they were smoking, or not?

That is my point with "which exactly is it?". If it is still wrong to view the eating of unhealthy foods as either ok or sin, perhaps you now understand my view better and you can give additional explanations.


Everything is judged and awarded merit or given punishment. The calculations are beyond the understanding of mankind. But we do know, through Torah, what is right and what is wrong.

A man should endeavor to do only good, but because there are challenges in life, he often goes astray. But there is the concept of Teshuva, which is known as repentence.... Every sin before G-d can only be forgiven by G-d, and every sin against man can only be forgiven by men. We go through this every year during the ten days of repentence between Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur {The day of atonement}.

I see no problem with the concept that a person does wrong, realizes that he is doing wrong, and modifies his behavior. We call this Mussar...

http://www.mussarinstitute.org/wisdom-way.htm

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WHAT IS MUSSAR?

Mussar is a path of contemplative practices and exercises that have evolved over the past thousand years to help an individual soul to pinpoint and then to break through the barriers that surround and obstruct the flow of inner light in our lives. Mussar is a treasury of techniques and understandings that offers immensely valuable guidance for the journey of our lives.

The Orthodox Jewish community spawned Mussar to help people overcome the inner obstacles that hinder them from living up to the laws and commandments—the mitzvot—that form the code of life. That community tends to see Mussar as inseparable from its own beliefs and practices, but the human reality Mussar addresses is actually universal, and the gifts it offers can be used by all people.

GOALS OF MUSSAR PRACTICE

The goal of Mussar practice is to release the light of holiness that lives within the soul. The roots of all of our thoughts and actions can be traced to the depths of the soul, beyond the reach of the light of consciousness, and so the methods Mussar provides include meditations, guided contemplations, exercises and chants that are all intended to penetrate down to the darkness of the subconscious, to bring about change right at the root of our nature.

From its origins in the 10th century, Mussar was a practice of the solitary seeker, until in the 19th century it became the basis for a popular social/spiritual movement originating in Lithuania, inspired by the leadership of Rabbi Israel Salanter.
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2011, 10:10:47 PM »
Well, there should be something concrete to know if a particular thing is good or is evil. 

We do have something concrete, it's called the halacha.   But you don't follow the halacha, so what do you want from us?

It's amazing how fast you switch your arguments in these discussions on the forum.   First you complained to me, that I can't say that having pepsi is unhealthy and therefore damaging and wrong/sinful because no one can resist pepsi and how can God punish someone for having a pepsi, it's just one drink.   Now all of a sudden you are saying that there has to be a concrete rule either way, either it's allowed or it's not.      But if it's not allowed, then you're back to your previous argument.  How can God forbid us to drink pepsi?   You need to make up your mind if you really want to have a serious discussion or if you just want to promote something.

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I suppose that idol worship is an exception to it.

It is of course, and Muman never said otherwise.    Jews are required to give up their lives rather than worship an idol, engage in forbidden relations, or murder someone.    Saving one's life takes precedence over all other mitzvot besides those 3.

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2011, 10:19:11 PM »
Quote from: Zenith
About harming yourself... I really have doubts that G-d condemns a diabetes man for eating a cookie (i.e. he's had relish for cookies), though he is forbidden to.  And if Pepsi would do some kind of harm, it's hard for me to believe that G-d would condemn a man for drinking Pepsi. 

quote from KWRBT: I really have no idea what you are talking about.

Quote from Zenith:  I don't understand what is unclear to you.

LOL, want to go around in circles much?
Of course everyone always thinks what they say is clear, but I'm informing you that I have no idea what you're talking about or how it relates to anything I said, so that leaves it up to you to make it clear or let it go.   It sounds like maybe you are arguing with someone else, or someone else's argument.   In that case, I really can't speak for someone else!  I can only speak for my own thoughts and opinions.

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I don't understand what is unclear to you. It was about the idea that harming yourself is a sin against G-d. So literally, this would mean that a diabetes man would sin against G-d if he ate a cookie,

You do know that people with diabetes still eat food right?   

If having a cookie makes their condition worse and puts them in a serious danger, then yes they are doing something sinful.   Any time someone puts his life in danger for no good reason it is indeed a sinful behavior!  But I don't have diabetes and I don't know about the 'cookie' you are imagining so I don't know the exact situation.   What's so hard to understand that harming yourself is bad?    Yes, God wants us to be healthy, not just the health food store, the local gym, and the consumer protection agency.  God also wants us to be healthy.

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2011, 10:26:39 PM »
Zenith, here is what you said:

about harming yourself... I really have doubts that G-d condemns a diabetes man for eating a cookie (i.e. he's had relish for cookies), though he is forbidden to.  And if Pepsi would do some kind of harm, it's hard for me to believe that G-d would condemn a man for drinking Pepsi. 

With this explanation:

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It was about the idea that harming yourself is a sin against G-d. So literally, this would mean that a diabetes man would sin against G-d if he ate a cookie, and if indeed Pepsi is unhealthy, anyone who drinks Pepsi knowing that it is unhealthy sins against G-d.

Do you notice that you changed language completely?

First you said the idea that "God condemns a man for drinking Pepsi" is something you can't believe.   What exactly do you mean by God condemning a man? 

Then in the second formulation, you said that someone knowingly doing something unhealthy is sinning.  Yeah, that's pretty much correct.  But having a little pepsi is NOT the same as having a poison or a drug.   I made that clear in a previous comment.   So it's not the same degree!   And there is a big difference between once in a while having a soda vs. completely disregarding one's health and the fact that it's not healthy, and having it all the time as a result of that attitude.   The latter is certainly sinful.   The former, no I don't think so.  Having a drink or an unhealthy food every once in a while does not kill you or even sabotage your health.   Having them all the time does.