Author Topic: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?  (Read 16496 times)

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Offline Zenith

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does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« on: February 16, 2011, 09:04:00 AM »
I'm having a bit of trouble finding "drugs" in the Tanakh. It is obvious that the drugs should be regarded as bad, but is there somewhere written explicitly about them? I guess they were used in antiquity in Europe and middle-east.

So, do you have any knowledge about it?

Offline Chai

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 02:43:29 AM »
Yes , it is obliged such as kiddush and drinking wine on shabbat. (alcohol is a drug) but remember a litttle is ok , too much is bad, as we saw in the story of Noah.

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 03:40:59 AM »
Yes , it is obliged such as kiddush and drinking wine on shabbat. (alcohol is a drug) but remember a litttle is ok , too much is bad, as we saw in the story of Noah.

I will add this:

While it is an obligation to drink a little wine for Shabbat Kiddush, and to drink till we feel it on Purim, the Torah does not promote inebriation. The Torah teaches that when the wine goes in, the secrets come out...

Here is a discussion of this topic:



http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5760/toldot60/specialfeatures.htm

Quote

SAYING BLESSINGS OVER A CUP OF WINE

In our parsha, Yitzchak requests "Serve me, and I will eat of my son’s meat, so that my soul may bless you”. Yaakov goes beyond his father’s request and serves wine as well (Bereshit 27:25). This suggests a special connection between wine and blessing — one already discernible in the account of Malchitzedek, who precededhis blessing of Avram by bringing bread and wine (Bereshit 14:18-19).

This connection is formalized in the halakha by the requirement for a “kos shel berakha”, a “cup of blessing”. Our holiest and most solemn moments are celebrated over a cup of wine, which is a requirement at kiddush (OC 271, 289) and havdala (OC 296); at brit mila (YD 265) and chuppa (EHE 62); and at the invitation or “zimun”to grace after meals (OC 182).

In Jewish as in Western culture, wine has a deep and powerful symbolism. Wine releases our inhibitions and reveals our hidden selves. This is expressed in the Hebrew proverb, “Where wine goes in, secrets come out” (niknas yayin, yetze sod - Eiruvin 65a), as in the ancient Latin proverb “In wine is truth” (in vino veritas).

In the non-Jewish world, this inner self has been considered a shameful one. Wine was the center of pagan orgies such as the Bacchanalia, where people sought to free themselves from the strictures of custom; and conversely, abstinence among non-Jews is often considered a sign of piety, as we see in the Moslem and Mormon custom to refrain from alcohol entirely so as not to risk freeing up precisely these dangerous human impulses.

We have a different opinion of our true nature. By paradoxically connecting our happiest and holiest moments to wine, we make a powerful testimony to our faith in the inherent goodness of man. We demonstrate that we are not afraid of exposing our innerness, but on the contrary, we are anxious to do so, and we are sure thatwhen our innermost selves come to the surface, they will be perfectly suited to moments of the greatest sanctity.

BREAKING DOWN THE BARRIERS

We can detect an additional, related theme in the halakha’s attitude towards wine. By opening up our inner selves, wine has the ability to break down barriers between human beings.

For instance, according to almost all Rishonim, the special blessing said on a change in wine, “hatov vehametiv”, is said only when drinking with others. (BY OC 175.) Like the same blessing on happy events, which is said only when the joy is shared (OC 222), the blessing on the joy of wine is really recited on the fellowship which wine creates.

Another example of the connection of wine with fellowship is our custom to say grace over a cup of wine only when there are three men (OC 182, based on Zohar Chadash 87:3). And in the same halakha where we learn that wine is a prerequisite for rejoicing of Yom Tov, we learn that sharing with others is a prerequisite forthis rejoicing. (Rambam Yom Tov 6:18, OC 529:2 in SA and Beur Halakha.)

ABUNDANCE, NOT ABANDON

At the same time, the halakha imposes very strict and elaborate rules of decorum on a kos shel berakha. (OC 183.) This demonstration of restraint ensures that we want the wine to release our most elevated impulses, and not our basest ones.

Rabbi Asher Meir is in the process of writing a monumental companion to Kitzur Shulchan Aruch which beautifully presents the meanings in our mitzvot and halacha. Rabbi Meir - who have givien a series on Business Halacha at the Center - will be giving a weekly shiur at the Israel Center on Tuesday mornings. See Back Page,page II for details.

 
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 #3 on: February 20, 2011, 07:13:37 AM »
I know that the Tanakh allows drinking of wine, but does not allow getting drunk.
However, consuming "drugs" like cocaine, puts you in a similar state as the drunkenness (I've never gotten high but this is how I've understood it to be): you cannot think normally anymore, you may do and say ridiculous things, be a ridiculous man, etc.

While the wine allows you to be more relaxed and yet not be drunk, I don't think the same can be said about cocaine.

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 03:53:25 PM »
On a more strict note:

The Kohen is not allowed to serve in the Avodah in the Temple if he is drunk. A drunk Kohen is liable for death.

We also learn from the story of Aarons two sons, Nadav and Avihu, who were incinerated while trying to perform an incense ceremony which Hashem did not command, while they were intoxicated... We learn that we should not be intoxicated when we daven to Hashem.

Also from the story of Chanah, who prayed to have Samuel, when she was davening with sharp kevannah/intention, she was moving her lips. The Kohen saw this and believed that she was drunk and told her to go home because it is not proper to daven while intoxicated... Of course she was not intoxicated, and she was very intent on having a child who would be dedicated to Hashems service, and ultimately building the Beit HaMikdash...

And the last principle which runs counter to using substances is that almost all substances cause damage to our bodies, and our minds, and we are commanded not to do damage to our own bodies. Although this principle is important many scholars even have a hard time dealing with it, and persist in smoking cigarettes despite knowing the health risks...



References:

http://www.aish.com/tp/i/moha/48923142.html

Quote
THE WINE OF ADAM AND EVE

How could they have allowed themselves to drink again at the dedication ceremony, and then offer the "strange fire"?

The Zohar explains that the wine which was drunk by Nadav and Avihu was the wine which Noah drank, and indeed it was the wine which Adam and Eve drank!

This teaching follows the opinion that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was actually a grapevine, and the sin of Adam and Eve was partaking of this forbidden wine.

The Leshem, one of the greatest modern day Kabalistic works (written by Rav Shlomo Elyashiv, the grandfather of the famous posek Rav Shalom Yosef Elyashiv), explains that Nadav and Avihu were great religious leaders, and they were trying to bring about forgiveness for the sin of Adam. This is the reason that they used "Adam's grapes." They wished to rectify his sin.
.
.
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http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/382401/jewish/Chanas-Prayer.htm

Quote
Chana cried out to her Creator because she hadn’t been able to conceive. She cried, she wailed, silently, but until she would be heard. From the outside she appeared to be drunk for only her lips were moving but she made no sound.

When confronted by the High Priest she explained that she was far from drunk. "No my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before G-d."


http://www.aish.com/tp/i/moha/48923142.html

Quote
THE WINE OF ADAM AND EVE

How could they have allowed themselves to drink again at the dedication ceremony, and then offer the "strange fire"?

The Zohar explains that the wine which was drunk by Nadav and Avihu was the wine which Noah drank, and indeed it was the wine which Adam and Eve drank!

This teaching follows the opinion that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was actually a grapevine, and the sin of Adam and Eve was partaking of this forbidden wine.

The Leshem, one of the greatest modern day Kabalistic works (written by Rav Shlomo Elyashiv, the grandfather of the famous posek Rav Shalom Yosef Elyashiv), explains that Nadav and Avihu were great religious leaders, and they were trying to bring about forgiveness for the sin of Adam. This is the reason that they used "Adam's grapes." They wished to rectify his sin.
.
.
.

http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/382401/jewish/Chanas-Prayer.htm

Quote
Chana cried out to her Creator because she hadn’t been able to conceive. She cried, she wailed, silently, but until she would be heard. From the outside she appeared to be drunk for only her lips were moving but she made no sound.

When confronted by the High Priest she explained that she was far from drunk. "No my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before G-d."


http://www.aish.com/tp/i/moha/48923142.html

Quote
THE WINE OF ADAM AND EVE

How could they have allowed themselves to drink again at the dedication ceremony, and then offer the "strange fire"?

The Zohar explains that the wine which was drunk by Nadav and Avihu was the wine which Noah drank, and indeed it was the wine which Adam and Eve drank!

This teaching follows the opinion that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was actually a grapevine, and the sin of Adam and Eve was partaking of this forbidden wine.

The Leshem, one of the greatest modern day Kabalistic works (written by Rav Shlomo Elyashiv, the grandfather of the famous posek Rav Shalom Yosef Elyashiv), explains that Nadav and Avihu were great religious leaders, and they were trying to bring about forgiveness for the sin of Adam. This is the reason that they used "Adam's grapes." They wished to rectify his sin.
.
.
.

http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/382401/jewish/Chanas-Prayer.htm

Quote
Chana cried out to her Creator because she hadn’t been able to conceive. She cried, she wailed, silently, but until she would be heard. From the outside she appeared to be drunk for only her lips were moving but she made no sound.

When confronted by the High Priest she explained that she was far from drunk. "No my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before G-d."




Quote

What accounts for this distinction? Because "man's inclination is evil from his youth" (Bereishit 8:21) - "from the time that he stirs to go out of his mother's insides, the urge to do evil is put in him" (Rashi). At this ripe age, the yetzer hara is already pushing man into acting in a way that places his life in danger. The yetzer hara has no such desire when it comes to the lamb, but the baby it does wish to kill. We see that the yetzer wishes to take us not only from the Next World but from this world as well.

How many people do we know who, fully aware of the associated dangers, continue to smoke? Who is not aware of the damage drugs can cause, yet people continue to use them? Why is this so? This is the yetzer hara's attempt to hasten man's departure from this world. If he does not succeed in removing us from this world, then he tries to at least make sure we do not enter the Next World. The yetzer hara is our biggest enemy, and we should take care not to mistake his identity for our own.
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 Chai

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 03:56:51 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.

Offline The One and Only Mo

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 04:20:17 PM »
weed is harmful. Has more toxins than cigarettes and you have no idea what it was cut with.

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 04:29:27 PM »
weed is harmful. Has more toxins than cigarettes and you have no idea what it was cut with.

I know that that is not true. Good weed is easy to tell if it is good. I can post pictures of good weed here but I don't think I will... It is not 'cut' with anything...

Now 'bad weed' like the stuff that they sell on the street in NY {back in the 80s when i knew about it}... That stuff could have been oregano for all we know..
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 The One and Only Mo

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 05:49:04 PM »
I know that that is not true. Good weed is easy to tell if it is good. I can post pictures of good weed here but I don't think I will... It is not 'cut' with anything...

Now 'bad weed' like the stuff that they sell on the street in NY {back in the 80s when i knew about it}... That stuff could have been oregano for all we know..

http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html
Effects on the Lungs
Numerous studies have shown marijuana smoke to contain carcinogens and to be an irritant to the lungs. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which further increase the lungs' exposure to carcinogenic smoke. Marijuana smokers show dysregulated growth of epithelial cells in their lung tissue, which could lead to cancer;6 however, a recent case-controlled study found no positive associations between marijuana use and lung, upper respiratory, or upper digestive tract cancers.7 Thus, the link between marijuana smoking and these cancers remains unsubstantiated at this time.

Nonetheless, marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections. A study of 450 individuals found that people who smoke marijuana frequently but do not smoke tobacco have more health problems and miss more days of work than nonsmokers.8 Many of the extra sick days among the marijuana smokers in the study were for respiratory illnesses.

Offline The One and Only Mo

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 05:50:50 PM »
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_is_marijuana_worse_than_cigarettes

In terms of health, marijuana helps people neurologically and mentally. On the other hand, smoking a single joint is the same as smoking 3-5 cigarettes in terms of lung damage. (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/jul/31/drugsandalcohol.drugs) The biggest drawback to smoking marijuana versus cigarettes is basically breathing related. Even though cannabis possesses far less carcinogens then cigarettes, the fact that most joints are unfiltered compared with the fact that many cannabis smokers do not immediately exhale upon taking a drag improves the chances of developing respiratory issues.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_is_marijuana_worse_than_cigarettes#ixzz1EXgeJd5b

Offline Zenith

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 06:33:40 PM »
Quote from: muman613
And the last principle which runs counter to using substances is that almost all substances cause damage to our bodies, and our minds, and we are commanded not to do damage to our own bodies.

where exactly? anywhere in the Tanakh?

and moreover, that sounds a bit odd: almost every food we eat contains chemicals that damage our bodies. so the only way not to do damage your own body is to eat and drink only natural things. Which is impossible in modern age (i.e. you can't go far away and start hunting and fishing and getting all the natural way).

Now, cocaine is not good to be used because:
- it's very addictive. And this makes it very dangerous: you may one day die of to great dose or get to do anything (e.g. kill somebody to get more money) to get more drugs.
- it's shameful: Imagine a very important and smart rabbi lying on the street or somewhere talking absurdities, laughing with no reason, not able to communicate, etc. and then ask yourself this question: is this how a man (or, wise man) should be like? The answer is "No", because it's shameful.
- I guess this shows a problem in a man's life: he cannot be happy otherwise.
- When people have a problem, they run more quickly to something that makes them happy very quickly and makes them forget about everything, rather than doing everything possible to solve that problem. So I guess the drugs fight against "problem-solving".

Quote from: Chai
Genesis, of all the herbs you shall eat.

1. eat, not smoke, nor inject in your veins. by the way, getting drugs by injections is much more dangerous.
2. I don't think G-d meant by this to start eating poisoned mushrooms, for instance.

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 07:41:47 PM »
where exactly? anywhere in the Tanakh?

and moreover, that sounds a bit odd: almost every food we eat contains chemicals that damage our bodies. so the only way not to do damage your own body is to eat and drink only natural things. Which is impossible in modern age (i.e. you can't go far away and start hunting and fishing and getting all the natural way).

Now, cocaine is not good to be used because:
- it's very addictive. And this makes it very dangerous: you may one day die of to great dose or get to do anything (e.g. kill somebody to get more money) to get more drugs.
- it's shameful: Imagine a very important and smart rabbi lying on the street or somewhere talking absurdities, laughing with no reason, not able to communicate, etc. and then ask yourself this question: is this how a man (or, wise man) should be like? The answer is "No", because it's shameful.
- I guess this shows a problem in a man's life: he cannot be happy otherwise.
- When people have a problem, they run more quickly to something that makes them happy very quickly and makes them forget about everything, rather than doing everything possible to solve that problem. So I guess the drugs fight against "problem-solving".

1. eat, not smoke, nor inject in your veins. by the way, getting drugs by injections is much more dangerous.
2. I don't think G-d meant by this to start eating poisoned mushrooms, for instance.

I believe that the concept of 'Choosing Life' over things which are damaging. Of course everything we eat and do does damage, but some things are extremely dangerous {such as smoking and doing cocaine and methamphetamines} and should be avoided.

Here is what the website of the Ohr Yeshiva says on the topic:



http://ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/2578

From: Several Readers

    Several readers collectively raised many comments/objections regarding our recent article entitled “Merry Wanna?” I would like to present this canvas of opinion below, together with my responses.

Dear Readers,

Some commented that cigarette smoking is also addictive and should be prohibited for the reasons given regarding marijuana.

Response: While cigarette smoking is addictive, and some of the reasons may apply, such as it being unhealthy and might distress parents, these considerations are generally less severe than with marijuana. The other reasons such as leading one to felonies and reducing one’s ability to learn Torah and perform mitzvot don’t seem to apply at all.

Others countered that according to the reasons against marijuana, cigarette smoking should be prohibited because it endangers health. If so, they questioned, why do so many observant people smoke? A similar point was raised regarding the social drinking of alcohol or the lack of exercise and healthy diet that is, according to these readers, common among the Orthodox.

Response: Just because religious people may or may not do something doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right. As the saying goes, “Don’t judge Judaism according to the Jews”. We certainly expect people to practice what they preach, but the reality is that people often fall short of the mark. We all have room to improve. Therefore, according to what I wrote in the article, cigarette smoking, and even casual drinking of alcohol not in the context of a mitzvah, should be avoided. Similarly, in the past we have written about the importance of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet.

Some readers raised the point that marijuana should be forbidden on the grounds that it is illegal. On the other hand, some posited that since it is legal in some places, our attitudes towards it are cultural and subjective. Therefore, positing that it is prohibited according to the Torah appears arbitrary.

Response: The first point is true; in addition to the reasons stated in our article, a Jew may not transgress the law of the land. Therefore, the use of an illegal drug involves an additional Torah prohibition of transgressing the law of the land. On the other hand, a country whose legal system permits it doesn’t mean it’s permitted for a Jew. The Torah law has to be abided by, even if it seems impertinent in context, or even if it’s permitted by society at large. This applies to all the laws of the Torah.

One reader asked whether marijuana might be permitted as a pain-killer.

Response: The use of marijuana in medical treatment and pain relief is an exception beyond the scope of our article, and what we wrote does not necessarily apply to such a case. It would appear that this would have to be addressed on an individual basis, and there might be reason to permit it, as in the use of morphine, etc.

One reader objected to our use of the case of the rebellious son, considering it extreme and creating too harsh of a tone for the modern person, and particularly for today’s youth who are accustomed to using drugs and don’t see anything wrong with it. Similarly, he found our tone “dogmatic, insensitive, depressing and punitive”. While he may have agreed in general about the prohibition, he claimed that way the subject was presented was not conducive to kiruv.

Response: Admittedly, the reference to the rebellious son seems severe, and that law itself was perhaps never even realized. Still, the idea was just to set a precedence for the severity with which the Torah views addictions that might bring one to crimes such as theft and murder, which are all too often connected with drugs. Certainly, while actually working with youth involved with drugs, one must be original, creative, sensitive, positive and encouraging. However, the point of the article was not to treat addicted youth but to put forth a brief educational summary of the Torah’s attitude toward drug use in general, and marijuana in particular, to the general public, which is one not primarily of drug users. Those who are users and take issue with what we wrote are kindly requested to contact your local cushy kiruv rabbi.

One person, who identified himself as a rabbi, argued that our reasons for prohibiting are not conclusive, and that occasional use, without telling parents, obtained from a safe source, for the purpose of relaxing should be fine. And in fact, he claimed, many tzaddikim throughout history did so.

Response: 1] The overwhelming majority of occasional users eventually use more drugs more often. 2] Is it appropriate for leaders to encourage youth to do such things and hide them from mom and dad? 3] At some point in the chain, a safe source is in contact with the drug culture. Shall we encourage one Jewish child or person’s relaxation to the detriment of his friend? 4] The person offered no support for his outlandish claim that many tzaddikim have smoked marijuana throughout history.

One modern commentator suggested that one of the ingredients of the anointing oil listed in the Torah, “kaneh bosem” which literally means “fragrant reed”, was cannabis. As far as I know, this idea is purely conjecture based on the reference to fragrance, and the purported phonetic similarity between otherwise different languages, i.e. “kaneh bosem” = cannabis. While this may be possible, it is only one opinion, is inconclusive and is not, as far as I know, based on traditional sources. In any case, “kaneh bosem” was only one ingredient mixed into oil and anointed. It was not in the incense, nor is there any mention of it being smoked.
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 muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 07:44:05 PM »
Chabad on the topic:



http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/224,2131916/What-is-the-Jewish-view-on-marijuana.html

Question:

I am a college student and I occasionally like to smoke marijuana. What does the Torah say about this?  I like feeling connected with Judaism, and I am having a hard time deciding whether what I’m doing is right?

Answer:

The Torah doesn't speak about marijuana per se, but it does speak about some of the issues that are connected with marijuana.

1) Illegal substance: Judaism mandates that we must follow the law of the land (as long as the law of the land does not command us to break the laws of Judaism).

2) Health risk: Judaism gives utmost priority to our health. I am not a doctor and don't know all the facts about marijuana's health consequences. From what I have read it seems that other than specific cases where medical marijuana is prescribed, marijuana generally is unhealthy and can cause permanent damage to (certain functions of) the mind.*

3) Quick fix: whilst this factor is not a Halachic issue, it is nonetheless perhaps most noteworthy. Judaism demands perfection through personal labor. To feel good we need to be good. To take something that gives your mind the impression that all is good, is a cheap and unjust substitute to being good. Drugs allow you to be happy because they help you ignore your problems; they don’t solve your problems, or teach you how to deal with them.

The best high is one that is legal and long lasting. It is inexpensive, but quite pricy. You can’t get it from anyone, but you can have it anytime you want. You can’t take it; you have to make it: perfect your thoughts, feelings, and actions, through assiduous study, sincere self refinement, and selfless good deeds. You will feel better than any artificial high.
http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/224,2131916/What-is-the-Jewish-view-on-marijuana.html
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 #13 on: February 20, 2011, 08:52:33 PM »
muman613, I think I agree about all of what you've written/quoted about drugs.

A question still remains. I don't remember it, so if you can tell me, that will be nice: where can I find in the Tanakh the prohibition of causing damage unto yourself? You know, as far as I know the alcohol is damaging. I've heard it kills neurons. And some people say that it must be forbidden for the same reason as smoking: it's inflicting damage upon yourself, which is prohibited. But drinking alcohol (namely, wine) is allowed by the Tanakh! So please, I'm really interested: where exactly is this self-infliction prohibited?

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 10:29:47 PM »
muman613, I think I agree about all of what you've written/quoted about drugs.

A question still remains. I don't remember it, so if you can tell me, that will be nice: where can I find in the Tanakh the prohibition of causing damage unto yourself? You know, as far as I know the alcohol is damaging. I've heard it kills neurons. And some people say that it must be forbidden for the same reason as smoking: it's inflicting damage upon yourself, which is prohibited. But drinking alcohol (namely, wine) is allowed by the Tanakh! So please, I'm really interested: where exactly is this self-infliction prohibited?

My first reaction would be to answer that the commands to not make marks on the flesh, although the explanation is that the reason that is prohibited is because it is done by the pagans as a mourning ritual...

I will investigate further...

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 muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2011, 10:31:05 PM »
This supports what I was just saying:

http://ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/1474

From: Steve in Boston, MA

Dear Rabbi,

I have a tattoo and I heard recently that the rabbis said it’s wrong and that I couldn’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery. I started asking around and heard it’s just as bad to have the tattoo removed because it damages the body. I’m confused about all this, please help.


Dear Steve,

Not only did the rabbis say it’s wrong to get tattooed, it’s explicitly forbidden in the Torah: "You shall not print any marks in your flesh, I am G-d" (Leviticus 19:28). Our Sages explained that this is referring to the scratching of the skin and applying ink so the writing is permanent. Even though today's methods of tatooing are more sophisticated than in days of old, the process remains basically the same. According to the Rambam (Maimonides), the reason for the prohibition is because it resembles the practices of idol worshippers.

However, even though getting a "decorative" tattoo is considered a sin for a Jew, it doesn't disqualify one from being buried in a Jewish cemetery. This seems to be a widespread misconception, and many people have asked us this question. Unfortunately, there are many things that Jews do against the Torah either willingly or unintentionally, but that doesn’t prevent them from a Jewish burial. Tattooing is one of them.

Regarding having the tattoo removed, the Torah prohibition of tattooing only forbids scratching one’s skin to fill it with ink, not scratching in order to remove the ink. There is, however, a separate Torah prohibition against inflicting a wound upon oneself (Deuteronomy 25:3). Would the "wounding" and painful skin-grafting involved in removing a tattoo forbid it?

Someone once asked Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, of blessed memory, about a young woman who wanted to increase her marriage prospects by undergoing cosmetic surgery. He permitted it for the following reasons:

The Rambam writes: "A person is forbidden to inflict a wound, whether upon himself or upon others. And even…hitting someone in a hostile or insulting way…transgresses a Torah prohibition." From here we learn that the prohibition applies only when intended to damage a person, but not when it’s for his benefit. Similarly, the Talmud relates how one of the Sages lifted up his cloak when walking through thorns. "Skin heals, clothes don't," explained the Sage. Even though he was scratching his skin, it wasn't done in a hostile or degrading manner, but rather in order to protect his belongings. In addition, the mitzvah to "Love your neighbor as yourself" would allow someone to wound another, with his consent and for his benefit, as in a medical procedure.

Since the cosmetic surgery is for the woman's benefit and is done with her consent, it’s permitted. Likewise, a person may remove a tattoo, providing that the procedure is done by a recognized and qualified expert.

Rabbi Chanoch Teller relates the story of a young man from a non-religious upbringing who returned to traditional observance of Judaism. Remaining from his former lifestyle was a not-so-modest tattoo that he carefully kept hidden under his shirtsleeves. Before Yom Kippur, this young man went to the mikveh, the ritual bath, as is the custom. He embarrassingly tried to hide his tattoo, but slipped on the wet floor, revealing his mark of embarrassment to all. Utter silence, everyone staring at the sight, he couldn’t find the strength to get up. Then, an elderly Jew approached him: "Don't be embarrassed," said the old man, lowering his arm to help him up. "I also have a tattoo," as he pointed to the numbers tattooed by the Nazis on his forearm.

Sources:

    * Maccot 21a
    * Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 180:1
    * Rambam, Idol Worship 12:11.Rashi in Maccot says the reason for the prohibition is a "gezerat hakatuv", simply because G-d said so.
    * Iggrot Moshe, Choshen Mishpat 2:66
    * Rambam, Hilchot Chovel U'Mazik 5:1
    * Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, was asked specifically about removing a tattoo and he permitted it.
    * Rabbi Chanoch Teller, It’s A Small Word After 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 muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2011, 10:38:14 PM »
Also this:

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/587,2262376/What-is-the-Jewish-view-on-smoking-cigarettes.html#footnote3

What is the Jewish view on smoking cigarettes?
by Dr. Avraham Steinberg
Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics posted on www.medethics.org.il

         
The following is an excerpt from the section on Smoking in the Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics by Avraham Steinberg, M.D.:

Some rabbis rule that nowadays1 the dangers of smoking are known and, therefore, it is forbidden biblically to smoke.2 These Rabbis point to several biblical concerns such as "take heed to thyself and take care of thy life"3 and "take good care of your lives"4 and the prohibition of destroying one’s body.

Other Rabbis agree that smoking is a pernicious habit and should be strongly discouraged and prevented, if possible, especially among young people, but rule that there is no formal legal prohibition in Judaism.5

Almost all Rabbis agree that if a person is seriously bothered by being in a smoking environment, he may demand that smokers refrain from smoking in his presence or go elsewhere to smoke.6 The smokers must abide by that request even if they have to leave the house of Torah study.7 Smokers who harm others by their smoking must distance themselves from the public places. Similarly, in a private house one tenant can prevent another from smoking if the smoke penetrates the wall, doors and hallways into the non-smoker’s apartment. Smokers must be far enough removed from other people so that the non-smokers are not bothered or harmed by the passive smoking.8

Published with permission from www.medethics.org.il. Click here for complete article.

Footnotes

    * 1. AM Ed. note: This is only in light of recent findings. Until the mid-late 20th century there was no Halachic opinion that prohibited it.
    * 2. Responsa Be’er Moshe, Part 6 #160:9; Responsa Tzitz Eliezer, Part 15 #39 and Part 17 #21-22; Aseh Lecha Rav, Part 1 #42, Part 2 #1, Part 3 #18, Part 7 #67 and Part 9 #28. See also F. Rosner, Modern Medicine and Jewish Ethics, 1986, pp.363ff.
    * 3. Deuteronomy 4:9
    * 4. ibid 4:15
    * 5. Chafetz Chayim, Zechor LeMiriam #23 and Lekutei Amarim #13 and Torat Habayit #4; Responsa Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah Part 2 #49 and Choshen Mishpat Part 2 #76; Responsa Minchat Shlomo Part 2 #58:6; Rabbi Y.S. Elyahsiv, Am Hatorah, 2nd edit, folio 3, 5742 (1982); Responsa Az Nidbaru, Part 9 #65; Responsa Mishanah Halachot, Part 9 #161; Responsa Beit Avi Part 4 #9:3; Yalkut Yosef Part 3 #216:12
    * 6. AM Ed. note: This is not necessarily connected with the concept of "second hand smoke", but is a general Halachic concern when you do something that affects the air quality of those around you. See Talmud Bava Batra chapter 2.
    * 7. Responsa Iggrot Moshe, Choshen Mishpat, Part 2 #18; Responsa Tzitz Eliezer, Part 15 #39 and Part 17 #22.
    * 8. Responsa Tzitz Eliezer, Part 15 #39.

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 #17 on: February 21, 2011, 07:28:29 AM »
muman613,

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:
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.
- 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.)

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 10:08:28 AM »
Zenith,

Here it goes again... I know that the Torah does give us the imperative that we must not harm ourselves. This is derived from multiple sources in Tanakh...

Here is another discussion which hopefully will support my point...



http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/salt-bereishit/02-10noach.htm

PARASHAT NOACH

By Rav David Silverberg

 

            After Noach's emergence from the ark, God speaks to him and presents several laws, including a number of laws relevant to murder, beginning with the warning, "But I will make a reckoning for your lifeblood…" ("Ve-akh et dimkhem le-nafshoteikhem edrosh" – 9:5).   This verse is generally understood as the origin of the prohibition of suicide; God here warns that He will "make a reckoning" for the souls of those who take their own lives.

            The Gemara in Masekhet Bava Kama (91b) searches for a source for the prohibition of chovel be-atzmo, inflicting injury upon oneself, and initially points to this verse as the Biblical source.  The Gemara then dismisses this proof, noting that one could easily distinguish between taking one's own life and injuring oneself, and therefore cites a different source for chovel be-atzmo.

            Rav Shimon Moshe Diskin, in his work Mas'at Ha-melekh (on the Rambam's Hilkhot Rotzei'ach), raises the question of why the Gemara even considered pointing to the prohibition against suicide as the source for the prohibition of chovel be-atzmo.  Murder and bodily harm comprise two separate prohibitions and separate halakhic categories.  Why would the Gemara raise the possibility of merging suicide and self-inflicted injury into the same prohibition?  This question becomes particularly troubling in light of a comment by the Meiri indicating that the Gemara in fact concludes upon this verse as the source for chovel be-atzmo.  The other verse cited by the Gemara serves merely to clarify that we draw no distinction between taking one's own life and causing oneself injury, but the actual source of the prohibition of chovel be-atzmo is this verse in Parashat Noach.  Why would the prohibition of suicide – which is, essentially, murder – also include the prohibition against self-inflicted injury?

            On the basis of this discussion in the Gemara, Rav Diskin establishes that Halakha does not classify suicide under the general category of murder.  The prohibition of retzicha (murder) is defined by Halakha as taking somebody else's life.  When God issued this warning to Noach forbidding suicide, He did not broaden the parameters of retzicha to include taking one's own life; He rather introduced a new prohibition, that stands separate and apart from the prohibition of murder.  The Gemara in Bava Kama thus addresses the parameters of this prohibition, questioning whether it refers specifically to suicide, or even to self-inflicted injury.
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 The One and Only Mo

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 10:14:34 AM »
muman, you were such a hippie back then, huh? :dance: :dance: :dance:

Offline muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 10:25:47 AM »
muman, you were such a hippie back then, huh? :dance: :dance: :dance:

Well, I am not sure if I should be ashamed of it... Yes I was involved with following the Grateful Dead for a few years from 1983-1995 and during that time I did get involved in some of that meshugena...

My position now is that the substances are neither good or bad on their own, but how they are used. I do still believe that pot is a lesser drug and should not be criminalized like cocaine and amphetamine... I also am against generally legalizing pot, but it should be available for medical usage...



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 muman613

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2011, 10:27:41 AM »
I looked up the Talmud source listed in that article on Noah and suicide...


http://halakhah.com/babakamma/babakamma_91.html

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Baba Kamma 91b

and it nevertheless says: If one injures oneself, though it is forbidden to do so, he is exempt? — It was this which he1  said to him: 'There could be no question regarding Degradation, as a man may put himself to shame, but even in the case of injury where a man may not injure himself, if others injured him they would be liable.' But may a man not injure himself? Was it not taught: You might perhaps think that if a man takes an oath to do harm to himself and did not do so he should be exempt. It is therefore stated: 'To do evil or to do good,'2  [implying that] just as to do good is permitted, so also to do evil [to oneself] is permitted; I have accordingly to apply [the same law in] the case where a man had sworn to do harm to himself and did not do harm?3  — Samuel said: The oath referred to was to keep a fast.4  It would accordingly follow that regarding doing harm to others5  it would similarly mean to make them keep a fast. But how can one make others keep a fast? — By keeping them locked up in a room. But was it not taught: What is meant by doing harm to others? [If one says], I will smite a certain person and will split his skull?3  — It must therefore be said that Tannaim differed on this point, for there is one view maintaining that a man may not injure himself and there is another maintaining that a man may injure himself. But who is the Tanna maintaining that a man may not injure himself? It could hardly be said that he was the Tanna of the teaching, And surely your blood of your lives will I require,6  [upon which] R. Eleazar remarked [that] it meant I will require your blood if shed by the hands of yourselves,7  for murder is perhaps different. He might therefore be the Tanna of the following teaching: 'Garments may be rent for a dead person8  as this is not necessarily done to imitate the ways of the Amorites. But R. Eleazar said: I heard that he who rends [his garments] too much for a dead person transgresses the command,9  'Thou shalt not destroy',10  and it seems that this should be the more so in the case of injuring his own body. But garments might perhaps be different, as the loss is irretrievable, for R. Johanan used to call garments 'my honourers',11  and R. Hisda whenever he had to walk between thorns and thistles used to lift up his garments Saying that whereas for the body [if injured] nature will produce a healing, for garments [if torn] nature could bring up no cure.12  He must therefore be the Tanna of the following teaching: R. Eleazar Hakkapar Berabbi13  said: What is the point of the words: 'And make an atonement for him, for that he sinned regarding the soul.'14  Regarding what soul did this [Nazarite] sin unless by having deprived himself of wine? Now can we not base on this an argument a fortiori: If a Nazarite who deprived himself only of wine is already called a sinner, how much the more so one who deprives oneself of all matters?'15

HE WHO CUTS DOWN HIS OWN PLANTS … Rabbah b. Bar Hanah recited in the presence of Rab: [Where a plaintiff pleads] 'You killed my ox, you cut my plants, [pay compensation', and the defendant responds:] 'You told me to kill it, you told me to cut it down', he would be exempt. He [Rab] said to him. If so you almost make it impossible for anyone to live, for how can you trust him? — He therefore said to him: Has this teaching to be deleted? — He replied: No; your teaching could hold good in the case where the ox was marked for slaughter16  and so also the tree had to be cut down.17  If so what plea has he against him? — He says to him: I wanted to perform the precept myself in the way taught: 'He shall pour out … and cover it',18  implying that he who poured out19  has to cover it; but it once happened that a certain person performed the slaughter and another anticipated him and covered [the blood], and R. Gamaliel condemned the latter to pay ten gold coins.20
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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 The One and Only Mo

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2011, 10:28:36 AM »
Well, I am not sure if I should be ashamed of it... Yes I was involved with following the Grateful Dead for a few years from 1983-1995 and during that time I did get involved in some of that meshugena...

My position now is that the substances are neither good or bad on their own, but how they are used. I do still believe that pot is a lesser drug and should not be criminalized like cocaine and amphetamine... I also am against generally legalizing pot, but it should be available for medical usage...





It's quite clear from some of your posts that you smoke the occasional joint, LOL! :::D :::D :::D :::D :::D :::D

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2011, 11:21:07 AM »
I know that the Tanakh allows drinking of wine, but does not allow getting drunk.
However, consuming "drugs" like cocaine, puts you in a similar state as the drunkenness (I've never gotten high but this is how I've understood it to be): you cannot think normally anymore, you may do and say ridiculous things, be a ridiculous man, etc.

While the wine allows you to be more relaxed and yet not be drunk, I don't think the same can be said about cocaine.

Agree.  The tanakh' general disdain for drunkenness is not because it will damage your liver.   It is because that feeling and mental state will cause sinful behavior.  Aside fromthe fact that some drugs are illegal and therefore sinful to break the law by using them, they will also put someone in a state of lacking control which is conducive to sinful behavior so I don't see any reason to consider the drug use different than getting drunk in that sense.

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: does the Tanakh explicitly talk about drugs?
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2011, 11:29:17 AM »
where exactly? anywhere in the Tanakh?

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.

Of course this is commanded to Jews, but I think gentiles would be wise to follow this as well.  Again common sense plays a big role in making that decision.

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.