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by: Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  See the rabbi's bio.
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This Month...

Editor's Comment
Michael looks at:
Farewell, Shalom and Adieu

An Open Letter from Abba to His Family

Enough With The Political Finger-Pointing!

Revisiting the Haggadah

Eddy's Recipe List
Victoria Sponge

Book Review
Unstrung Heroes

The Outspeaker
Encouraging violence is never correct

Good times and bad times with Batya

Nathan Weissler
What my friendship with Michael Hanna-Fein meant to me

Marjorie Wolfe
An Interview with Paul Reiser

BC's Backlot
The Last Shalom

This And That
My Treasure Chest

Three Symbols of Passover


Lynn Ruth Miller
How we all became part of a bigger story

Mel Yahre
A few words for my friend

Eddy's Thoughts
Don't let life flutter by

The Bear Facts
How I found Michael



On Sunday, April 09, 2006 I was asked the following question:

I live in Germany. I have a serious health problem and no doctor can help me. I have been to 10 hospitals with strong abdominal pain, in the lower right area. Now I am on Morphine and the doctor wants to take it away from me, because they have not found a tumor in my colon or anywhere. I have one problem and that is smoking. Is smoking a sin and do you think G-d is punishing me for it.
I would appreciate your advice.

This was my response:

You are really asking two separate questions:
1) Is smoking a sin
2) Is G-D punishing you for smoking

The answer to smoking is that it is NOT a sin...unwise, maybe but not a sin. I, too, am a smoker and have no fear that G-D will punish me for it. I enjoy it and I harm no one in the process.

G-D isn't vindictive or vengeful against us, his children, unless we do something so terrible that divine retribution is called for...this is rare for most people.

G-D has granted us free will...when we believe that we have done something "wrong", we tend to punish ourselves far more than G-D would ever dream of.

If you believe that smoking is causing or contributing to you pains, find a substitute for it. If it isn't, enjoy it and try to be moderate in the quantity you do smoke.

I wish you the Blessing of Good Health.

If you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail. I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the question is informative to our community.

Thank you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with you,
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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