Jewish Law

Smoking on Rosh Hashana



Can a person who is becoming more religious (and wants to keep the laws properly) smoke on Rosh Hashana?


According to most legal decisors, in our times it is not permitted to smoke on the festivals and this applies to Rosh Hashana too. However, Rav Ovadia Yosef’s view is that also in our times it is permitted to smoke on the festivals. (This is of course besides the well known fact that according to the medical profession, smoking causes many illnesses which endanger a person’s health and one who wants to preserve his life will keep far away from it (Chazon Ovadia Laws of Festivals page 44).
Even those who permit smoking say that one should avoid smoking on Rosh Hashana because of “trepidation of the judgment” (See Mateh Efraim 599:1. Responsa Hisorerus Tshuva Orach Chaim 255 testified about his father the Ksav Sofer that he avoided smoking on Rosh Hashana out of fear of the judgment. See also Nitai Gavriel on Rosh Hashana Chapter 22 note 13 who mentions that the Lubavitcher rebbe Rav Y. Y. Schneerson was also particular about it).