Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Giving a smoker a match


Giving a smoker a match does not violate the prohibition against causing the blind to stumble, even if one personally believes smoking to be dangerous. This is because many people have smoked and have not experienced harm.

(Rav Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:49)

[Note: Please see the disclaimer atop this blog - this is one view, and there are others. But I did not bring this responsum in order to court controversy. Rather, I think it is worth recognizing within Rav Moshe's words the following two points: 1) If research would reveal an overwhelmingly large risk, then the prohitibition would apply. 2) Also, if research would be able to identify which people are not at risk and which people are, then offering a match to a person who is in the "at risk" category would violate this prohibition.]

Have a great day,

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