This past Tuesday, the monthly Debate Midrash took place to discuss the relevant topic of juuling and whether or not it is considered against the Torah.
A juul is an electronic cigarette that has a pod which holds a liquid substance that becomes vapor when the user inhales.
The debate began with Rabbi Assaraf introducing quotes from the Torah and the Rambam for students to use as sources. The quotes discussed the Jewish laws regarding the obligation that a Jew has to keep his/her body healthy. The basic law is that it is forbidden to harm your body.
As students debated the topic, they brought in examples of situations that seem normal and could potentially fall into the category of being prohibited by Jewish law. Ron Ben-Hayoun (12th grade) mentioned how food provided by the school may not be healthy.
“The lunch isn’t healthy, the snacks in the snack machine aren’t healthy,” said Ben Hayoun. “Technically we are harming our bodies by eating them. Does that make eating them against the Torah?”
A couple students were set on the fact that a lack of evidence about the effects of juuling means it is not against the Torah.
“There is not enough information to know whether or not it’s against the Torah,” said Alex Farkas (11th). “I’ve seen other Jews doing it.”
Others claimed that it is merely an opinionated rule since a Rabbi has yet to decree it against the Torah.
“Until a Rabbi comes out and establishes that it is not allowed, it is all opinion based if juuling is against the Torah,” said Dylan Delgiglio (11th).
Some students suggested that there should be a safeguard of not juuling just in case it is actually against the torah.
“There should be a safeguard that it shouldn’t be allowed just in the case that it’s unhealthy for you,” said Tziyona Gheblikian (9th).
Gheblikian then brought up examples of other safeguards for the Torah such as not mixing milk and meat together.
Jack Benveniste-Plitt (11th) agreed with Gheblikian by bringing up the point that the Torah actually says that if there is a doubt regarding the permission to do something, it should be prohibited.
“If there’s a doubt, you should deem it not allowed according to the Torah,” said Benveniste-Plitt.
As interesting as the topic was, there were many mixed emotions as to how the debate went.
“Although the event ended up slightly derailed by the end, it was very interesting to see the wildly differing opinions among the student body on such a hot-button issue,” said Yosef Fruhman (9th).
“It was kind of boring,” said Raquel Zohar (11th). “Not many people were interested in discussing the topic, since it was either very applicable, or not at all to their own lives.”
By: Jeremy Dobin (9th Grade)