(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 23:22:30 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Destructive Habits

QUESTION: A posting, In Torah Forum Volume 5 Number 40 Re: Smoking  makes some
comments about a posting of mine on the prohibitions of smoking and
obesity. It is pointed out that many doctors question whether
'cholosterol' is worse than a 'carbohydrate' diet.

But this is exactly NOT my point.
 The above question is doing something quite common
in deciding halacha--he is bringing in EXPERT OPINIONS.  He is stating that
not all doctors consider cholosterol universally worse than a high
carbohydrate diet.

But that contradicts my original point. My original point was that the
Rambam did not prohibit 'bad fruits' in Character Laws, Chapter 4 because
(a) bad fruits are not immediately lethal (not poisonous) and (b) they have
SOME good nutrients. In other words my point was that whenever things are
non-poisonous and have some good it is an INDIVIDUAL decision on whether to
use them--and consequently OTHER expert opinions NEED not be brought in

Sucking coins (which have dirt and bacteria) or smoking cigarettes do not
have ANY significant physiological benefit--hence they are prohibited. By
contrast, bad fruits, chopped liver or gooey cakes have BOTH nutrients as
well as excess calories and cholesterol. They are permitted because they
have some good nutrients. It is not necessary (halachically) to bring in
any other expert opinions.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; Math Towson Univ
Moderator Rashi Is Simple, http://www.shamash.org/rashi/