Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.
From: Jerry Gross <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 19:11:34 -0500
To: undisclosed-recipients:;<Invalid address>
Subject: Fwd: Anguish
Somebody forwarded this to me. It could be applied to other addictions as well.
Along the lines of your project ......
Dear Rabbi Dr. Twerski:
I realize I may be out of order, but I am in such great anguish.
A year ago my husband, a fine talmid chacham, was operated on for lung
cancer caused by cigarette smoking. Recently it recurred, and the
doctors are not giving him much time. Only a miracle can save him, and
I pray for him every day at the Kotel.
I had pleaded with him for years to stop smoking, but to no avail.
Now, unless Hashem grants us a miracle, I must face the bitter reality
that I will be left with nine children to care for without a source of
What do I have to look forward to? A full page ad signed by the
gedolim, "Rachmanim bnei rachmanim. Come to the rescue of the widow of
a talmid chacham and his nine yesomim, whose father died an untimely
death"? Am I to send out letters soliciting help? Why should we expect
others to be rachmanim on nine yesomim when their father was not a
rachman on them? If he didn't have enough rachmonus on them to give up
smoking, why should strangers care? I love my husband dearly, but as
much as I love him, that's how angry I am at him for what he did to
The gedolim who will sign the appeal for me – why didn't they use
their authority to make him stop smoking? What could they have done?
They could have said, "Because you are committing the terrible sin of
suicide and leaving your family destitute, you will not have an
aliyah, you will not be permited to daven for the amud, you will not
get a hakafah, and you will be pasul as a witness, unless you stop
smoking." I think he would have listened. They might even say that
anyone who dies from a self-inflicted disease will be treated
according to the halacha of suicide.
I appeal to the gedolim. You be the rachmanim. You can prevent women
from becoming widows and children from becoming yesomim. Your signing
an urgent appeal for me and my children will be too little and too
late. I need a husband, and my children need a father.
To other wives whose husbands are smoking, don't just sit there. You
have a responsibility to protect your children. Protest to your
rabbonim that they should do everything in their power to prevent such
tragedies, and they should know that if they are lax in doing so, they
must share the responsibility for the tragedy that befalls wives and
But let's not forget, that the husband's friends should be rachmanim also.
They have much more influence than anyone else, even Rabbonim and spouses.
It's time we all showed more Ahavas Yisroel.