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Saturday, August 9, 2008

"My computer is allergic to smoke"

B"H

I hope by now that those of you who regularly read this blog know that, despite my living in the US, I love Israel. My first visit to Israel, a bit over 20 years ago, lasted 9 months and I have been there three times in the past 4 years. I have family there (whom I adore and miss terribly when I don't see them). One of my nephews, who has lived almost half his life in Israel, is always bugging me to move there. He starts listing all the reasons I should move to Israel (to be near them, it's a Jewish state, etc.) and I give him my list of reasons I don't want to move there. Tops on my list is cigarette smoke.

I know many of you will say the same thing my nephew says ("That's not a good reason.") but he's wrong.

The first time I was in Israel, I worked for a company in Ashkelon. My job was to learn the educational computer language logo (a fun language and easy to teach to young children). I worked in an office with one other person (who also didn't smoke). But other people from the company would come into the office and they would smoke. I would ask them to stop and they would ignore me, poo-poo me, disrespect me, but they would rarely put out their cigarettes.

So I put up a sign that said Na Lo L'Ashein -- HaMahshevim Alergiim l'Ashan -- Please don't smoke, the computers are allergic to smoke. That was the only thing that stopped them -- a person's lungs they didn't care about, but that the smoke could ruin the computers, that they cared about!

A number of years ago, the oldest daughter of a family we know got married in Israel to a smoker. I asked her how she could marry a smoker and she said that she was too old (in her 30s!) to be so picky. A few years back, she passed away (in her 50s) from cancer leaving 6 children (all living at home) without a mother. About a year later, her husband dropped dead of a heart attack leaving these 6 children without parents (one was about bar mitzvah age) living in Israel (the rest of their family, grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, all live in the US). I believe the husband's smoking caused this tragedy.

My mother, who never smoked a day in her life, just found out that she has a bit of emphysema. We were wondering how this happened. My mother grew up with smokers all around her (father, aunts, cousins, etc.). She also bowls a lot (and those bowling alleys are a hotbed for cigarette smoke!).

Non-smokers in the US at least have the law on their sides. But non-smokers in Israel don't really have anyone on their side (I was in a restaurant with my family and the smoking section door was open into the non-smoking section -- how were we to avoid the smoke????) When Israel decided to clean up her act and the country's lungs, I might consider moving to Israel. But until then, I'll have to stay here, in the land of the (smoke) free (air).

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Jewish Perspective of G-d
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3 comments:

mother in israel said...

There are now strict anti-smoking laws in Israel, but they aren't enforced.

compugraphd said...

B"H

Ah, yes, there's the rub!

baronesstapuzina said...

It is certainly 100% better than it was. Most companies now strictly enforce the anti-smoking law.

Most of my friends, colleagues and family do not smoke. And, if I go to a restaurant and someone is smoking when they shouldn't be, I complain. I have only been to one place where they wouldn't stop their patrons from smoking.