There is something that bothers me about going in and out of 770. Namely, when you go up or down the steps to the main doors of 770 many a time you are entering an area with heavy second hand smoke going straight into your face.
I am not trying to tell people whether they should smoke or not, but they are making me go through the smoke by filling the area with second hand fumes.
More than that, many young children pass through there, and are also subject to the experience. When they see people smoking it encourages them to smoke in their own lives in the future as they see it as an acceptable activity. That’s without mentioning the bad health consequences of the smoke and the unpleasant aroma that goes with it.
Some buildings in the city have signs stating no smoking within so many feet of the building. Here it’s not even a question of smoking near the building but in the actual step area- which is really like the building itself, as it’s the main entrance to the building and it’s enclosed.
There are even ashtrays there, so it seems that the people who placed them there are in agreement that that’s the designated smoking area. It seems to me that according to the NY law, smoking there would probably be permitted, which I assume is the reason it remains to be allowed in our case.
As we know that smoking in the first place is questionable according to halacha as it certainly endangers your health and the people who live near you. My question is how can we possibly allow so many people to have to be subject to it while going in and out and inhaling all this smoke? Can the ones who are in the position to do something about it please stand up and ban smoking on the staircase of 770 Beis Rabbeinu?
Also, it is not Chassidish to smoke. It looks grub and out of touch with reality. The Rebbeim discouraged smoking in letters as is known. Also, you have to consider how it looks to outsiders as well as it’s an issue of Kiddush Hashem or the opposite. It will probably be hard to get people to stop smoking there as that’s the status quo, but things that are difficult are often time the most worthwhile pursuits.
Thanks for reading,
A Crown Heights Resident