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I've heard that before smoking a cigarette, Briskers make it a point to drink something shehakol and are mechaven the cigarette...

Why do they do this?

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A source is the Ksav Sofer's response to Rabbi Akiva Kornitzer, who claims that MaHaram Benet did that:

אמנם עיין בשו"ת כתב סופר סי' כ"ד שדן בענין ברכה על עישון, וכתב שהמהר"ם בנעט היה נוהג לברך על כוס מים שהכל לפני שהיה מעשן סיגריה. ‏

Hat tip: Din.org.il's Teshuva on the subject.

The Ksav Sofer's Teshuva is about a page long - and he refers to smoking as שתיית טוטין.

BTW: He says that if you [claim you need to] make a Shehakol beforehand, you should drink enough that you can also make the Brocho [of Borei Nefoshos] afterwards.

Here's a screenshot fo the relevant passage:

Ksav Sofer - relevant part of Teshuva

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  • Concerning the halachic prohibition of smoking, I would refer you to the 2nd answer at this link- judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10513/… Jan 21 '15 at 7:01
  • @TorasEMES613 - how is that relevant to this question? Jan 21 '15 at 7:46
  • I wrote a more detailed comment on the above question. The comment is relevant to the practical halacha - since smoking is dangerous to the health, it is forbidden, and according to many opinions, it is forbidden to make a b'racha on something that's dangerous to the health - which is critically important (people shouldn't get the wrong idea that smoking is okay halachically - because it is forbidden). The K'sav Sofer lived prior to when the medical field (and the general population) was aware of the dangers of smoking (for oneself and others). I noted the practical halacha so people are aware Jan 21 '15 at 21:11
  • @TorasEMES613 - we all know that. But here we are talking about making a Bracha on water - not on smoking itself. (For the record I'm as anti-smoking as they come.) Jan 22 '15 at 8:11
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    I understand that and recognize the question was very specific - but my comments were for the minority of people who smoke who may either think that it is halachically acceptable or try to justify it. I was just pointing out that these opinions tend to be from before the time the dangers of smoking was universally recognized in the medical community and therefore these opinions are irrelevant as to halacha l'ma'aseh. The opinions that permitted smoking would, without exception, almost certainly have forbade it had they been aware of the dangers to the smoker and to others in their vicinity. Jan 23 '15 at 19:24

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