JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Sephardi chief rabbi ruled that it is permitted to smoke cigarettes that are not certified as kosher for Passover during the holiday.
Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said in a satellite television broadcast that cigarettes do not need to be certified as leaven-free for Passover, though some cigarettes manufactured in Israel or abroad are certified as kosher for Passover.
He appeared to be responding to questions about whether American cigarettes need to be certified as kosher, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Yosef seemed to base part of his ruling on the fact that leaven is not forbidden if a dog will not eat it.
“If you put a cigarette in front of a dog, who is always hungry – he will eat anything. But put a cigarette in front him, will he smoke it? He won’t touch it,” the rabbi said in the Hebrew-language broadcast.
Yosef did indicate that it is better not to even start smoking, but added that if a person is already addicted, he doesn’t need certification.