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Why are yeshiva guys in Israel addicted to Hookah?

If I could think of a symbol to summarize the post high school “year” in Israel, it be a hookah. For some reason, everyone’s first thing they must do when they get to Israel is to head down to the shuk or to Ben Yehuda and buy a hookah. They also tend to visit hookah lounges and have a lot of pictures all over the place of them looking like gangsters sitting on some lounge chairs on the yeshiva’s roof with tzitzis over their t-shirts, blowing plumes of smoke into the Jerusalem night.

Obviously some of the hookah craze has to do with the “experience” of Israel. Just like most kids end up frumming out after the required 3 months of late night drunkeness due to no enforced drinking age, the hookah symbolizes this new found freedom. For the first time in many of these kids lives they are free to roam and do as they please. Smoking has always been a yeshiva pastime, but I think the hookah can take it to the next level. Not only is it usually fine according to many yeshivas since it’s not as bad as cigarettes, but it has the feeling of smoking weed when you are just smoking some flavored tobacco.

Cigarettes are like a pistol, but holding that long hookah hose in your hand can feel like a shotgun. I’m sure people also like the whole setup too and telling their buddies back home about their cool hookah and all that jazz. The idea for this post came from a fan of mine who runs Hookah Town which is a website that sells Hookah’s, so do me a favor and visit his site and buy something.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Crowin' Cock March 3, 2012, 7:06 PM

    They put tobacco in those things???

  • FYI March 3, 2012, 7:22 PM

    Sorry to burst your bubble but multiple scientific studies have clearly shown hookah to have significantly higher health risks then cigarettes. There are many credited studies available on the Internet if one wishes to research.
    I was pretty upset to hear that when I first found out…

    • A. Nuran March 4, 2012, 5:52 AM

      You have to consider frequency. There aren’t too many people who carry a hookah around and sneak out every hour to huddle in the rain with the other smokers from the office.

  • A. Nuran March 3, 2012, 8:18 PM

    It’s not always tobacco or pot. Some places fill the pipe with dried fruit.

    • Rebbetzin Hockstein March 3, 2012, 8:52 PM

      dried fruit, seriously? back in the dinosaur age (I don’t wanna give away my age, but I am probably the oldest person to lurk on this site) we used to joke about getting high smoking banana peels…it WAS a joke, right?

      • suothbeach chabad March 3, 2012, 8:59 PM

        it adds flavor i geuss .

      • A. Nuran March 4, 2012, 5:49 AM

        Seriously. I’ve seen apples and apricots.

      • thanbo March 9, 2012, 5:28 AM

        It’s real. My next-door neighbor growing up was a psychiatrist, and I read about it in an old journal he had put on the recycle pile, from the 1960s. The effect seems to be psychosomatic/imaginary – it depended on how much other drug experience the user had had. But people were smoking dried insides of banana peels.

        • Crowin' Cock March 9, 2012, 5:37 AM


          I read about dried insides of banana peels in the anarchist cookbook, it had a section on making your own drugs at home at low cost.

  • suothbeach chabad March 3, 2012, 8:58 PM

    mixing weed in the tobbaco, redbull and spearmint listerine instead of water. . . memories.

    • A. Nuran March 5, 2012, 12:33 PM

      How do you smoke that without throwing up or going into ventricular fibrillation?

    • Anonymous April 5, 2012, 1:59 PM

      If your going to write such an inappropriate comment, one that is about sinning, then at least be a man about it and put your own name- not the name of your shul.

  • TheRealJoe March 3, 2012, 10:33 PM

    For sure one of your best post in recent times. I for sure went through that stage, since coming back to the states I must of smoked hookah less then 10 times.

  • David Lerner March 3, 2012, 10:44 PM

    I remember those good times, but yes, they’re no better than cigarettes and far less satisfying.

  • Crowin' Cock March 4, 2012, 6:35 AM

    I thought those things were used for a hash and vodka combo…

    • A. Nuran March 5, 2012, 12:33 PM

      I’m sorry, that just sounds nasty.

      • Crowin' Cock March 5, 2012, 12:40 PM


        I wouldn’t know, I’ve never actually tried a hookah or bong. But a buddy of mine used vodka instead of water, then drank the vodka. Talk about desperate…

        • A. Nuran March 5, 2012, 2:51 PM

          For the love of God, why do that when you can buy perfectly good legal whiskey and just drink it?

          • Crowin' Cock March 7, 2012, 6:40 AM


            I imagine it was some kind of thrill for him and his fellow bongers. He was young at the time, I don’t know of many teenagers that appreciate the difference between good whiskey and bad vodka. 20 years later, I’m quite sure he’s grown out of it.

  • SJ March 4, 2012, 8:50 AM

    Why are yeshiva guys in Israel addicted to Hookah?

    Because they aren’t allowed to have hookERS. roflmao

  • PeleYoetzElGiborAviAdSarShalom March 5, 2012, 4:46 AM

    SJ – did you actually go to yeshiva in Israel ?

  • Synapse March 6, 2012, 11:12 AM

    It’s very simple, it’s the thing kids are doing today. Hookah is very widespread on college campuses and in frat houses. It’s not just a Jewish thing. It’s not as bad as cigs as it’s not nearly as addictive. I never knew anybody who smoked it all the time or just had to get another puff.

  • Anonymous April 5, 2012, 2:09 PM

    First, some of these comments are just disgusting- next time keep it to yourself! Second, the author of this post seems to be against smoking hooka, yet he is promoting a hooka site and encouraging us to buy from it. Third, the author is making a huge generalization for yeshiva students in Israel- saying that hooka is a symbol of the year in Israel is completely incorrect: if you knew anything about the yeshivas in Israel it is that they vary in many ways. Some yeshivas do have students that smoke hookah while many don’t have any students of the sort. Lastly, next time you write a post check your facts!

  • Eddie Coyle April 2, 2014, 7:19 AM

    Ignorance knows no cultural boundaries. It is the 21st century, yet we still seem to bring our stupid addictions, customs, hangups and pacifiers with us.

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