Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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Getting Stoned

​    by Reb Gutman Locks

Getting Stoned


     In the Torah, Stoning is the most severe method of capital punishment…i.e. being stoned to death with stones for having committed a capital offense. In today's culture it refers to smoking marijuana or most widely known as grass or weed. In my day, it was called dope (for a good reason).

     I was asked by a recent baal teshuva (returnee to a Torah life) if it is alright to smoke grass once in a while… "just to take a break". It is hard from them to take a "no" answer without a lot of good reasons. This is some of what I told him.

     When you smoke grass you get a "high" feeling. Well, you call it high, but the truth is it is a low feeling that fools you into thinking it is high. For instance, when you are stoned one of the things that happens is you get the "munchies". This means if you are stoned and there is a chocolate bar on the table you will munch it down in no more than thirteen seconds, and you will be so "blown away" by how great it tastes you will look for at least three of four more chocolate bars to woof down, too.

     You think that the grass is showing you how good the candy really is, but that is not what is happening. When you are stoned the grass enhances your animal inclination which fools you into thinking that the candy tastes better, but it is the same candy bar whether you are stoned or not.

     What's wrong with "taking a break" from the sensible world? Our job is to seek the spiritual truth not to enhance the animal that we are trying to control.

     What is the real problem with this entire issue?

     I have a friend who lives in Jerusalem who has been coming to the Kotel every day stoned for the past thirty years. He walks up to the Wall, stands there, stares at the stones for a few seconds, and then with his mouth hanging open, swinging his head back and forth, right to left and back again, with total amazement says, "Wow, don't you see it man? Wow!"

     Now, what is the real problem if someone wants to "have a good time" and get stoned at the Kotel. The problem is he has the munchies on the Stones. He is not seeing the actual spiritual reality that is there. His animal inclination is being exaggerated, magnified and he is "getting off on," totally satisfied with the distorted view he is getting because of the drug.   

     The sad fact with this entire trap is since he has been so "blown away" with the drug experience for these thirty years he has never done the spiritual work he should have been doing all these years, so he is in the same place (or lower) that he was thirty years ago. So sad. He is a nice guy, but the grass has turned him into a dope.

     It is essential for a Jew to find his or her spiritual joy in the Torah, and not from "alternative" sources. Our true joy is in finding our Creator, not in entertaining our animal inclination.




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