Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Rabbi Akiva and cigarettes - or was it King Solomon?

Apparently Rabbi Akiva hawked cigarettes? Quite an endorsement. From the Illustrated London News July 12, 1902.


  1. was it really r akiva who said there was nothing new under the sun?

  2. It's ironic, huh? Considering that one of the primary sources for covering the head comes from a story concerning Rabbi Akiva (link).

    Still, let's be realistic. Piety in those times, at most, consisted of covering the head for walking dalet amot. It's difficult to imagine that you would literally never glimpse Rabbi Akiva or anyone else bareheaded. So I'd say they may have gotten that one right.

  3. I need this in poster form.

  4. Yeah? I'll send it to you in high res if you want.

  5. I'm reminded of the spoof cigarette ad in Woody Allen's "Bananas," where the final line is a product endorsement by none other than Jesus:

    - What brand are you smoking?

    - These.

    - Well, those are for sinners. Try these New Testament cigarettes.

    - New Testament?

    - They've got the incense filter.

    - l'll try one.

    - What do you think?

    - Good flavour. Smooth, too.

    - Stick to New Testament cigarettes

    and all is forgiven.

    - Thank you, Father.

    - New Testament cigarettes.

    I smoke 'em.

    *He* smokes 'em.

  6. If this was all R. Akiva was teaching, I get why Pappus Ben Yehuda thought he shouldn't bother.

  7. The Native Americans, as usual, never get credit for anything... (in this case maybe it's the other way around?)

  8. Cigarettes were mostly hand rolled then and Jews were very prominent in the business, both as owners and as rollers(nearly all women)



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