Doing Something L'Ilyui Nishmas A [Purposeful] Suicide

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  • #596539

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    As many of you know, a person who commits suicide commits a very grievous sin*. He has no cheleck in Olam HaBah, he is not buried in a Jewish cemetery and his family does not sit shiva or observe other mourning practices for him.

    However, what if one wants to do something (learn Mishnayos, start a gemach, whatever…) to elevate the neshama of such a person. Is it proper to do so? Or do we say that since the person is a rasha, it is not proper to try to elevate his soul (would you try to elevate Haman’s soul?)?

    And, if we do so, do we say it’s effective? Can we “force God” (so to speak) into eventually “promoting” a suicide into Olam Habah through learning, tzedaka and the like?

    The Wolf

    * Of course, this only applies if the person is in full possession of his faculties when s/he does so. If one, God forbid, commits suicide because s/he is suffering from mental illness, we generally do not consider that a true suicide with all the ramifications that go with that. In addition, some authorities basically rule all suicides today as being due to mental illness. But that’s not the point of this thread — for the sake of argument, assume that the suicide IS in full possession of his/her faculties.

    #764747

    adorable
    Participant

    do you know someone like this?

    #764748

    well since no one here will be able to give you a definitive answer, ill at least tell you how i approach something similar.

    i have a relative who had a civil ceremony with a goy, and is othewise also a kofer.

    i daven for him that Hashem should return him to Yiddishkeit.

    in addition since he is quite old i daven that if he dies without doing Tshuvah, Hashem should be merciful and give him a chelek in Olam Ha Bah. but i preface such a Tefillah with a plea to Hashem that if such a Tefillah is not proper that Hashem should not listen to it and should forgive me.

    #764749

    Clairvoyant
    Member

    he is not buried in a Jewish cemetery

    I believe he is buried in the corner of a Jewish cemetery.

    #764750

    Clairvoyant
    Member

    but i preface such a Tefillah with a plea to Hashem that if such a Tefillah is not proper that Hashem should not listen to it and should forgive me.

    Why not ask a shaila as to whether it is proper or not?

    #764751

    very good suggestion

    i have my reasons though

    #764752

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    do you know someone like this?

    No. Just an academic question.

    The Wolf

    #764753

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Clairvoyant,

    How did you aquire that information?

    #764754

    Clairvoyant
    Member

    HaLeiVi: Recollection. Do you believe otherwise?

    #764755

    Sacrilege
    Member

    You seem to be fixated on the topic of suicide.

    The dormant social worker in me is troubled by this.

    #764756

    TikkunHatzot
    Member

    Clairvoyant, can you try to “recollect” the source? I would be interested in it if you found it.

    #764758

    Wouldn’t this question be applicable to any rasha?

    See Chagigah 15b. Chazal “fought” to get Acher into Olam HaBah after he died.

    #764759

    frumeyid
    Participant

    Ditto. I also noticed that…


    Sacrilege

    the real one

    “You seem to be fixated on the topic of suicide.

    The dormant social worker in me is troubled by this.”

    #764760

    BSD
    Member

    I know we cannot question H-shem’s ways, but perhaps someone out there can explain the no chelek leolam habah aspect. Suppose the person excelled in bain adam lamakom and bain adam lachavero and in a moment of weakness after suffering overwhelming hardships he does the unthinkable. Are all his good deeds null and void? Is he treated the same as s/o who was a bad person and then took his own life?What’s if his hardships stemmed from lending people money and then going bankrupt because the borrowers were unable to repay?

    #764761

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Are all his good deeds null and void?

    I would imagine that just like any other rasha, God repays his good deeds while still alive.

    What’s if his hardships stemmed from lending people money and then going bankrupt because the borrowers were unable to repay?

    If he is so mentally anguished over this to the point where he’s ready to take his life, then perhaps he’s not truly a purposeful suicide (as the OP mentions) and does not, in fact, lose his chelek in Olam HaBah.

    The Wolf

    #764762

    haros
    Participant

    most cases of suicide it is more than okey to learn mishnaos and a lot more beyond that, for the meis.

    i would point you to the pische tshuva in yoreh deah three hundred something-siman entitled hameabed atzmo ldaas.

    see what he brings from the shaar efraim amongst others.

    things like loss of money and the such are not bchlal.

    #764763

    mosherose
    Member

    If someones a rasha why would you want to help his nesahama anyway. Let him rot in gehenim.

    #764764

    Jothar
    Member

    Mosherose, if your svara was correct, then nobody should say kaddish for their parents- if they’re in gehinnom, they deserve to be there. Clearly we rachmanim bnei rachmanim don’t say “Let them rot in Gehinnom”. Also,

    Rabbi Meir Davened that his rebbe Acher should be accepted into Gehinnom (he was too much of a rasha to even be allowed to purge his soul in gehinnom), and Rabbi Yochanan davened 150 years later that he should be allowed out of gehinnom into Gan Eden. Clearly, we don’t say “he’s a rasha let him burn”.

    Wolfish, as for your main question, some years years ago I was in attendance in Israel for a hachnasas Sefer Torah Israel. the person who spoke kept saying how he was a sweet neshama and he was sick for many years. I thought it was a “yenner machala” case. Then I found out from someone who was from the same city as the person in question that it was a suicide case. I was told by my friend who was a gabbai that the yeshiva was reluctant to accept the Sefer Torah. Yet they relented, and we had a hachnanas sefer Torah. I do remember reading that today we assume people are sick in the head, and don’t have the din of me’abed atzmo le’daas. So as always, ask your LOR.

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