Saying Kaddish For A Suicide

Home Forums Bais Medrash Saying Kaddish For A Suicide

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #610899
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Given the fact that a suicide has no chelek in Olam HaBah*, is there any point in saying Kaddish for that person (or learning Torah in their merit, etc.). The whole point of these acts is to raise up the neshama, but since such a person is eternally ineligible for such redemption, is there any point?

    The Wolf

    * Of course, we’re talking about those who fit the true definition of a suicide, not those who do so out of mental illness or the like.

    #1101236
    Sam2
    Participant

    It’s a Machlokes Achronim. There S’vara that they can still gain some type of Z’chuyos is a stron S’vara, especially because we don’t know the Cheshbonos of the Ribbono Shel Olam.

    #1101237
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    So, you’re saying they only lose their portion of Olam HaBah if no one davens for them, but that if someone davens for them they can be A-OK?

    The Wolf

    #1101238
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    It’s not an on/off switch. It can make things better.

    (Wolf, I really hope you don’t mind this. Is your fascination with suicide due to a situation you know of or is there some Freudian element here?)

    #1101240
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    It’s not an on/off switch. It can make things better.

    Elaborate, please. How can one have a portion in Olam Habah and not have one?

    (Wolf, I really hope you don’t mind this. Is your fascination with suicide due to a situation you know of or is there some Freudian element here?)

    Why would I mind you asking?

    What fascination?

    The Wolf

    #1101241
    writersoul
    Member

    If suicide through mental illness doesn’t count as suicide, then what type does? Like, for avoda zara? Just stam for no reason (though you don’t know if maybe mental illness WAS the “no reason”)?

    I’ve always been confused by this.

    #1101242
    akuperma
    Participant

    I believe when presented with an actual case, most posekim would assume the person did tseuvah immediately prior to the moment of death, rendering the discussion moot.

    Obviously this is a question for whomever one relies on for guidance.

    #1101243
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    If suicide through mental illness doesn’t count as suicide, then what type does? Like, for avoda zara? Just stam for no reason (though you don’t know if maybe mental illness WAS the “no reason”)?

    Seppuku? “Honor” suicides? Self-immolation in protest of a cause?

    The Wolf

    #1101244
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I believe when presented with an actual case, most posekim would assume the person did tseuvah immediately prior to the moment of death, rendering the discussion moot.

    I don’t know why you’d make that assumption for a person who was committing suicide of sound mind and for a specific purpose.

    The Wolf

    #1101245
    Sam2
    Participant

    Wolf: I believe that you yourself have pointed out the inherent paradoxes involved in phrases like, “Someone who says Ashrei 3 times every day automatically goes to Olam Haba”. So why would this be any different? Nothing in this universe (from our point of view) is absolute. Chazal made absolute statements that were true 99.99% of the time. There can always be exceptions. If this happens to be one of them, then saying Kaddish would certainly help. And even if the person has no Chelek, maybe the extra Z’chuyos would make his Din easier, whatever that means.

    #1101246
    popup
    Member

    Why would we alienate people who committed suicide? They really have no neshama???

    #1101247
    Mammele
    Participant

    Wolf: I think Halevi was referring to an old thread if kids of someone who attempted murder or suicide should be expelled from school. I’m not going to bother looking it up, but I hope I recall correctly. You kind of had a negative bent at the time. Some topics are disconcerting when the bigger picture is considered, although we in the CR are really clueless about a person’s actual personality.

    #1101248
    2qwerty
    Participant

    I also heard something like akuperma said. And even if the person initiated it with a purpose in mind at the time his life flashes before his eyes he will usually regret what he had done.

    #1101249
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Olam Haba is later on. We don’t know what is going on right now with the fellow. But, even if he is somewhere low down, saying a Kaddish for his merit can alleviate his situation somewhat. And as Sam pointed out, Chazal make sweeping statements because these are the rules, but there are always other things taken into consideration when it comes to practice. We must follow Halacha to the T because we don’t know and work with Taama d’Kra. In heaven there are sliding scales.

    We find this even by the Sota, where the whole purpose is to be a clear proof, and yet we find that certain Zechusim can protect the woman even when she is guilty.

    #1101250
    oomis
    Participant

    What about saying Kaddish for someone who left specific instructions to be cremated rather than buried?

    #1101251
    Sam2
    Participant

    Oomis: Even though there is no Aveilus and no Shivah, the logic from above should still apply. Such a person probably needs more Z’chuyos anyway.

    #1101252
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Wolf, considering that you’ve started at least six threads about suicide (that’s what I found on the first page of your profile), I could understand how someone could think the topic fascinates you.

    #1101253
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf, considering that you’ve started at least six threads about suicide (that’s what I found on the first page of your profile), I could understand how someone could think the topic fascinates you.

    Yes, but that’s over the span of what? Four years?

    I don’t think six conversations over four years is a sign of obsession. Heck, I often have more than six conversations about Excel, SQL Server and photography over the course of any given week. Does that make me obsessed with them?

    The Wolf

    #1101254
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    DaasYochid wrote:

    Wolf, considering that you’ve started at least six threads about suicide (that’s what I found on the first page of your profile), I could understand how someone could think the topic fascinates you.

    WolfishMusings responded:

    Yes, but that’s over the span of what? Four years?

    I don’t think six conversations over four years is a sign of obsession. Heck, I often have more than six conversations about Excel, SQL Server and photography over the course of any given week. Does that make me obsessed with them?

    WolfishMusings,

    Your response to DaasYochid was not logical. If a person has 100 conversations and 94 of them are normal, but 6 of them discuss assassinating a government official with quite a bit of detail, I would imagine that the secret service would take notice. Also, if a person takes 100 trips driving a car and causes crashes during 6 of those trips, would you feel safe with his driving? We are not looking for a plurality here to diagnose the fascination. Something as extreme as suicide mentioned even once should give us pause.

    During the time that I have read and posted on this site, I have seen you discuss feelings of inadequacy (I am a sinner, etc.), sadness (e.g., on Shabbos), and suicide. These are serious warning signs. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether these posts are intended as satire (you claimed they were not) or to make a tongue-in-cheek statement about the reality of extreme views expressed on this site (you have not closed the door on this possibility). Some of your examples, such as claiming you are a sinner for talking during laining when you serve as baal koreh, or taking “rule” type statements and denying the possibility of exceptions, seem to point towards those above interpretations of your posts, but your persistence and denials of satire make your body of posts somewhat unsettling to me.

    No matter what is said by keyboard kanoim with multiple usernames on this site, Hashem loves you. Every breath that you take and every beat of your heart is proof of that love. Your family loves you and needs you. I may be way off base here, and I apologize if I cause you any pain or offense, but if you are feeling despair, you owe it to yourself and your family to reach out for assistance.

    #1101255
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    “Yes, but that’s over the span of what? Four years?”

    To be precise, six out if the last fifty threads started, over approximately two years (according to the way it’s recorded in the profile).

    It is unsettling and worrisome, and if warranted, I second Avram’s suggestion.

    #1101256

    Why is it that when people ask halachic questions, everyone responds with “DON’T TRY TO PASKEN FROM THE CR!!!!” even when it’s clear that the person is not actually asking for psak…but on the other hand, we are uber comfortable with making assumptions and jumping to conclusions and offering unsolicited judgments regarding people’s personal lives?

    #1101257
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    jewishfeminist02,

    I have no idea if your post is in response to what I wrote, so I apologize if it wasn’t, but here is my response if it was.

    Why is it that when people ask halachic questions, everyone responds with “DON’T TRY TO PASKEN FROM THE CR!!!!” even when it’s clear that the person is not actually asking for psak…

    I do not believe that I have ever made that statement. I find the halachic discussions on this forum quite thought provoking, with the full knowledge that any questions of practical application must go to my rav.

    but on the other hand, we are uber comfortable with making assumptions and jumping to conclusions and offering unsolicited judgments regarding people’s personal lives?

    On the contrary. I have thought about writing what I did above for a long time, and I felt unsure about whether it was wise, and I worried about whether I was rushing to judgement about the situation, misjudging things, or whether it was out of line for me to comment about another poster’s [potential] personal situation. I am certainly not “uber” comfortable. I am uncomfortable.

    The fact is, unless we know a poster personally, we know nothing about them except what they post. Therefore, to try and judge a poster personally would be silly. That’s why I made as much of an attempt as possible to comment only on what has been posted – without extrapolation.

    Ideally I agree with you that it’s best to comment on posts and not the posters; however, when we are talking about depression and suicide I feel there is an exception due to the risk, G-d forbid. I am not trained to handle such situations, and I have no idea whether my words were helpful or would have any impact if my fears were true (and I pray that they weren’t harmful), but I feel strongly that silence would be worse.

    Once, I heard one of my children upstairs yell for help, and upon reaching her I saw that she was pretending with dolls in the midst of a game. Even if I thought she was playing, I would still go to her, because there is a possibility that she really needed help. Talking about depression and suicide can be academic, or it can be a call for help.

    #1101258
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    JFem,

    I do not see anyone making an absolute statement. They are just making an observation and expressing concerns based on the observation and leaving it up to the OP to follow up.

    And anyway as your husband would tell you, ????? ????? ???????.

    #1101259
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Avram,

    Thank you for your concern. I can see why you might be concerned, but in truth, there is little cause for concern. I have no plans nor desire to off myself. Even if I *really* wanted to, there are far too many people who depend too much on me (although whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I suppose, is debatable) in various roles in life to even really consider it.

    Some of your examples, such as claiming you are a sinner for talking during laining when you serve as baal koreh

    That bit, I’ve admitted, was meant tongue in cheek.

    Granted, I can be self-critical (perhaps to the extreme), and even further granted that I don’t particularly like myself very much, but I said I would limit my self-deprecatory comments on this site and, I believe, I’ve adhered to that.

    The Wolf

    #1101260
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Jfem, if you’re referring to Avram in MD and me, we both wrote “if”, and I don’t think either of us ever accused anyone of paskening from the CR.

    Surely, you don’t think there’s something wrong with being concerned about a fellow Yid.

    #1101261
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    WolfishMusings,

    there are far too many people who depend too much on me (although whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I suppose, is debatable)

    It’s a good thing. And it goes much deeper than dependence.

    Granted, I can be self-critical (perhaps to the extreme), and even further granted that I don’t particularly like myself very much,

    Self criticism can be healthy and helpful, just like a baseball coach’s criticisms can help his players improve their game. Don’t let it lead to self-loathing, however. The very fact that you consider the merits of your actions at all demonstrates that you have character and sensitivity. If nothing else, trust your wife’s judgement: she picked well.

    but I said I would limit my self-deprecatory comments on this site and, I believe, I’ve adhered to that.

    Most of the self deprecating comments I have seen you make here come in response to the extremist blanket statements or judgements of others – not seemingly from an internal dislike for your behavior. On the contrary, you usually seemed to be comfortable with your behaviors and decisions. That’s why I have previously assumed that you were using the self deprecation as a rhetorical device to attack such blanket, extreme statements.

    A simplistic example:

    ExtremoBob: Pirkei Avos says al tarbe sicha im haisha, therefore anyone who says “good morning” to a woman is going to that hot place!

    WolfishMusings: Well, I’d better stock up on sunscreen and fans, because I said good morning to my wife this morning, and I plan to do so tomorrow!

    If, however, you are indeed internalizing some of the crazy statements that unthinking people make, please note that what you are doing is not self-criticism. Where would we be had Moshe Rabbeinu internalized the insult hurled at him by a Jew that he was at fault for worsening the Jews’ lot after speaking to Paroh?

    #1101262
    kkls45
    Member

    What about someone who is promised to get olam haba (by learning halachos every day – kol hashoneh halachos buchul yom muvtach lo shehu ben olam haba or by saying ashrei 3 times a day) and then commits suicide?

    #1101264
    danshaf
    Participant

    If I may, with regard to being promised Olam Haba for this or that, the person who ends his life by choice hasn’t fulfilled his end of the bargain. His life was destined to be X amount of years and instead of “going along with the plan” a suicide changes that plan, supposedly (since we don’t know, yet. with certainty if this is how the cosmos works).

    A person who took life into his own hands abrogates this decision from the Master of the Universe whose province it is to shorten or to extend or to keep things as decreed from birth. After the suicide takes place, all of existence must now be reoriented by the Master of the Universe to accommodate this unplanned circumstance. The person committing suicide has “made a mess of things”, not just for himself, but for everything and everyone, here and Above.

    And in taking his own life, as I stated in the beginning, he did NOT fulfill his part of the bargain that would have promised him his share in Olam Haba.

    All what I say assumes that a person is making a sane decision, though even this cannot be certain and is only known to the Heavenly Father, because it is He and only He who will judge and who can judge, as only He knows the heart and the mind of the person. And only He can evaluate every small detail to see if there are mitigating circumstances or if the suicide was a true and real affront against the Sovereignty of the Habeshta.

    “The secrets of God are for Goad alone.” I think that would apply to ending one’s life “early” and also for us to think we can truly judge the person who does do the most unfortunate thing.

    I hope that my writing isn’t too muddled on these ideas.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.