The Problem with Suicide

Question

Why is suicide considered to be wrong?

5 months

Answers

  1. It is forbidden to commit suicide. God told this to Noach by saying, “Even your own blood, that of your own lives, will I demand (accountability for)” (Gen. 9:5). Our unbroken tradition explains that this was a prohibition against suicide and that it is part of the “Seven Noachide Laws.”

    The idea is basically this: A person’s life isn’t “his.” Rather, it belongs to the One who created it, God.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. According to Jewish theology the body and the soul both belong to God and they are not ours to do whatever we wish with them. In Judaism life is sacrosanct and every moment of life has the potential within it to enhance the person’s spiritual identity. That is why it suicide is considered such a terrible act as, in a sense, it is the person declaring that life does not come from God.

    However, having said that, it is important to point out that the various laws surrounding whether a person can be considered to have committed suicide according to the Code of Jewish Law are varied and complex and it is normally unlikely that a person will fulfill them to the point that they cannot be buried in the normal fashion in a Jewish cemetery. For example, Halachic suicide means the person being warned immediately before he takes his life and his not listening. There need to be witnesses both to the warning and the actual suicide and person who commits suicide has to tell the people warning him that he knows and he does not care.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team