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  • Today's Featured Ask the Rabbi Question: Suicide

    In light of Robin Williams' suicide last week, many have asked what is the Jewish take on suicide. Here is a Jewish perspective from aish.com



    A guy who works at the same company just committed suicide. Some people are saying that this is a terrible crime, while others say it's okay because he didn't harm anyone. Can help put this into perspective for me?

    The Aish Rabbi Replies:

    The first thing to know is that we don’t “own” our bodies. Our body – and our very life – is a gift, on loan from the Creator. We are entrusted to care for it and nurture it, and do nothing to shorten its lifespan.

    Someone who commits suicide is considered a murderer. It matters not whether he kills someone else or himself. His soul is not his to extinguish.

    Judaism's opposition to suicide is found in the story of Noah's Ark. After the flood, God says to Noah: “Your blood which belongs to your souls I will demand; from the hand of every beast will I demand it. From the hand of every man; from the hand of every man who is his brother will I demand the life of man” (Genesis 9:5).

    The Talmud (Baba Kama 90b) learns from the first part of the verse, "And surely the blood of your lives I will demand," that one may not wound his own body. All the more so, he may not take his own life.

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