I. Source of Issur to Commit Suicide
A. Noach 9:5 – הקב"ה will be doreish the dam of ppl.
1. רש"י- Even though I allowed you to kill animals I will take care of you if you kill yourself. (Radbaz has famous teshuva where he discusses that one is not a baalim on his body)
B. Gm BK 91b – Gm wants to learn out that even being chovel in oneself is אסור and quotes this pasuk, and says well that’s about killing oneself, maybe chavala is different, but for sure the issur from here is to kill oneself.
1. רמ' Rotzeiach 2:3 – Quotes this issur as well. But not part of lo sirtzach.
2. Minchas Chinuch 34 – There is no din misas bd, only misa bidei shamayim, and נ"מ is in terms of kim lei b’diraba minei, b/c only say kim lei by misas bd, so if was shibeir keilim (yorshim) would be chayav to pay for them.
II. How do we deal with them in terms of aveilus?
A. Maseches Smachos 2:1 – Person who is miabeid atzmo l’daas, don’t deal with them at all (ein misaskim bo), no kria, ein choltzin, anything that is kavod for the chayim you do, what is kavod for meis don’t do.
1. רשב"א שו"ת 763 – When it says lo misaskim, not in terms of burial and tachrichin, rather in terms of kria, choltzin, but they do have a shura.
2. רמב"ן – The actual krovim tear kria, only those who would have torn l’kavod, don’t tear kria. Only find ein misablin by harugei bd. Thinks there is aveilus.
3. רמ' Aveil 1:11 – No aveilus for miabeid atzmo l’daas, no hesped.
B. מחבר 345:1 – No aveilus for miabeid atzmo l’daas.
C. מחבר 344:10 – Someone who is mitzave us not to be maspid him, we listen.
רמ"א: But if he asks us not to be noheig shiva or shloshim, don’t listen.
1. Pischei Teshuva 1- Has shayla about gadol who says don’t give hespedim. And Teshuva MeAhava quotes story of Node B’Yehuda, when the Pnei Yehoshua died, he said not to listen to his request and were maspid him.
2. רע"א – Mekor of this din is Mahari Weill, that it depends on whether this thing is kavod hachai or kavod hameis, and vaday can’t listen about shiva and shloshim b/c then were mivatel all of dinei aveilus. So רע"א says that’s not the real reason b/c we listen to mechila of 12 chodesh, ela there is machlokes whether shiva and shloshim is kavod of chaim or meisim, and this is the machlokes whether or not we sit shiva, etc. for miabeid atzmo ladaas, רמ' thinks its kavod hameis, so he loses it when he commits suicide. But רמב"ן thinks it’s at least a safeik kavod hachaim. Im kein, if we pasken like the רמ' that meabeid atzmo lidaas has no aveilus, clearly we’re saying it’s a kavod for the meis. Im kein, why does the רמ"א assume that we don’t listen to s/one who doesn’t want shiva for him? It’s his choice, it’s kavod hameis!? Leaves it as צ"ע.
*Could be the simple answer is אה"נ the svaras are the same, but chazal didn’t want to allow ppl to be able to get out of aveilus totally.
D. שו"ת Chassam Sofer 325 – The שו"ע paskened there is no aveilus. However, if they come to the Rav and looks like it was a suicide, can still pasken they can sit shiva b/c it’s a tremendous embarrassment to the family, so we allow them to sit shiva lichatchila. And he says this is even if the Rav feels that it definitely was a miabeid atzmo l’daas. So even though halacha k’divrei hameikil b’aveil, shouldn’t be meikil w/ kavod of the mishpacha.
(He refers specifically to an honorable family, but R’ Simon thought that bizmaneinu all families are of this status)
*If say it is only mishum kavod mishpacha this would raise shaylas about dvarim shebitzina, Talmud Torah, etc. but we will see other approaches which will result in aveilus meikar hadin.
III. What’s considered a Meabeid Atzmo L’Daas?
A. רמב"ן Toras HaAdam – A person who goes to top of tree, roof, and says I’m going to kill myself. And then we see his body on the ground, assume that he did it, even if didn’t see him jump.
B. רמ' Aveil 1:11 – If just see him hanging on the tree, or lying on a sword, can’t know for sure, but if he pronounces it beforehand and see him going up angrily, and sounds like you have to see him fall.
C. ב"ח 345:2 – quotes Maharshal that have to see it too, can’t just rely on him saying it. And ב"ח likes it.
D. שו"ע 345:2 – He has to tell you, and you have to see him go up and fall. Just finding him is not enough.
*In most cases, ppl don’t see the person do the maaseh, so can assume it wasn’t suicide and then have aveilus meikar hadin and wouldn’t say its just b/c of kavod of the family.
IV. Psychological Considerations
A. Aruch HaShulchan 345:4, 5 – Whenever dealing with miabeid atzmo l’daas, even if he said it and we saw it, we can be tole on all kinds of things, depression, fear b/c no person will do something like this while thinking clearly.
B. Sefer Nachlas Shimon 58 – Quotes שו"ת Besamim רא"ש that only considered meabeid atzmo l’daas when person has philosophical reason to do so, not b/c of depression or tzaar, etc. and says Shaul wasn’t considered one b/c he was afraid of being tortured.
C. Maseches Smachos: Story about a child who ran away from school and his father hurt him, was so afraid of his father and he committed suicide, and they said don’t treat him like meabeid atzmo l’daas. And Maaseh of a kid who broke a plate on שבת, father hit him and he killed himself in a pit and R’ Akiva said treat him like a regular meis.
D. שו"ע 345:3 – tinok and gadol who is annus, not considered meabeid atzmo l’daas.
*These considerations would lead us to say that even if all the requirements were fulfilled, still wouldn’t consider the person a miabeid atzmo l’daas.
V. Situations where Suicide might possibly be appropriate
A. Daas Zekenim – Talks about situations of shaas hashmad, where maybe one is permitted to commit suicide to not be over issurim, and tells maaseh about a Rav who killed little children b’shaas hashmad b/c was nervous they were going to be converted, etc. but there was another rav who was very upset about this and called him a rotzeiach.
B. ריטב"א AZ 18– Also quotes this idea.