1

A person who commits suicide is unsurpassed in wickedness, as it is said, "However of the blood of your souls, I will demand an account."1 The world was created for a single person, (to indicate that) anyone who destroys one Jewish life is considered to have destroyed a whole world.2 He should, therefore, not be attended in any way. Garments should not be torn for him, he should not be mourned, nor should he be eulogized. However, he should be buried, ritually purified and dressed in shrouds. The rule is: anything that is done out of respect to the living, should be done for him.3

א

הַמְאַבֵּד עַצְמוֹ לָדַעַת, הוּא רָשָׁע שֶׁאֵין לְמַעְלָה מִמֶּנּוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, וְאַךְ אֶת דִּמְכֶם לְנַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם אֶדְרשׁ. וּבִשְׁבִיל יָחִיד, נִבְרָא הָעוֹלָם. וְכָל הַמְאַבֵּד נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִיִשְֹרָאֵל, מְאַבֵּד עוֹלָם מָלֵא. וְלָכֵן אֵין מִתְעַסְּקִין עִמּוֹ לְכָל דָּבָר. לֹא קוֹרְעִין וְלֹא מִתְאַבְלִין עָלָיו, וְאֵין מַסְפִּידִין אוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל קוֹבְרִין אוֹתוֹ, וּמְטַהֲרִין אוֹתוֹ, וּמַלְבִּישִׁין אוֹתוֹ תַּכְרִיכִין. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר, כֹּל שֶׁהוּא מִשּׁוּם כְּבוֹד הַחַיִּים עושִׁין לוֹ. (וּלְעִנְיַן אֲמִירַת קַדִישׁ, עַיֵן בַּחֲתַם סוֹפֵר יוֹרֶה דֵעָה סִימָן שכו, וְאִמְרֵי אֵשׁ סִימָן קכב. וְעַיֵּן תְּשׁוּבוֹת רד"ך בַּיִת ל).

2

Without proof to the contrary, a man is not presumed to be wicked. Therefore, if a person if found asphyxiated, hanged, or the like, so long as it is possible to assume that he was murdered, it should not be considered a suicide.

ב

מִסְּתָמָא, לָא מַחְזְקֵינָן אֱנָשֵׁי בְּרַשִׁיעֵי. וְלָכֵן אִם נִמְצָא אֶחָד חָנוּק אוֹ תָלּוּי וְכַדּוֹמֶה, כֹּל שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לִתְלוֹת שֶׁמָּא אַחֵר עָשָׂה לוֹ זֹאת, לָא תָלֵינָן בֵּהּ.

3

A minor who committed suicide is considered like one who had taken his life unintentionally. Similarly, an adult who committed suicide, and it appears he did so because of severe depression, or madness, and the like, it is considered unintentional. Similarly, if he did so under duress, because he was afraid of torture, like King Saul, who feared what the Philistines might do to him, he is like any other deceased person, and nothing should be withheld from him.

ג

קָטָן הַמְאַבֵּד אֶת עַצְמוֹ, חָשׁוּב כְּשֶׁלֹּא לָדָעַת. וְכֵן גָּדוֹל אִם נִרְאֶה שֶׁעָשָה הַדָּבָר מֵחֲמַת רוּחַ רָעָה אוֹ שִׁגָּעוֹן וְכַדוֹמֶה, הֲוֵי שֶׁלֹּא לָדָעַת. וְכֵן אִם עָשָׂה אֶת הַדָבָר מֵחֲמַת אֹנֶס, שֶׁהָיָה מִתְיָרֵא מֵעִנּוּיִים קָשִׁים, כְּמוֹ שָׁאוּל שֶׁהָיָה מִתְיָרֵא שֶׁמָּא יַעֲשׂוּ בוֹ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּים כִּרְצוֹנָם, הֲרֵי הוּא כִּשְׁאָר מֵת, וְאֵין מוֹנְעִין מִמֶּנּוּ שׁוּם דָּבָר.

4

All those who separate themselves from the ways of the community, such as those people who have cast off the yoke of mitzvos from themselves, and do not include themselves among the Jewish people with regard to observance of the mitzvos, but are like a liberated sect of their own; for all these, including apostates, informers, and heretics, the laws of Onein are not observed, and their death is not mourned. Their brothers and other relatives dress in white and adorn themselves in white, eat, drink, and rejoice that the enemies of the Almighty have perished. Concerning such people, the Scripture says,4 "Behold those who hate you Adonoy, I hate" also it is said, "When the wicked perish there is joy."5

ד

כָּל הַפּוֹרְשְׁים מִדַּרְכֵי הַצִּבּוּר, וְהֵם הָאֲנָשִׁים שֶׁפָּרְקוּ עֹל הַמִצְוֹת מֵעַל צַוָּארָם, וְאֵין נִכְלָלִים בִּכְלַל יִשְֹרָאֵל בַּעֲשִׂיָתָם, אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הֵם כִּבְנֵי חוֹרִין לְעַצְמָן, וְכֵן הַמּוּמָרִים וְהַמּוֹסְרִים וְהָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִים, כָּל אֵלּוּ, אֵין אוֹנְנִים וְאֵין מִתְאַבְּלִים עֲלֵיהֶם, אֶלָּא אֲחֵיהֶם ושְׁאָר קְרוֹבֵיהֶם לוֹבְשִׁים לְבָנִים וּמִתְעַטְּפִים לְבָנִים, וְאוֹכְלִים וְשוֹתִים וּשְׂמֵחִים עַל שֶׁאִבְּדוּ שׂוֹנְאוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם. וַעֲלֵיהֶם הַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר, הֲלֹּא מְשַׂנְאֶיךָ ה', אֶשְׂנָא. וְאוֹמֵר, וּבַאֲבֹד רְשָׁעִים רִנָּה. (יו"ד סימן שמ"ה).

5

If one was executed either by the government or otherwise, even if he was an apostate, his relatives should mourn over him. For since he was killed by man and did not die naturally, he had an atonement.

ה

אִם נֶהֱרַג, בֵּין בְּדִינָא דְמַלְכוּתָא בֵּין בְּעִנְיָן אַחֵר, אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה מוּמָר, מִתְאַבְּלִין עָלָיו, דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁנֶּהֱרַג בִּידֵי אָדָם וְלֹא מֵת כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ, הֲוֵּי לֵהּ כַּפָּרָה.

6

If the deceased was an habitual sinner whose sins were motivated by lustful desire, and he made no confession before his death, mourning should not be observed for him. But if he did confess, he should be mourned, even if he had been a thief or a robber.

ו

מִי שֶׁהָיָה רָגִיל לַעֲשׂוֹת עֲבֵרָה אַחַת, אֲפִלּוּ רַק לְתֵאָבוֹן, וּמֵת, אִם לֹא הִתְוַדָּה קֹדֶם מוֹתוֹ, אֵין מִתְאַבְּלִין עָלָיו. אֲבָל אִם הִתְוַדָּה, מִתְאַבְּלִין עָלָיו, אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה גַנָּב אוֹ גַזְלָן.

7

In the case of a child, one or two years old, who was converted6 with his father or with his mother, and died, no mourning should be observed for him.

ז

קָטֹן בֶּן שָׁנָה אוֹ שְׁנָתַיִם שֶׁהֵמִיר עִם אָבִיו אוֹ עִם אִמּוֹ, וּמֵת, אֵין מִתְאַבְּלִין עָלָיו.