On Mon, Feb 26, 2007 at 08:53:47PM +0000, KarenElizabeth wrote:
: So ... what if a person kills himself? Can he still be buried in a
: Jewish cemetary? Does the family sit shiva? What happens to that
: person when the Moshiach comes?
In theory, suicide is the same prohibition as murder. Someone who kills
another, someone who kills themself, both are taking a life which is
In practice, suicide is rarely committed by someone of sound mind who
can be held culpable for their actions. Therefore, we are lenient on
a family who are going through a very difficult time, and assume that
*every* suicide is a victim, not a sinner.
So in practice, the family is told to sit shiv'ah.
Aside: I think in war time it is possible to err in when one is allowed to
risk one's life, and thereby be a suicide by accident. That's different
than mental instability, but still not brazen murder.
I think in the last question you're asking about the resurrection. How
the person is judged is up to the True Judge. He alone knows minds
But there is little indication that the resurrection is supposed to
happen when mashiach comes. According to the position of the tanna
Shemuel, which the Rambam follows, "there is no difference between this
world and the days of the messiah except [our] subjugation [to other]
governments alone." That would rule out miraculous things like the
resurrection being part of the messianic era.
And yet Maimonides does require belief in the resurrection as the last
of his articles of "belief" (really: trust that something is true).
It would seem he considers the messianic era and the post resurrection
era to be at different times.
This is also implied by R' Yehudah's millenian week. Six millenia of
regular history, after which mashiach comes. Although one is obligated to
start Shabbos before the last minute, so by parallel we would expect the
redemption BEFORE the year 5,999 ends. Then, after one "day of rest",
the cycle begins anew on the next level. It could well be that the
resurrection is after that millenium of Shabbos.
Micha Berger When faced, with a decision, ask yourself,
***@aishdas.org "How would I decide if it were Ne'ilah now,
http://www.aishdas.org at the closing moments of Yom Kippur?"
Fax: (270) 514-1507 - Rav Yisrael Salanter