Siman 345שמ״ה
1 א

דין המאבד עצמו לדעת ומנודה והרוגי ב"ד והפורשין מן הצבור. ובו ח' סעיפים:
המאבד עצמו לדעת אין מתעסקים עמו לכל דבר ואין מתאבלין עליו ואין מספידין אותו ולא קורעין ולא חולצין אבל עומדין עליו בשורה ואומרים עליו ברכת אבלים וכל דבר שהוא כבוד לחיים:

One who commits suicide wilfully is not attended to at all;1Lit. ‘in every respect.’ For it is written: ‘And surely your blood of your lives will I require’ (Gen. IX, 5), regarding which R. Eleazar remarked that it means, ‘I will require your blood if shed by yourselves’ (B.K. 91b). RaShBA writes that although the law is that we do not attend to one who commits suicide, nevertheless, this does not apply to burial and shrouds, but only to rending of garments and baring the shoulder in mourning — ShaK. and one does not mourn for him and no lamentation is made for him, nor does one rend [garments] or bare [the shoulder in mourning for him], but one stands for him in the line [of comforters], and one recites over him the mourners' blessing, and whatever [brings] honour [only] to the living [may be done].2Sem(H). II, Thus also Yad, Ebel I, 1 N holds that garments are rent for a suicide and that the passage in Sem. from which our ruling is derived refers to strangers only but not to near-of-kin — ShaK. In a case where the surviving members of the family of a suicide would suffer shame and humiliation, it is permitted to allow them to observe mourning rites — P.Tesh. If no doubts are entertained as to the commision of suicide, the law is that where there are other mourners present at the Synagogue services, the children of a suicidal case should not recite the Kaddish. But if any doubts exist as to whether the person really committed suicide, the children should recite the KaddishP.Tesh.

2 ב

איזהו מאבד עצמו לדעת כגון שאמר הרי הוא עולה לראש הגג וראוהו שעלה מיד דרך כעס או שהיה מיצר ונפל ומת הרי זה בחזקת שאיבד עצמו לדעת אבל אם ראוהו חנוק ותלוי באילן או הרוג ומושלך על גבי סייפו הרי הוא בחזקת כל המתים ומתעסקים עמו ואין מונעין ממנו דבר: הגה מי שגנב וגזל ועל ידי זה נהרג בדין מלכות מתאבלים עליו אם אין בו סכנה מפני אימת המלכות ולא מקרי מאבד לדעת (מהרי"ו סימן קי"ד) :

Who is [considered] a wilful suicide? — For example, if one stated that he is going up to the roof-top, and they saw him go up at once in anger; or he was in distress, and [then] fell down3By throwing himself down from the roof-top. and died, — [the law is that] such a person is presumed to have committed suicide wilfully. But if they discovered him4Sem. has ‘they found him.’ strangled and hung upon a tree, or [they found him] killed5 infra § 364, 4. and thrown upon his sword, he is presumed to be like all [other] dead,6For it may have been the result of an accident and unintentional. and they attend to him and withhold not from him anything.7Yad ibid., derived from Sem(H). II, 2-3. The following rules determine a suicidal case: a) The actual commission of suicide must be observed. A mere indication of suicide is not relied upon, unless the suicide’s previous actions clearly indicate such commision. b) It must be committed wilfully and clearheadedly. c) The expressed intention for such commision must be followed by the act proper. d) In the case of a person found hung, even if the surrounding circumstances lead one to believe that the person took his life, nevertheless, he is not considered a suicide — P.Tesh. If one was not seen going up to the roof-top to take his life in accord with his previous expressed intention, the law is that even if he was later found dead, he is not presumed to be a suicide (RaSHaL) — ShaK. supra c. Gloss: One who stole or robbed8The fact that stealing or robbing are punishable by death in no way indicates that the culprit, being aware of the outcome of his crime, may have committed suicide, for it is quite possible that he might have thought that he would not be caught. Nor is he regarded as one who dissociates himself from the practices of the community (v. infra par. 5). If a thief or a robber die a natural death, they are mourned for, provided they repented (supra § 340, 5 refers to one who did not repent) — ShaK., as a result of which was executed by government law,9Mord. states that mourning rites are not observed for one who was executed by the government on account of theft. Such a case should be considered as suicide. MaHaRIW (source of this gloss) opposes the ruling of Mord., and maintains that one executed by the government, should be mourned for and is not on an equal footing with a suicide. He holds that Mord. was misled by a corrupt text in Sem. San. 47b where a distinction is made between one executed by a Gentile government and one executed by the Beth Din. In the former case, where execution is not in accordance with Jewish Law, one obtains forgiveness, and should be mourned for; in the latter case death is justly meted out and one is not forgiven. Cf. D.M. and W.G. a.l. is to be mourned for, if no danger will [result] through him on account of the fear of the government;10 San. 11a; Sota 48b. Otherwise, mourning could be regarded as an act of provocation. One who threw himself into the river is not considered a suicide, for prior to drowning, he is cast about by the waves, and no doubt, before he drowns, he repents — G.Mah. One who murdered a fellow Jew and was exemuted by government law is mourned for — B.L.Y. One who takes his life in order to avoid being subjected by others to inhuman torture is not considered a suicide — B.L.Y. and he is not designated a wilful suicided.11MaHaRIW s. 114 — G.

3 ג

קטן המאבד עצמו לדעת חשוב כשלא לדעת וכן גדול המאבד עצמו לדעת והוא אנוס כשאול המלך אין מונעין ממנו כל דבר:

A minor who commits suicide wilfullly, is considered as though it were [done] unintentionally.12Sem(H). II, 4-5. Since he is of immature mind. The same is applicable to an imbecile — Tur. And likewise, one who was of age, and committed suicide wilfully, [being under pressure, as [in the case of] King Saul,13For whom suicide was permitted lest the Philistines torture him. Yeb. 78b: ‘“For Saul” (II Sam. XXI, 1) because he was not mourned for properly.’ also Gen. R. Noah XXXIV, 1 Thus also N and Asheri. On King Saul’s tragic death v. I Sam. — [the law is that] they withhold not from him a thing.

4 ד

מנודה שמת דינו כמאבד עצמו לדעת אין קורעין ולא חולצין ולא מספידין עליו ומניחין אבן על ארונו והני מילי באפקירותא כשעובר על ד"ת אבל בממונא כיון שמת פטור מגזירתם ואין מניחין אבן על ארונו ומספידין אותו כראוי:

An excommunicant who died, is adjudged as one who committed suicide wilfully.14N in T.H. Since he is put to shame by the stone which is placed upon his coffin (v. infra n. 15), it follows that no honour should be extended to him. However, honour which accrues to the living is extended, viz., forming the line of comforters in order to console the mourners. With respect to burial and shrouds he is considered like all other dead — ShaK. They rend no [garments], nor bare [the shoulder in mourning], nor make a lamentation for him,14N in T.H. Since he is put to shame by the stone which is placed upon his coffin (v. infra n. 15), it follows that no honour should be extended to him. However, honour which accrues to the living is extended, viz., forming the line of comforters in order to console the mourners. With respect to burial and shrouds he is considered like all other dead — ShaK. and they place a stone on his coffin.15M.K. 15a in accord with R. Judah. Cf. also Sem(H). V, 13. This is done in order to carry out the ordinance of stoning. Josh. VII, 25. This ruling obtains in [a case where the person was excommunicated for] sheer contumacy,16Cf. M.K. 16a. [i.e.,] where one transgresses the teachings of the Law [out of contempt], but in [a case where one was excommunicated because of refusal to pay] indemnities, — [the law is that] as soon as he17The excommunicant. dies, he is declared free from their18The Rabbis. decree, and they do not place a stone on his coffin, and they make a lamentation for him as is fit.19This entire ruling is found supra § 334, 3.

5 ה

כל הפורשים מדרכי צבור והם האנשים שפרקו עול המצות מעל צוארם ואין נכללים בכלל ישראל בעשייתם ובכבוד המועדות וישיבת בתי כנסיות ובתי מדרשות אלא הרי הם כבני חורין לעצמן כשאר האומות וכן המומרים והמוסרים כל אלו אין אוננים ואין מתאבלים עליהם אלא אחיהם ושאר קרוביהם לובשים לבנים ומתעטפים לבנים ואוכלים ושותים ושמחים: הגה הפורש מן הצבור ולא רצה לשאת עמהם במסים וארנוניות מתאבלים עליו (תשו' רשב"א סי' תשס"ג) אבל אין שאר בני העיר צריכים לבטל ממלאכתן בשבילו לעסוק עמו (כן משמע בנ"י סוף מ"ק):

All those who dissociate themselves from the practices of the community, viz.,20Lit. ‘and they (are).’ those people who have cast off the yoke of the precepts from their neck,21e., they reject all religious obligations. and are not included within the community of Israel in the observance thereof,22e., the precepts. [nor] in [showing] respect [towards] the Festivals, [nor] in attending Synagogues and Study-Houses, but are as freemen for themselves, like the [people of] other nations [who have not accepted God]; and likewise, those who are apostates and informers, — [the law is that] for all these, one does not observe Aninuth23 supra § 341. or mourning rites24However, their burial needs are attended to — P.Tesh. One should observe mourning rites at the time apostasy is committed — B.L.Y. This is the accepted practice and applies only to one whose son or daughter committed apostasy, but not to other near-of-kin. In Hag. Asheri to M.K. it is stated that R. Gershom observed mourning rites for his son who became an apostate. According to TaZ and Ḥatam Sofer the mourning rites were observed by R. Gershom after his son died. T.T. wa-Da‘ath maintains that the mourning rites were observed during the son’s lifetime, after he committed apostasy., but their brethren and other relations put on white clothes and wrap themselves in white25It follows that mourners should wear dark clothes, and every locality should abide by its accepted practice — Ghayyat cited by Tur. also Kol Bo(G) I, p. 29, s. 10. and eat and drink and rejoice.26Sem(H). II, 8; Yad, Ebel I, 10. The reason for rejoicing is based on Prov. XI, 10: ‘When the wicked perish, there is joy.’ (cf. San. 39b). Sem. ibid. cites Ps. CXXXIX, 21-22: ‘Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? … I count them mine enemies.’ Gloss: One who dissociates himself from [the practices] of the community and refuses to carry the burden with them of imposts and Arnona,27Tax from crops and cattle paid in kind. is mourned for,28RaShBA, Resp. 663 — G. but all the other townspeople are not required to abstain from work on account of him in order to attend to him.29Implied in N.Yos. M.K. end — G. D.Moshe.

6 ו

קטן בן שנה או שנתיים שהמיר עם אמו ומת אין מתאבלין עליו. (ועיין לעיל סימן ש"מ סעיף ה'):

A minor [who is] one or two years olld, who commits apostasy [along] with his mother,30Or his father. supra § 340, 5 — G. and [then] he died, is not to be mourned for.31D.Merb. rejects this ruling.

7 ז

מי שנפל בים או טבע בנהר או אכלתו חיה אין מונעין ממנו דבר:

One who fell into the sea or was drowned in the river or a beast devoured him, — [the law is that] one does not withhold anything from him.32Sem(H). II, 10.

8 ח

ארון העובר ממקום למקום אם שלדו (פירוש השדרה וצלעותיה) קיימת עומדין עליו בשורה ואומרים עליו ברכת אבלים ותנחומי אבלים אם יש אבלים שמתאבלין עליו ואם אין שלדו קיימת אין עומדין עליו בשורה ואין אומרים עליו ברכת אבלים ולא תנחומי אבלים:

A coffin that passes [on its way] from place to place,—if the body, i.e., the spinal column and its ribs, is intact, they stand in the [comforters'] line and recite on account of him the mourner's benediction and offer condolence to the mourners, if there are mourners who mourn for him; but if the body is not intact, they do not stand in the [comforters'] line and do not recite the mourners' benediction, nor do they offer condolence to the mourners.33M.K. 25a.