Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Suicide & repentance:Shaloh

Shaloh (Yoma: Ner Mitzva): You should know that the technique for repentance of the Rokeach and Sefer HaMidos and that of the Arizal are both legitimate (eilu v’eilu). That is because there are many levels of repentance and someone who wishes that his repentance reach to the Throne of Glory needs to utilize both approaches. If the sinner thinks that perhaps the afflictions he does for repentance might cause him to become sick or even to die – it is of no concern. It is in fact desirable to die in the course of repentance. We in fact find in Kiddushin (81b) that R’ Chiya bar Ashi tried killing himself by sitting in an oven to atone for the sin of being with his wife when he thought she was a prostitute and he eventually died from the constant fasts that he did to repent… Thus we see that a person who was outstanding in Torah and piety and did not in fact commit the sin that he had intended to do – nevertheless he brought about his death through the process of repenting and this is also Rashi’s view.

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