web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Could Suicide Have Been Prevented?

Clinically depressed people feel completely helpless about their situation.

Clinically depressed people feel completely helpless about their situation.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/ Flash90

A true – and very sad story on David Morris’s  Tzedek-Tzedek blog.  A non observant gay man who suffered from clinical depression was undergoing psychotherapy with a religious psychotherapist. He related to him that his partner had recently walked out on their relationship. He further told him that his depression was so bad because of this – that he was seriously contemplating suicide. Suicide is unfortunately an all to0 frequent outcome of clinically depressed people who feel completely hopeless about their situation.

The psychotherapist believed that suicide was a distinct possibility in this particular case. And he wondered whether he could prevent or delay any such attempts by inviting his client’s former gay partner into therapy with his client in an attempt to reconcile the relationship.

As a religious Jew who understands the severely prohibitive nature of the male to male homosexual act (Mishkav Zechor), he did not want to be guilty of something called Misayei’ah L’Dvar Aveira – facilitating a sinful act. Especially one as severe as this one. Halacha forbids one to act as a facilitator to sinful acts.

He asked a Shaila to a Posek and was told that Halacha forbids him to do so for that very reason. So he never made the suggestion. Shortly thereafter the gay man hanged himself in his apartment.

Was this the right decision by that Posek in light of the outcome? In his post on the subject, Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn thinks not. If reconciliation would have prevented the suicide, it should have been done. Here is what he said:

I once asked Rav Sternbuch about the permissibility of therapy with a couple that did not keep taharas mishpacha. He cited the Chazon Ish as the source of a principle that if the discord reduces their sinning that it would be prohibited to provide them with therapy. However he noted that it is not unusual for couples today to commit adultery. Thus in fact there would be no reduction in sinning if there were marital discord and thus he said that therapy was permitted.

As R’ Eidensohn further points out, it is reasonable to assume that had this gay man survived the depression and not committed suicide, he would have eventually found another partner and continued his sinful acts anyway. Thus nothing was to be gained by not reconciling him with his partner. And of course by not reconciling them – all was lost!

The fact happens to be that this man was clinically depressed – a disease that usually requires medication. And as I said earlier, clinically depressed people do attempt suicide and unfortunately they sometimes succeed. So it is possible that this man would eventually commit suicide even if there was a reconciliation. Clinical Depression is a disease of the brain. It is independent of one’s life circumstances. But is is also true that life circumstances can and often do impact on a depressed personality to make things worse.

Depression feeds off of itself. The longer you have it, the more hopeless it seems. Living with clinical depression is impossibly difficult. People who do not have it, cannot possibly understand what it is like. And once that sense of hopelessness sets in, suicide becomes an attractive ‘way out.’ That’s why suicide is so common among depressed people. The longer one is depressed, the greater the probability that he will end his life.

So in the case of this gay man, he may have done it anyway. But that does not mean that we shouldn’t do everything in our power to prevent it. There is no wisdom in allowing a situation to continue that will become the precipitating factor in a suicide. If a suicide can be prevented by changing the situation, it ought to be done.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Could Suicide Have Been Prevented?”

  1. DO NOT ACCEPT THE LIES OF SATAN>>>>G-d loves you and would never condemn you…

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Iran's nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow is in an underground bunker.
Congressmembers: No More Money for Talks With Iran
Latest Blogs Stories
The Dimona nuclear reactor dome. Iran has been using Israel's reluctance to join the NPT to escape criticism of its own program.

“Israel has nuclear weapons & it isn’t afraid to use them if necessary-Does that frighten you? Good”

JB Flag

American Jews think they know what’s best for Israel-better than Israelis. Here’s my take…

HarHabayitwDome.jpg

An old Arab man yelled at me “You’re stupid!” I returned the compliment; He had murder in his eyes.

Doug Goldstein

Why do people feel the need to check their email 50X a day, constantly dipping in & out of Facebook?

Betar is the world-wide Zionist youth movement that refuses to be silent, and as our founder Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote: “Silence is despicable.”

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

Moshe’s the 1st family member in thousands of years to have the honor of serving in a Jewish army

Often wig wearers become more attractive after marriage. Doesn’t this turn the intent on its head?

US official interference in Israel’s Elections is not only immoral but may be illegal under US law.

The greatest thing about leaving Israel is the joy in returning, hearing/seeing/smelling coming home

I never felt an election resonate so much; I had true existential fear that my candidate might lose

It appears that Agudah has joined with those choosing to erase women from the public sphere.

How can you turn your passion into your business? How can you build your business around your life?

Politicians have their own egos as priority, not the good of the country nor the will of the people

I might have to “reassess” my position on President Obama if his “new positions and comments” on Israel don’t match his pre-election statements.

Find out about peak oil and how the production & sale of cheap oil has affected other oil sources

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Rabbi Shneur Kotler

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

Reiss-062912-Sheitels

Often wig wearers become more attractive after marriage. Doesn’t this turn the intent on its head?

It appears that Agudah has joined with those choosing to erase women from the public sphere.

As long as radical Islam exists it would be irresponsible for Israel to give up an inch of land

This very bright Chareidi young man was unable to earn a decent living because he had NO education

We must convince Jewish billionaires to support Jewish education in ways they support other projects

When evil threatens to conquer the world, it’s the duty of free nations to endeavor to prevent it.

Mentioning genocide in the same breath as Susan Rice crosses a redline about Obama’s foreign policy

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/could-suicide-have-been-prevented/2014/05/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: