This topic came up in a recent comment section, so you may want to familiarize yourself with the argument before reading this addition. You will then appreciate the irony of my argument in favor of being nice to nice people being motivated by the enjoyment of pissing people off as much as possible :DDD.
This article will examine the ambivalence in the views of Jewish authorities towards suicide. There are Jewish rulings which forbid the taking of one’s own life, including requested euthanasia. There are seemingly contrary
rulings which tolerate and sometimes admire suicide, particularly under conditions of religious persecution.
The article will attempt an overview of suicide rates in Jewish communities, indicating variations in different circumstances. The question of whether religiosity affects suicide will be raised and examined.
These variations—and of course other factors—may offer some clues to the precursors of suicide, and the processes which may be involved. The causal and risk factors in self-harm among Jews will also be examined.
The article then turns to post-suicide events, behaviours and attitudes in Jewish communities.
Jewish communities have been reported to have low suicide rates. Early reports included Dubin (1963), and Miller (1976). More recently, suicide rates in Israel were still reported lower than those of other countries, including America (Levav and Aisenberg 1989; Maris et al 2000; Gearing and Lizardi 2009). Kohn et al (1997) among others have concluded that suicide rates amongst both youth and adults in Israel are amongst the lowest in the world. For example in 2015 the suicide rate in Israel was 9.9 per 100,000, compared to 12.6 in the USA and 11.9 in Europe (WHO ). Suicide rates among young adult male Jewish Israelis climbed in the 1980s (Bursztein and Apter 2009), but rates broadly stabilised in 1990s, and with some fluctuation, overall Jewish suicide rates in Israel generally continued low compared to those in other countries. Comparative studies suggest that suicide rates are generally lower amongst Jews than the general population in predominantly Protestant communities (Danto and Danto 1983; Goss and Reed 1971; Levav et al. 1988; Williams 1997). Other countries with suicide rates lower than the Israeli rate include most Muslim countries. But, comparisons with Muslim countries and communities are more difficult. In many Muslim countries (e.g. Pakistan, UAE, Lebanon, Syria) suicide attempts are illegal, and punishable by imprisonment or other penalties. This might be the reason for the low suicide rate in these countries (WHO 2017). Also, there is likely to be under-reporting of suicide. In these countries the ratio of male to female suicides (2:1 or less) is generally much lower than in most other countries – including Israel, where the rate of nearly 4:1 male:female is comparable with that in most other countries (Lubin et al 2001; WHO 2017).
In Israel, the suicide rate among Muslims is lower than that among Jews, and this is not an effect of Israeli law, which allows suicide, but is likely to be an effect of a strong cultural-religious veto against committing and indeed acknowledging suicide. This effect may also exist in the Jewish community, but the veto may be less strong than among Muslims. There are some in the Jewish community who favour openness on the issue (Kremer 2015).
-Kate Miriam Loewenthal
Suicide, Jews and Judaism
Now, explain to me why despite self-reports of low neuroticism and, empirically, low suicide rates (especially considering that IQ is a medium-strong predictor of suicide), it is terribly difficult to believe they’re playing up their hurt feelings for gibs.