Ask The Rabbi

Shoot Me or I'll Kill Myself

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Mitzvah, Observe or Kill

Surie Fleischman wrote:

If a Jew were to hold a gun to his own head and threaten to kill himself unless you ate pig for example, what should you do? Please answer as soon as possible (Just kidding!). Thank you.

Dear Surie Fleischman,

In general, you must do anything in your power to save a life. Except for murder, idol worship or forbidden relations, you must even perform Torah prohibitions in order to save a life.

However, it's forbidden to transgress the Torah to save the life of someone who, with forethought and malice, is trying to cause another person to sin. So, theoretically, in the hypothetical case you asked about, you would not be allowed to eat the unkosher meat.

But in reality, anyone who would do such a thing is probably emotionally disturbed and not fully responsible for his actions. In such a case, you would eat non-kosher food - you would even break Shabbat - to save the person.

Sources:

  • Yoreh Deah 158:2
  • Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 329:1

 
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