About 5.7 million people of Jewish faith are estimated to live in the United States (Pew Research Center, 2015). Most are not recent immigrants but people who have been in this country for more than one generation.
Judaism teaches that how people are born and how they die are in God’s hands. Life belongs to God, not to the individual. It is a gift to be treasured. Taking one’s own life is viewed as a serious violation of one’s responsibility to God and society.
Although Jewish teachings do not condone suicide, Jews tend not to blame people who die by suicide. Instead, they try to understand the death. The suicide is condemned, but not the person.
In general, Jews believe that most suicides can be prevented if actions are taken in time—such as giving a person food and water, personal affirmations, and physical comfort, and getting the person the care he or she needs.
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