Q: Is suicide a forgivable sin because soon I will commit it? — A
A: Dear A, I beg you, I plead with you, I abjure you, I pray for you, please do not take your life! If you wrote to me because you trust in some measure my advice and counsel please stop reading my reply right now and do not return to reading it until you have called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now at 800-273-8255.
… now welcome back, dear A.
If you are honest with yourself, you must know that every day you awaken into life after your sleep, you know deep down that your blessings exceed your burdens. We all have burdens and sorrows and fears.
Find the most beautiful place you know and go there with a chair and a bottle of water and the 121st Psalm.
Then just sit there and watch the sun set and while you have enough light, read it:
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Contemplating the divine beauty of nature leads us away from despair and into hope and into the deepest truth: You are not alone, and you are loved.
God bless you, A.
From the email bag: The recent article by Rabbi Marc Gellman explaining the Islamic celebration of Ramadan is interesting, informative and incomplete. Unfortunately, Rabbi Gellman omitted the Baha'i Faith and the corresponding celebration of the Baha'i Holy Days of Naw-Ruz (the Baha'i new year celebrated the first day of spring each year) and Ridvan, a 12-day celebration of the declaration of Baha'u'llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith, which takes place from April 20 to May 1.
Rabbi Gellman begins by stating "The Glorious and unifying truth is that all three of the great Abrahamic Faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are celebrating their formative holidays this spring." This statement should be all five of the great Abrahamic faiths, to include both the Baha'i Faith and its immediate forerunner, the Babi Faith, both of which have their roots in Islam, just as Christianity has its roots in Judaism.
Later in his article, Rabbi Gellman states, "Ramadan functions for the Muslims as Lent does for the Christians and the 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur do for the Jews" but does not mention the 19-day fast observed by members of the Baha'i Faith leading up to their celebration of the Baha'i new year.
I do agree with Rabbi Gellman when he states, "All three [five] of the great faiths birthed by God's revelation and intervention into history, nature and our lives celebrate the great and holy belief that God is with us in and beyond time." — G
MG: I meant it when I taught you that there are many paths up the same mountain to God. God bless all the Baha'i climbers. All hu Abh, "God Is the Most Glorious."
SEND QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Marc Gellman, Temple Beth Torah, 35 Bagatelle Rd., Melville, NY 11747.