Are you allowed to daven for a person to die because he is in a lot of pain?

  • Somewhat similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/32160
    – msh210
    Nov 7, 2013 at 20:11
  • Probably so, but I think praying for their speedy recovery would be a better option. Nothing is impossible for Hashem Yisbarach!
    – ezra
    May 4, 2016 at 5:04

2 Answers 2


If the person is suffering and there is no cure for their disease, yes it is allowed to pray that God put them out of their misery. There are many stories in the Gemara about rabbis doing just that. (E.g. Bava Metzia 84a.)

Of course even if you're praying that God let them die, you have to do everything you can to make sure the person is getting the food, water, and other care that they need. We don't play God.

The exception I heard from Rabbi Hershel Shachter (quoting someone earlier, I don't remember who) is your spouse: even if s/he is very sick and suffering tremendously, it's not proper for you to pray that s/he dies.

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    Not to argue, especially insofar as you have brought sources from Chazal, but it is worthwhile for us to bear in mind (an insight someone mentioned in my presence recently) that G-d doesn't need for us to explain to Him how to accomplish what we are asking for.
    – Yirmeyahu
    May 4, 2010 at 6:37
  • @Yirmeyahu: I'm not sure what you mean by "G-d doesn't need for us to explain to Him..." God surely requires that we pray, and in the prayers we explain to Him what he should do for us. And we are also obligated to pray for the sick when we visit them. Now those prayers could be for the sick to heal or to die, but in either case we are explaining to God what we want. Now, how to interpret what that means is a separate philosophical question, but practically we certainly do explain a lot of things to God all the time.
    – Curiouser
    Jul 21, 2011 at 23:34
  • @Curiouser, we can pray that God end their pain, which God could do through a cure and not death if He chose. Specify the goal, not the implementation. Jun 7, 2012 at 15:45

Yes. See Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat 2:73(a) where R. Moshe quotes Kesuvos 104a (the story of Rebbe's handmaid praying that Rebbe, who was suffering, should die) in support of the conclusion that in some cases we ought to pray that suffering people should die. He also explains there under what circumstances we can refrain from continuing to actively extend the life of someone who is suffering.

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