Sanhedrin 74a teaches that one must give up his life rather than be intimate with a forbidden relationship. It derives this from Devarim 22:26, in the context of a man who raped a young woman:

וְלַֽנַּעֲרָה֙ לֹא־תַעֲשֶׂ֣ה דָבָ֔ר אֵ֥ין לַֽנַּעֲרָ֖ה חֵ֣טְא מָ֑וֶת כִּ֡י כַּאֲשֶׁר֩ יָק֨וּם אִ֤ישׁ עַל־רֵעֵ֙הוּ֙ וּרְצָח֣וֹ נֶ֔פֶשׁ כֵּ֖ן הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה

Do not do anything to the girl; there is not to the girl a sin of death, for just as one would rise up against his friend and murder his soul, so, too, is this thing.

Just like one must give up his life rather than murder, so, too, one must give up his life rather than have illicit relations.

Now, this passuk is taught in the context of specifically rape, not just any immoral relationship. On what basis, then, does the Gemara assume that this should be extended to any immoral relationship? Perhaps it's only rape for which one must give up his life, but other immoral relations would be permissible on pain of death, especially since the general rule is taught in the context of general immorality.

  • 1
    If it's a hekish to a murderer, which by murder it doesn't make a difference if the victim agrees or is forced, the rule is אין הקיש למחצה we must compare it totally. That would mean, that if she agrees or is forced, it's יהרוג ואל יעבור. – פרי זהב Aug 20 '19 at 0:08
  • @פרי That would be all well and good, except A) not all Rishonim agree to that, since she's קרקע עולם; Rashi, for instance, says in the parallel sugya in Pesachim that only he is liable for immorality, and B) it still might only apply to a נערה מאורסה and not to, say, one's adult sister. – DonielF Aug 20 '19 at 1:45
  • Does the hekish of R' Yonah sefaria.org/Kiddushin.67b.16?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en that compares all cases of illicit relations include this rule of giving up your life as well? – פרי זהב Aug 20 '19 at 2:15
  • @פריזהב I had completely forgotten about that Gemara. What’s the Halacha by a Niddah? I’m not so sure whether one is supposed to give up his life instead of being intimate with his wife while she is a Niddah. That hekish should extend there, as the passuk which overrides the hekish only deals with Kiddushin and shouldn’t have any bearing on our discussion. – DonielF Aug 20 '19 at 2:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .