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Are there any recent (post holocaust) stories of a Jew who chose to sacrifice his life in order to be meKadesh HaShem? Are there any modern day Jewish martyrs (not including the many Jews who were tragically murdered by sick antisemites for simply being Jewish)? If not, what would be a realistic & plausible example of someone actively dying al Kiddush HaShem (by realistic & plausible I don't mean a pagan threatening to murder a Jew unless he accepts the pagans gods)?

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Yes.

Yom HaZikaron is the national remembrance day observed in Israel for all Israeli military personnel who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and for those who have been killed subsequently while on active duty in Israel's armed forces.[7] As of Yom HaZikaron 2019, that number was 23,741.

From Wikipedia

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    "This is a time for sanctifying life, not for sanctifying God's name through death. In the past, our enemies demanded our soul, and the Jew sacrificed his body to sanctify God's name. Now the enemy is demanding the Jew's body, and the Jew is obliged to defend it - to protect his life." --Attributed to Rabbi Yitzchak Nissenbaum, Warsaw Ghetto. I saw this quote in Yad Vashem when I was there.
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 1:47
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    Did these people choose to die to sanctify Hashem's name as the OP specified? Or they were heroes who died while trying to stay alive who's intentions were arguably not religiously motivated?
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 2:13
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    @user6591 they actively chose to live in Israel knowing that they'd have to join the army and their lives would be in danger. And defending the Jewish people is religiously motivated by definition.
    – Heshy
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 13:25
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    @user6591 Settling Eretz Yisrael and defending the Jewish people is a mitzvah, and if you're doing it for ideological reasons that's a religious motivation. It doesn't exempt you from all other mitzvos, but I can support and respect a nonreligious soldier's fulfillment of yishuv haaretz while disapproving of his chilul Shabbos.
    – Heshy
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 13:42
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    Roi Klein Hy”d threw himself on a grenade to save men under his command. He died saying Shema. 'Nuff said, I hope. Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 13:50

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