Is someone who was killed for being Jewish without having been given a choice to save himself by transgressing the Torah, called a kodosh?

1 Answer 1


There's a Rabbi Rakeffet mp3 on this on yutorah.org (sorry no, I can't tell you which one).

It's widely circulated that the Rambam wrote that anyone killed simply because they were Jewish is considered to have died "al kiddush Hashem."

However ... we don't seem to actually have such a written source in the Rambam.

Post-Holocaust, the subject came up a lot. There was one scholar (pretty sure it R' Shlomo Zevin or R' Mendel Kasher) who in fact wrote that no, they're not. Most other rabbis who addressed it said that yes they are, this rumor must have come from someplace, and that's how the Jewish people have accepted it. (I believe the Seridei Aish is in this latter category.)

  • yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/728083/…
    – rabbi
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 15:06
  • Shalom, this answer would suggest that the עשרה הרוגי מלכות did not die Al Kiddush Hashem (using the motivation described in the piyyut). The Rambam says that they did. Was Rabbi Akiva given a choice to renounce Judaism when he was killed?
    – Yishai
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 16:49
  • they asked for three days to find out if the gezeirah was from shomaim. it seems that they had other options at their disposal
    – rabbi
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 21:45
  • see yevomos 49b yeshayahu hamelech
    – rabbi
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 21:49

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