Is someone permitted to force another person to do an aveira (sin) by threat of death, [If the person doing the forcing does not actually intend to carry out his threat]? If not, why not? Since the person doing the aveira does not know that the person threatening him will not actually kill him, he isn't doing any Aveira, because he's considered a oness (acting unwillingly). Thus, the person forcing him is not causing him to do an aveira. So why should it be forbidden?

Related: Contradiction in Chelkas Yoav regarding lifnei iver when the aveira is done by oness

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    Why do you think that threatening someone with death is permitted?!
    – aBochur
    May 6, 2018 at 23:52
  • @aBochur 1- Do you have a source that it is forbidden? 2- My question wasn't regarding the death threat itself. It was in regard to causing another person to sin through such a threat. May 6, 2018 at 23:57
  • 1. I'm working on finding one. But i can't possibly imagine that walking over to someone with a gun and threatening to kill is not a problem. 2. As soon as i have a source for not being allowed to threaten, then the second part of your question falls apart.
    – aBochur
    May 7, 2018 at 0:13
  • @RibbisRabbiAndMore Mimah nafshach - if you actually intend on killing, then that would be an aveirah. if not, it's a lie May 7, 2018 at 0:16
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    @aBochur I can easily envision a less extreme scenario that leads to the same thing and doesn't involve any threats or even lies. Let's say Reuven hurts himself on Shabbos and knows it's not serious, but he wants to speak to his friend Dr. Shimon. So he says to Levi "call Dr. Shimon." Levi, thinking it's pikuach nefesh, does, and Dr. Shimon drives over. I think for the core of the question it's equvialent, but avoids the peripheral issues that you and רבות מחשבות are pointing out.
    – Heshy
    May 7, 2018 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


Regarding if it is a sin when being forced to do it, you may have a proof from this משנה ברורה.

The משנה ברורה סי' ש"ו ס"ק נ"ח answers a contradiction about being מחלל שבת to save someone being forced to do an עבירה. He says, if it's a one time עבירה we are not מחלל שבת, because חילול שבת is also an עבירה. However, if it's a lifetime of עבירות, we are מחלל שבת. Obviously, doing an עבירה even when forced is still an עבירה.

If it is an עבירה, it would be forbidden because of לפני עור.

  • 1
    Thank you for the source. Yet, I don't understand how it can be considered an aveira, if he has a Torah obligation to do it in order to save his life? Can something which Hashem requires a person to do be an aveira? May 7, 2018 at 8:09
  • The halacha which the MB is refering to there is (halacha 13) which says מי ששלחו לו שהוציאו בתו בשבת להוציאה מכלל ישראל - And the Mishna Berurah also points out שתשאר מומרת ותחלל שבת לעולם, so there even though she is forced it is still an aveira, because it is a case of יהרג ואל יעבור, but when its just a one time חילול שבת where the person being forced is obligated by halacha to do it, how do you know that it's considered an Aveira? Jun 7, 2018 at 8:44
  • @RibbisRabbiAndMore - The MB does not mention anything about יהרוג ואל יעבור in the case of ש"ו. He only mentions the חילול שבת aspect. Even though the girl is being forced to be מחלל שבת her entire life, it is still considered being forced, she is a real תינוק[ת] שנשבה. The only reason the MB writes you are not מחלל שבת by a one time עבירה, is because you need to do an עבירה to save her. Actually, the fact that MB writes אפילו אם היא עבירה גדולה כגון לעבוד עבודת גילולים אין צריך לחלל שבת, shows us that יהרוג ואל יעבור is not a factor. Jun 7, 2018 at 20:08
  • The opposite! Thats exactly what the MB does mean when he says that even if it is an aveira like avoda zara (יהרג ואל יעבר) youre still not mechalel shabbos to save him from 1 time because its one aveira against one aveira. Yes, its forced, but its still an aveira because its YVY, but we still have no proof that a regular aveira is called an aveira when being forced. Jun 7, 2018 at 21:13
  • Do you have a possible explanation how it would be possible to say that if its not יהרג ואל יעבר it could be considered an aveira when she must do it, its a mitzvah, a chiyuv, not an aveira. Jun 7, 2018 at 21:15

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