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The Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a-b) rules that if ten Jews are present when a non-Jew threatens a Jew to perform any sin - even to dress like a non-Jew - on pain of death, the Jew is obligated to give up his life.

What if he’s not sure whether there are ten Jews present? Do we say that one is stringent on a Torah law, and so he must give up his life? Or do we say that one is stringent when it comes to life-and-death and he may not give up his life? Perhaps we would apply principles such as “follow the majority” or “kol kavuah” to settle it (or further complicate it)?

I do not ask according to Tosfos (AZ 28a), who rule that in any case one who gives up his life, even if he’s not obligated to, is praiseworthy. I ask only according to the Rambam (Hil. Yesodei HaTorah 5:1) that one is not allowed to give up his life if he’s not obligated to do so, and one who does is considered to have committed suicide.

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    @msh210 I don't think this is a duplicate since this question is more specific – b a Oct 22 '18 at 11:46
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    @msh I don’t know that this is a duplicate per se. In that question he asks about a different type of safek - when one’s not sure which posek to hold like. Here the question is when one knows the Halacha, but isn’t sure whether the case in question satisfies the Halachic requirement. – DonielF Oct 22 '18 at 11:46
  • I think commentators mention not only watching, but also "aware of" the deed. – Al Berko Oct 22 '18 at 12:02
  • @AlBerko That would make sense but I haven’t actually seen such an opinion. – DonielF Oct 22 '18 at 12:25
  • @DonielF re your comment to me: the safek in halacha is used as an example there (paragraph 2); the question (paragraph 1) is about any safek. Or am I misreading it? – msh210 Oct 22 '18 at 13:52