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Questions tagged [martyr]

For questions relating to sacrificing one's own life rather than forsaking Judaism.

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“Worship idols or I kill another Jew” - what should one do?

The Halacha is that one may not serve Avodah Zarah even on pain of death (Sanhedrin 74a). I was staying by a family for Shabbos, and their 11-year-old son asked a genius question. What happens if ...
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26 views

What happens if one isn’t sure if ten Jews are watching? [duplicate]

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 ...
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1answer
50 views

Death over sins & idolatry for gentiles?

As we know there are certain sins a Jew cannot commit like murder or idol worship. A Jew should rather die than commit these sins. Does this apply to gentiles as well?
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2answers
221 views

Explaining Rash"i regarding Tamar's actions on Breishit 38:25 [duplicate]

I've been looking at Rash"i's explanations of Tamar's refusal to embarrass Yehuda after she was found to be pregnant and was sentence to burning. Rash"i says that from her actions, we learn that one ...
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1answer
99 views

3 major sins versus suicide

According to the rambam that unlike all other prohibitory mitzvos there are 3 that one must give up one's life for rather than be forced to commit. Does the requirement to give up one's life rather ...
12
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1answer
968 views

“Die, but don't transgress”: what about torture?

There is a principle in Jewish law that there are three transgressions that should not be committed, even on pain of death: murder, "sexual immorality" (a reference, presumably, to the sorts of ...
5
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1answer
137 views

Why wouldn’t G-d allow the decree against the Asarah Harugei Malchus to be overturned?

In general, a bad decree from G-d can be overturned through repentance and davening, while a good one can never be revoked. (This is a major theme in the books of Yirmiya and Yonah, among others.) ...
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2answers
146 views

Killed al Kiddush Hashem

Is there a source for the notion that someone who is killed "Al Kiddush Hashem" is not held accountable for his sins and goes straight to Gan Eden? Does this apply only when dying willingly?
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Does the Midrash imply that one should give up his life for “smaller” mitzvos?

The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 14:6) expounds the Pesukim in Koheles (8:2-3): Based on several incidents, the Midrash interprets "ani" as indicating that one's awe should be over you. Thus, "Ani, the ...
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2answers
138 views

Must one die al Kiddush Hashem in cases of doubt?

In the Rambam's Mishneh Torah Yesodei haTorah Chapter 5:2, he explains that a Jew must die rather than perform idolatry, murder, or gilui arayos. Does this also apply in cases of doubt? (i.e whether ...
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2answers
690 views

How are martyrs honored?

Disclaimer: I am a Christian gentile and respect those of the Jewish faith. I am wondering how the Jewish community honors those who are considered to be martyred for their Jewish faith? Do you ...
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Promising someone Paradise

In Avoda Zarah 18a: The Executioner then said to him (Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon), 'Rabbi, if I raise the flame and take away the tufts of wool from over your heart, will you bring me into the ...
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Is a maidservant required to be 'moseret nefesh' for her master?

In Sefer Bereshit, 30:3-13 the maidservants of both Rochel and Leah are given to Yaacov in their stead to build Yaacov's house through bearing additional children. Since the text states that any ...
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1answer
61 views

Weakened punishment if done for the nation

I'm looking for sources where we see someone had a lesser punishment or no punishment at all because the act the did although punishable, was done for the nation (klal yisroal). I heard a shiur where ...
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2answers
435 views

Yehareg v'al ya'avor – what about after?

I recall a kina in which the children of R' Yishmael (haKohen Gadol) are put in a dark room together and forced to have relations. At the end of the kina, they recognise each other and kill themselves....
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2answers
137 views

Source for Chasidik practice of imagining yourself giving up your life during the first verse of Krias Shma

in a chassidus shiur i heard that the obligation for krias shma (for people busy with parnoso) according to all opinions is the first posuk of shma with kavono and that the kavono is by saying it you ...
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3answers
157 views

What is the halacha regarding averot that one must not do even to avoid death?

What is the halacha regarding averot that one must not do even to avoid death? I have heard, but do not believe it to be correct, that the halacha is that one must prefer death to (1) forced ...
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114 views

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague? (Allowing it, protesting it (they should have been killed and not do it)) From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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49 views

What would a Jew be willing to die for? [duplicate]

What things would a Jew be willing to die for? Answers with a textual basis would be preferred.
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27 views

About giving up one's Life for G-D and Minhag

My question is concerning the times when Jews are - G-D forbid - being persecuted religiously and they can't transgress or stop performing mitzvot to the extent of not changing Minhag. Does this ...
5
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1answer
115 views

Shaas hashmad and Arab terrorism

There is a halachik principle brought down in the Talmud and codified in halacha known as shaat hashmad - a time of forced religious persecution. Generally, the rule is that any commandment of the ...
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0answers
69 views

Why are there only 8 Martyrs in the Tisha b'av kinnos

The kinna on Tisha b'av says there are 10 Martyrs, but only 8 are named. In the Yom Kippur version, however, all 10 are mentioned. Why are 2 missing from Tisha b'av?
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1answer
179 views

Extent of Martyrdom Requirements in the Face of Anti-Religious Laws

There is a halachik principle brought down in the Talmud and codified in halacha known as shaat hashmad - a time of forced religious persecution. Generally, the rule is that any commandment of the ...
2
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2answers
174 views

Is rape considered yehareig v'al yaavor?

Since Deut. 22:25-26 equates rape with murder, would a man be required to give up his life rather than commit rape?
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1answer
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According to Bamidbar Rabba, why was Caleb so adamant about the fruit?

Bamidbar Rabba 16:14 has an interesting back-story for the giant fruits that Numbers 13:23 tells us the twelve spies retrieved from Canaan: ויבאו עד נחל אשכול - לא רצו ליטול מפירות א"י, אילולי כלב ...
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3answers
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Why didn't the Ten Martyrs answer differently?

Without arguing either the historicity or the historical accuracy of the midrash of Eleh Ezkerah, the 10 Martyrs, I am wondering about the details of the story as told. According to the version on ...
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73 views

Can someone blaspheme to save their life?

As is well known, one is to die rather than murder a Jew, perform adultery and the like, or worship an idol (Sanhedrin 74a). Is blasphemy (i.e. denying one's dedication to the Torah) permissible to ...
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3answers
272 views

Public Shaming: Cardinal Sin?

Is publicly shaming someone a cardinal sin (a sin which one must die rather than perform), as per the Talmudic statement that it is better to die than to publicly shame someone (Berakhot (43b), Bava ...
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55 views

jewish in secret or martyrdom? [duplicate]

If I live in a extreme Islamic country that would most likely kill me for being jewish and moving is not an option, is it unacceptable for me to practice in secret? or should I confess my faith and be ...
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1answer
270 views

Is someone killed by force called Kiddush Hashem?

Is someone who was killed for being Jewish without having been given a choice to save himself by transgressing the Torah, called a kodosh?
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1answer
175 views

Is a ban on government workers wearing religious symbols a gezeirat hamalchut for which one would be obligated to give up his life?

So, i haven't heard that anyone today is making this punishable by death, but still... France has a law that prohibits government workers from wearing religious symbols on their job. This naturally ...
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1answer
55 views

Why can't one be cured with Asheira wood?

The Gemara in Pesachim (25a) says א"ר יעקב א"ר יוחנן בכל מתרפאין חוץ מעצי אשירה היכי דמי אי נימא דאיכא סכנה אפילו עצי אשירה נמי ואי דליכא סכנה אפילו כל איסורין שבתורה נמי לא לעולם דאיכא סכנה ואפי' ...
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3answers
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What did the Akeida accomplish that Avraham didn't already?

Avram stood up to Nimrod (which meant him being sent into a fire). This demonstrated his ultimate self-sacrifice for God, publicly. What more did the Akeida accomplish?
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What is a “time of kingdom's decree”

The gemara in Sanhedrin 74 talks about a time of oppression, during which even for "light mitzvot" one must die. What exactly constitutes such a time? Is it any time when the government makes a ...
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1answer
436 views

Is Niddah considered to be gilui arayos for purposes of martyrdom?

Gilui Arayos as is known is one of the 3 "big avaros" that one has to give up their life for. Is the prohibition of a Niddah considered forbidden to the extent that one would have to give up one's ...
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2answers
993 views

Conversion to Islam

Although Islam is considered monotheistic I would imagine that in a case of 'oness' (coercion) one would still not be allowed to convert. Is conversion to Islam considered to be a case of יהרג ואל ...
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4answers
656 views

Why is giluey arayos one of the big 3?

I get why murder and idol worship are things you have to give your life up for. But why is giluy arayos - sexual sin so fundamental as to require a person to give up one's life? I'm looking for a ...
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2answers
642 views

Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral murder/suicide?

Was the mass coordinated mutual killing at Masada (for lack of a better term) an act of heroic martyrdom or immoral murder and suicide? While it is unknown for certain what exactly transpired, ...
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186 views

How to reconcile conflicting statements on martyrs feeling pain

According to the Maharam M'Rotenberg (explained in this answer) martyrs don't feel the pain of death. How then can we understand these following medrashim? When R' Chanina ben Tradyoin was being ...
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2answers
554 views

Source that martyrs don't feel pain?

A lot of people have told me (and I seem to remember seeing so myself) there is a view in the Rishonim that someone who is killed Al Kiddush Hashem (for the sanctification of G-d's name, ie., ...
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1answer
211 views

When did Ben Azzai die?

Rabbi Shimeon ben Azzai is listed as having died twice, once as part of the 4 who enter "pardes" (chagigah 14b) and again as one of the 10 martyrs. Which of these traditions is correct, or is there a ...
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1answer
134 views

Safek yehareg v'al yaavor

If there is a situation in which you aren't sure whether you are required to give up your life, do you give up your life or not? The most simple example would be if someone doesn't know whether ...