12 votes
Accepted

Is there a halachic problem with the Columbia University seal on the floor of the library?

The Chavos Yair Siman 16 at the end of the tshuva writes that the coins from Sweden which had the Shem HaShem on it are not considered kodesh since it was made for mundane purposes and the *Mishna ...
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  • 39.5k
12 votes

Is there a halachic problem with the Columbia University seal on the floor of the library?

My father, who works at Columbia received a psak that the University branded calendars and such require geniza because of the logo on the cover. Presumably this would imply it is forbidden to walk on ...
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  • 5,171
9 votes

Fourth Graders, Museum and Chillul Hashem

There are two relevant segments of the idea of chillul Hashem. One discussion is the discussion of when it necessitates giving up your life. That has one set of standards, laid out in Hilchos ...
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9 votes

Why is giluey arayos one of the big 3?

Just to note, 'Giluey Arayos' includes two different forms of sin: incest and adultery. They may have different reasons. Most societies (agreed, not all) have held these two acts to be contemptuous ...
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9 votes

If the name of an idol is used as an exclamation by someone, is laughing forbidden?

You are allowed to do a lot more than laugh, I am afraid. In a very unusual display of contempt, the Talmud says: Rabbi Nachman said: All foul language is forbidden except where directed at ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Is there a mitzvah to do chesed for a non-Jew?

The Gemara (Shabbos 133b and Sotah 14a) derives from the Torah a mitzvah to emulate Hashem by being kind to others, to be a merciful person just as God is merciful etc. It doesn't differentiate ...
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  • 6,375
5 votes

Praying on an airplane

Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl Shlit"a the former Chief Rabbi of the Old city and foremost student of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, told me that to daven in a minyan on the plane bothers people and it therefore ...
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5 votes

Is someone killed by force called Kiddush Hashem?

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 ...
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  • 126k
5 votes

Can not obeying a Gentile's opinion of Shabbat time cause a Chilul Hashem?

You can avoid any concerns about chillul Hashem by intercepting and correcting the negative impression your gentile coworker has of you. The problem here is an education gap, which you can fix. Your ...
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4 votes

Burning the Israeli flag

It might be a chilul Hashem for all the reasons expressed in the comments above. But it might be more than that. Rav Soloveichik believed the Israeli flag has the Halachik status and Holiness of a ...
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  • 43.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Kedusha as pertains to G-d

In Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's Handbook of Jewish thought part one, he explains this kedusha as meaning completely different and separate than any part of creation. This includes his not being corporeal and ...
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  • 32.2k
4 votes

Would buying kosher meat serve as identifying one as being a "religious jew"?

Buyers of kosher products in the US are not necessarily Jews. To take just two examples Star-K writes Millions of Muslims throughout the world follow a dietary regimen similar to the kosher code....
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  • 43.3k
3 votes

Can my bad (but not sinful) behavior create a chilul Hashem?

Here is a Gemara. Masechet Yoma 86a: כדתניא (דברים ו, ה) ואהבת את ה' אלהיך שיהא שם שמים מתאהב על ידך שיהא קורא ושונה ומשמש ת"ח ויהא משאו ומתנו בנחת עם הבריות מה הבריות אומרות עליו אשרי אביו ...
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  • 22.1k
3 votes

Kedusha as pertains to G-d

The Malbim explains that Kadosh means separate and above any aspect of materialism or the lowliness of physicality. Accordingly, Hashem being Kadosh would mean that he is completely separate from ...
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3 votes

Can a non-Jew perform a kiddush/chillul Hashem?

In the Yerushalmi in מסכת שביעית פרק ד הלכה ב we learn the following: רבי אבונה בעי קומי רבי אימי: עכו"ם מהו שיהו מצווין על קידוש השם? אמר ליה: ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל ישראל מצווין על קידוש השם, ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Attending a Bar Mitzvah at a Reform Synagogue

All contemporary Orthodox poskim are in view that the reform movement, since denying commitment to the Tora is in fact like "raising it's hand against the Tora" (Meirim Yad Be-Toras Israel), hence it ...
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3 votes

Is being raised a "secular" Jew considered a chillul Hashem?

OU Torah 295. Chillul Hashem: The prohibition against desecrating God’s Name explains the three categories of Chilul Hashem The Rambam enumerates three types of chillul Hashem. The first is when ...
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  • 41.8k
2 votes

Do we have a right to not be ambassadors?

I believe that you have unwittingly conflated two separate concepts here. Being an Or Lagoyim is a concept mention three times in Yeshayahu, as delineated and discussed in this excellent Wikipedia ...
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  • 2,412
2 votes

Do we have a right to not be ambassadors?

This article from Arachim discusses the concept of "אור לגויים" in our times. The message of the article, in my words, is: "The concept of "Light unto the nations" means that we should be a symbol ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Can not obeying a Gentile's opinion of Shabbat time cause a Chilul Hashem?

In terms of the central question, namely does what a non-Jew incorrectly perceives as violating Halacha constitute a chillul Hashem, there is a Magen Avrohom (O.C. 244:8) which calls it a chillul ...
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2 votes
Accepted

If I have behaved badly, should I hide the fact that I'm Jewish?

No, he/she should not conceal the fact that they are Jewish. When you do this, you say that you worship men more than you worship God. The Jewish people are called to be a nation of priests to the ...
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  • 9,630
2 votes

If someone was in a situation where they were supposed to die “al kiddish Hashem”, and didn’t, are they supposed to commit suicide?

You are talking about a category of sins that are so terrible that a person is supposed to allow himself to be killed rather than transgress them (assuming those are the only two options). Once the ...
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  • 24.3k
2 votes

Must one die al Kiddush Hashem in cases of doubt?

Edit: I now found this article which discusses it at length, and concludes directly: דבאמת בספק ג' עבירות חמורות, כגון ספק רציחה או ספק גילוי עריות אמרינן דספיקא לחומרא, ויהרג ואל יעבור...‏ ...
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2 votes

Can my bad (but not sinful) behavior create a chilul Hashem?

It seems that according to Rabbi Dessler, yes, every person causes 'chilul' based on his own level. Here's my translation from Michtov Me'Eliyahu 4 pg 88: The Rishonim wrote that sin is a disease ...
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  • 32.2k
2 votes

Does sinning in front of another jew constitute chillul hashem?

Yes, it is chilul Hashem. Rambam Yesode Hatora 5.13: כל העובר מדעתו בלא אונס על אחת מכל מצוות האמורות בתורה, בשאט בנפש להכעיס--הרי זה מחלל את השם; ולפיכך נאמר בשבועת שקר, "וחיללת את שם אלוהיך, אני ...
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  • 22.1k
2 votes

Is declaring that you don’t want to do a sin “for now”, a chillul hashem?

The story of Rav Amnon, printed in most machzorim under Unisana Tokef and taken from the Or Zerua (Rosh hashana 266) could be taken as evidence that it is. In that story, a bishop asks Rav Amnon to ...
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  • 3,304
1 vote

If someone was in a situation where they were supposed to die “al kiddish Hashem”, and didn’t, are they supposed to commit suicide?

The Rambam (Hilchos Rotzeach 2:2) writes explicitly that killing oneself is prohibited: וכן ההורג את עצמו [...] שופך דמים הוא. ועון הריגה בידו וחייב מיתה לשמים [...] and a person who commits suicide ...
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  • 11.8k
1 vote
Accepted

Kiddush H' rather than retzicha of a Nochri?

Rambam Hilchos Rotzeach 2:10-11 with Kessef Mishnah explains that it is forbidden to kill a Gentile. The penalty for killing a Gentile is "death by the hands of heaven". The Ra'avan in his commentary ...
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  • 10.4k
1 vote

Killed al Kiddush Hashem

Apart from Danny Schoemann's answer, there's another source that talks about this (Pesachim 50a), attributed to Rav Yosef the son of Rabbi Yehoshua son of Levi, who recovered from a coma in which he ...
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  • 23.8k
1 vote

Killed al Kiddush Hashem

The source is a Gemara in Sanhedrin 47a where it seems to imply that anybody who was killed (as opposed to dying a natural death) gains atonement. The parameters of this are discussed in the Gemara (...
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