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19 votes
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"Die, but don't transgress": what about torture?

The Talmud Ketubot (33a) shows that lashes are worse than death by stating that had Hananya Mishael and Azarya been tortured, they would have worshiped the statue. דאמר רב: אילמלי נגדוה לחנניה ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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5 votes
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How are martyrs honored?

Generally martyrs are not honored in jewish prayer services and places of worships as is done in some other parts of the world. Generally no statues or paintings of them are depicted. That being said:...
RonP's user avatar
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5 votes
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Yehareg v'al ya'avor – what about after?

Regarding your initial assumptions: 1) 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. As noted by @kouty there is ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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5 votes
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Explaining Rash"i regarding Tamar's actions on Breishit 38:25

The source is the Talmud: Berakhot (43), Bava Metsia (59a) Ketubot (67b), Sotah (10b). Regarding the question of protecting one's life overriding other concerns, the question is obviously whether ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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5 votes

Understanding the reasoning for "be killed rather than kill"

The definition you present for svara is incorrect; it is not arguable. Mahartz Chayus (Mavo Hatalmud, Ch. 4) states and proves that svara has the same status as the aforementioned methods. Therefore, ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
5 votes

Why is וחי בהם taught in the context of one of its exceptions?

Adapting from here: Panim Yafos (by the Baal Hahaflaah) and Pnei Dovid (by the Chida): to teach us that (according to Tosafos) even with arayos, where there's no maaseh, יהרג ואל יעבור doesn't apply. ...
Meir's user avatar
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4 votes

Is there a Modern day example of someone Sacrificing their Life to Sanctify HaShem's name?

Yes. Yom HaZikaron is the national remembrance day observed in Israel for all Israeli military personnel who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and ...
Heshy's user avatar
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3 votes

3 major sins versus suicide

While as far as I know he never addresses this explicitly [i], In all of Rambam's discussion of cardinal sins, he always writes that one allows oneself to be killed (Sefer Hamitsvot Lo Taaseh 63, ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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3 votes

Death over sins & idolatry for gentiles?

The Rambam (Laws of Kings and Wars 10:2) rules that A non-Jew may violate one of the Commandments if he is forced to do so. Even if he was forced to worship idols, he may do so, since non-Jews ...
mbloch's user avatar
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3 votes
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Source for Chasidik practice of imagining yourself giving up your life during the first verse of Krias Shma

The first source is multiple, a mishna, a berayta with Rabbi Akiva, Rishonim. Mishna Berachoth 9, 5 (pasted here from the Gemara with Soncino's translation)"'WITH ALL THY SOUL' MEANS, EVEN THOUGH ...
kouty's user avatar
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3 votes
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Weakened punishment if done for the nation

I see this in Tosfot Yebamot 103a: Gemara says: אמר רבי יוחנן שבע בעילות בעל אותו רשע באותו היום שנאמר {שופטים ה-כז} בין רגליה כרע נפל שכב בין רגליה כרע נפל באשר כרע שם נפל שדוד והא קא מתהניא מעבירה ...
kouty's user avatar
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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...‏ ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
2 votes

Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral murder/suicide?

I'll add some more perspectives to the answers already given here. I've found that a few people have discussed the matter from a halachic perspective: Rabbi Shlomo Goren wrote an essay on the subject, ...
Harel13's user avatar
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2 votes

Was Nazi sadism a case of "surrender your life if they're trying to stamp out religion"?

quoting from this website: ההכרעה אם המציאות בתקופת השואה היא בגדר "פיקוח נפש" או "שעת השמד" הייתה קשה מכיוון שהכרזה על שעה כ"שעת השמד" מחייבת ידיעה של כוונת המלכות, קרי כוונות הנאצים. אם ...
Alaychem goes to Codidact's user avatar
2 votes

Understanding the reasoning for "be killed rather than kill"

The svara is explained in several tosfotim in Shas, e.g. in Yevamot 53b, explaining the Gemara in Sanhedrin. When one of two men would be killed anyways, and the one of them has a choice to make a ...
kouty's user avatar
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2 votes
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Must one give up his life in order to avoid performing an abortion?

The Rama YD 157:1 says that Yeharog Val yaavor applies even if it’s just a lav without the punishment of death: וכל איסור עבודת כוכבים וג"ע וש"ד אע"פ שאין בו מיתה רק לאו בעלמא צריך ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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2 votes

Did the conversos who continued to live as crypto-Jews in Spain have any Halakhic justification?

The history of Spanish conversos, from the forced conversions of 1391 until after the expulsion, is complicated and contentious. Nevertheless, while medieval rabbinic authorities broadly did not ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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1 vote

Can one pretend to sin in order to save his life?

The gemara that deals with this is Sanhedrin 74a: א"ר יוחנן משום ר"ש בן יהוצדק ... כל עבירות שבתורה אם אומרין לאדם עבור ואל תהרג יעבור ואל יהרג חוץ מעבודת כוכבים וגילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote

Ten Martyrs - Why would Binyamin be culpable?

Binyamin wasn't culpable. The tenth one was for Yosef. Yosef was culpable as he caused the brothers to hate him. See link. https://www.sefaria.org/Otzar_Midrashim%2C_The_Ten_Martyrs%2C_Introduction.2?...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
1 vote

Letter from the Chofetz Chaim about non religious martyrs

I don't know of a letter, but Reb Elchonon Wasserman is quoted Here as telling his son to make a Bracha before they were killed by the nazis based on the Chofetz Chaim. Also, the Chofetz Chaim's ...
פרי זהב's user avatar
1 vote

Understanding the reasoning for "be killed rather than kill"

Rambam, Hil. Yesodei HaTorah 5:5: וְכֵן אִם אָמְרוּ לָהֶם עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים תְּנוּ לָנוּ אֶחָד מִכֶּם וְנַהַרְגֶּנּוּ וְאִם לָאו נַהֲרֹג כֻּלְּכֶם. יֵהָרְגוּ כֻּלָּם וְאַל יִמְסְרוּ לָהֶם נֶפֶשׁ ...
DonielF's user avatar
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1 vote

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

First of all You are not "giving up" your friend life because you are שב ואל תעשה-sitting down and doing nothing (rather than worshiping avoda zara) see Proof bellow Sanhedrin 75a. So the question ...
user15464's user avatar
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1 vote

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

See https://www.sefaria.org/Menachot.29b.3-5?lang=bi אמר רב יהודה אמר רב בשעה שעלה משה למרום מצאו להקב"ה שיושב וקושר כתרים לאותיות אמר לפניו רבש"ע מי מעכב על ידך אמר לו אדם אחד יש שעתיד ...
The GRAPKE's user avatar
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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 ...
b a's user avatar
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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 (...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
1 vote

How are martyrs honored?

On Yom Kippur (literally the day of atonement), Ashkenazi Jews read the poem, Eleh Ezkerah (these I shall remember), commemorating the 10 most famous martyrs in Jewish history. Sephardic Jews read it ...
M. Broder's user avatar
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1 vote

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

The kina (kina 23, quoted bellow) talks about a brother and his sister in captivity with different owners. . The owners bring together the two young slaves, for reproduction. Q` Would incest be ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.8k
1 vote

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

In short it is to fullfill the commandment to love Hashem with all your soul See the second source of the excellent answer above Brings that Rabbi Akiva explains that to love Hashem "With ...
hazoriz's user avatar
  • 7,526
1 vote

Public Shaming: Cardinal Sin?

Reb elyashiv in brachos 42a says we don't know what level of embarrassment would be considered a cardinal sin, as the Gemara's case is from Tamar who did not want to embarrass a king Yehuda so it coud ...
user16291's user avatar
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