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23

The Rambam in his אגרת השמד says outward acceptance of Islam is not ייהרג ואל יעבור. On the other hand, the Radvaz quotes the Ritva as saying that this is ייהרג ואל יעבור. According to the Rambam, outward acceptance of Islam is not ייהרג ואל יעבור because Islam is not עבודה זרה, and even though it is heretical because it denies the Torah, one does not have ...


18

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 מישאל ועזריה, פלחו לצלמא For Rav stated: Had they tortured Hanania Mishael and Azarya, they would have worshiped the statue. The implication is that in the ...


13

In Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 157:1, the Ramma quotes a Beis Yoseif saying that shaas hashmad is only when the gizeira (decree) is specifically against Jews. The Shach there (#6) clarifies that if the gizeira is against the entire medina (country or jurisdiction), even though Jews are included, it is not called shaas hashmad.


12

Per http://www.ashlag.com/parasha_in.asp?id=206&idd=5 this is based on a Maharam M'Rotenberg. The pain is not felt if the person is not anticipating a miracle, however if the person is anticipating a miracle then he does feel the pain. בשו״ת מהר״ם מרוטנבערג (סימן תקט״ז) דכשגמר האדם בדעתו למות על קידוש השם ומסר נפשו על זה, אז מכאן ואילך כל מה שעושים ...


8

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 or taboo, which may mean that it's an area of morality which should be self-evident, and if it isn't obvious, then you should check your moral intuition. I ...


7

R' Hirsch notes that the Big Three are echoed in the laws for the Altar that God gives as an "epilogue" to the Assembly at Sinai in Exodus 20:19-23: Whatever v. 20 comes to prohibit, (according to the Midrash cited by Rashi, various misuses of angelic icons are included) it clearly echoes idol worship. Not making the Altar of cut stones (v. 22) "lest you ...


7

Hirhurim quotes R' J.B. Soleveitchik regarding an earlier event similar to Masada where Josephus' army committed suicide rather than surrender. Josephus, however, survived, surrendered and became a Roman citizen: I would not say that Josephus lacked the courage to commit suicide. From a halakhic point of view, Josephus may not have been permitted to do so....


7

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Likkutei Sichos Volume 20, Vayera #3) said that the difference between the two tests was that in the first test, Avraham did what any normal "holy" person would do. He lived his whole life to spread G-dliness, and here is the ultimate way to show how much you believe in G-d - That you are willing to give up your life for it. The ...


6

The difficulty in understanding the Rashi on a simplistic level is that no sacrifice atones for intentional sin. However, if you look at the actual text of the Midrash which Rashi is basing himself off of (Bamidbar Rabba 13:14), the atonement of this sacrifice was for something much more specific. The Medrash recounts how Yehuda was responsible for dipping ...


6

I recently went to a shiur on this topic after posting this question. The Rabbi said that there is much debate on what the Rambam actually held with regards to this i.e. whether he was writing as a response to the Jews of Fez and their 'coerced conversion' at the hands of the Almohads. The Rambam was writing in response to an unnamed chacham who was ...


6

There are two answers to this question both found in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 157 seen here. First, see the Ramma who says that the type decree which necessitates giving up one's life is only a decree leveled against jews alone, עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבַדָּם, not a decree which includes other people as well, as Shach #6 there explains. And as wiki says: ...


5

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 no indication that they actually had relations. 2) At the end of the kina they recognize each other and kill themselves. As noted by @kouty there is no ...


5

The Rambam is of the opposite opinion. Although he brings the concept of such a person not having a portion in the world to come, he mentions nothing about it being a fourth exception to יהרג ואל יעבור - requiring martyrdom (see the Derech HaTeshuva to the Rambam Teshuva 3:14 who notes that Tosfos and Rabbeinu Yona's opinion is amazing as it is "clearly" not ...


5

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 considered to have died "al kiddush Hashem." However ... we don't seem to actually have such a written source in the Rambam. Post-Holocaust, the subject came up a lot....


5

Torah Lishma Question 494 concludes that it is not something one should get killed for.


5

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 this is one of the cardinal sins. The simple approach is that it isn't. Rambam, for example, doesn't mention this teaching at all. Apparently, like Meiri in Sotah ...


4

See Tosafos there (Pesachim 25a) which says that it's not referring to the medical aspects of the wood, buyt to its supernatural affects, which possibly brings one closer to idol worship.: חוץ מעצי אשירה. נראה לר''י דמיירי כגון שאין יכול להתרפא משאר עצים אלא בזה כגון על ידי שדים או שום דבר אחר משום דאתי למיטעי בתר ע''ז Similarly in Avoda Zara 27b ...


4

Okay there are two aspects to the Masadists' actions: Fighting a war when it was absolutely clear they stood no chance of winning. On this, I heard Rabbi Hershel Schachter state that the actions of the Masadists were "shelo birtzon chachamim" -- against the wishes of the Sages -- hence purposely omitted from the Talmud. You only fight a war that you stand ...


4

The gemara (Sanhedrin 74a) lists three sins which a person should choose not to transgress, even at the expense of his life. They are idolatry, murder, and sexual impropriety. According to Ramba"m, one must also die to avoid public desecration of God's name (e.g. if someone threatens to kill you if you do not perform a sin in public) or when there is a ...


4

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: there are times in the jewish calendar when the service brings to mind the suffering of the jewish people and our hope for redemption and the rebuilding of ...


4

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, the svara presented in the Talmud cannot be argued upon as you propose and wouldn't leave any room for questioning (ie we have an explicit source). עוד יש ...


4

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. Meshech Chochmah: to teach us that (according to the Shach's understanding of the Rambam) יהרג ואל יעבור doesn't apply to אביזרייהו דעריות, which is the ...


3

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 HE TAKES THY SOUL [LIFE]" but the verse cited is the second verse and not the first. Gemara Berachoth 61B When R`Akiba was taken. He prolonged the word ehad ...


3

THIS IS ALL PURELY THEORETICAL!!!! In broad terms, that's precisely the Talmud's argument. Though I think you mean verse 26. Talmud Pesachim, 25b: דתניא ר' אומר (דברים כב) כי כאשר יקום איש על רעהו ורצחו נפש כן הדבר הזה וכי מה ענין רוצח אצל נערה המאורסה הרי זה בא ללמד ונמצא למד מקיש רוצח לנערה המאורסה מה נערה המאורסה ניתן להצילה בנפשו אף רוצח ניתן ...


3

The kina you're referring to was written to mourn for people who died al kiddush Hashem (I don't think we learn halakha or agadah from kinot). The source in A"Z 18a was written, again, to mourn for martyrs who had already died. We can feel bad for the suffering of those who died and talk about their misery. The Maharam was writing during horrible pogroms ...


3

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 אמר רבי יוחנן משום ר''ש בן יוחי כל טובתן של רשעים רעה היא אצל צדיקים ‏ Rabbi Johanan Said: That profligate had seven sexual connections on that day;...


3

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, Hilkhot Yesodei HaTorah 5:2, and Iggeret HaShmad); never that one actively kills himself. Indeed, suicide is completely forbidden according to Rambam, and he ...


3

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 are not commanded to Sanctify the Name. The Rambam follows the view that yehareg ve-al ya'avor (the obligation for a Jew to let himself be killed rather than ...


2

In Tshuvas Bnei Banim chelek 1, siman 41, Rabbi Y.H. Henkin discusses this at length. He leans heavily on the opinion that this was not meant to be taken literally. So however stringent this transgression is, one would not be required to give up their life. He quotes many sources so you can check those up and decide for yourself. He has arguments in the ...


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