Kiddush Hashem

  1. The Torah was given to sanctify the name of G-d. Chazal
    placed great emphasis on the obligation to sanctify the name of G-d and on
    the severity of the punishment for the sin of profaning the name of G-d.
    “Neither teshuva nor Yom Kippur nor suffering can atone for a person who
    has profaned the name of G-d. They hold the punishment in abeyance until
    death brings atonement. (Yoma 86a). In Pirkey Avos (4:4) we learn that
    wild animals enter populated areas because of the sin of profaning the
    name of G-d. The sin of profaning the name of G-d is punished (though not
    in the same way) even when it is done inadvertently.

  2. If a person does something before Jews or Gentiles that
    would cause others to be ashamed of him, he has profaned the name of G-d
    even if, strictly speaking, he didn’t do anything wrong. So, for
    example, a person who becomes known for reading sifrei epicorsis or
    drinking excessively at parties profanes the name of G-d.

  3. There are averos for which a person is also punished
    for profaning the name of G-d, such as making oaths that are vain or

  4. A person who turns to the gentile court is a rosho,
    even if he takes a gentile to court, even if the gentile court judges the
    case as a Jewish court would, even if both parties agree to turn to the
    gentile court. It is as though he has scorned and rejected the Torah of
    Moshe Rabbeinu, and that, of course, profanes the name of G-d.

  5. A person who misleads a gentile and steals from him
    violates a prohibition form the Torah and may cause the name of G-d to be

  6. A Jew is permitted to be a witness in a Gentile court
    if a gentile calls upon him to do so. To refuse would profane the name of

  7. Everyone has to be careful to avoid doing something
    which might cause people to speak badly of him, but talmidei chochomim should
    be especially careful. Even when a person does not regard himself as a talmid
    , if others regard him as a talmid chochom, he must
    conduct himself accordingly and be especially careful. Nowadays, anyone
    who learns in a kollel is considered a talmid chochom. The Mishneh
    provides an example of how a talmid chochom should
    conduct himself: Commenting on the din in the Shulchan Oruch (90:69)
    that a person who is unable to daven with the tzibur should
    nevertheless go to the synagogue to daven because it is a place that is
    dedicated to kedushah, the Mishnah Brura says, “It is clear that
    if the person is a talmid chochom and there is a possibility that
    his arriving too late to daven with the tzibur would profane
    the name of G-d, he should pray at home.

  8. A talmid chochom should be careful, among other
    things, to avoid speaking (even if he has already davened and is in
    the middle of learning) during the davening and the recitation of
    the Shma, for apart from the fact that it is forbidden, it profanes
    the name of G-d. He must not be careless with the money of others, and if
    he borrows, he should pay back the loan when it is due, for when a talmid
    seems unconcerned to conduct himself in a proper and ethical
    way, people are quick to speak badly of him. He must never show disrespect
    for another person, and be calm and respectful when addressing the public.

  9. A person should not stop learning Torah to do a mitzvah
    that can be done by another person. But if, by learning and not doing the
    mitzvah, he will profane the name of G-d, he is permitted to do the

  10. Rabbeinu Yona writes in Sefer Shaarei Teshuva
    that a person who has profaned the name of G-d should do teshuva by doing
    things which will sanctify the name of G-d. Tzaddikim have said that if he
    does teshuva mi-ahava, then he can atone for his sin in his
    lifetime, and that diligent application to learning Torah also provides
    atonement. The Peleh Yoaytz writes that a person who has incurred
    the punishment of death from Heaven by profaning the name of G-d should
    have the intention of giving his life over to G-d when reciting the Shma
    and at the time of nefilas kapayim, for G-d regards a good
    thought as a good deed. 

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