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Mitzvah #4

Mitzvah #4

Sefer Ha’mitzvos Ha’Katzar (the concise book of mitzvos)
By the Chofetz Chaim

This book lists the Torah mitzvos that can be observed today

First Section – the Positive Commandments

5. It is a positive commandment to sanctify the name of Hashem in public.

As it says in Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:32, “And I will be sanctified among the children of Israel.” And this requires us to give up our soul (by dying), with all of our possessions, to publicize His faith, may His name be blessed. If someone wants to convince a Jew to turn from our faith, he should not listen, and should give up his life for this. Also, he should not mislead others by making them think he is a heretic, even though in his heart he still believes in Hashem, may His name be blessed, in order to give others a place to think that he has turned away from Hashem. If the person trying to make him give up his religion, and he is in public - which means in front of ten Jewish people - then even if it is not at a time of religious persecution, he is to be killed rather than transgress. If it is a time of persecution, Heaven forbid, even in private, he should be killed and not transgress. But for idol worship, illicit relations, and murder, even in private, and during a time when there is no persecution, and even the one forcing is only doing it for pleasure and not making him give up his religion, he should die and not transgress. And if he is in public, then he is sanctifying the name of Hashem and there is nothing better than that.

And the one who transgresses on this and does not sanctify Hashem when it is a place he is required to sanctify Him, he has negated a positive commandment and transgressed a negative commandment of not desecrating the name of Heaven, as it states, in Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:32, “And you shall not profane (my Holy Name)”. (this will be discussed further in Negative Commandment number 155, with Hashem’s help)

This applies in all places and at all times for men and women.

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