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Kiddush ha-Shem

Kiddush ha-Shem (Heb., ‘sanctification of the divine name’). The glorification of the God of Israel, especially by remaining steadfast in faith. The rabbis taught that God's name could be sanctified in three specific ways: prayer, excellent conduct, and martyrdom. Martyrdom has always been seen as the ultimate expression of Kiddush ha-Shem. Martyrdom in the Jewish tradition is obligatory, rather than break the laws of idolatry, unchastity, or murder. The opposite is ḥillul ha-Shem, ‘desecration of the Name’, which involves consideration of how an action will be regarded in the gentile world. It includes the offence of erasing God's name following Deuteronomy 12. 3 f.).

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