Dying "al kiddush Hashem"

A D G (adg1@juno.com)
Mon, 17 Feb 1997 18:22:52 EST

Moshe Schapiro asks in Torah Forum 3:20-
>The various religious newspaper articles I've read seem to say that *all*
>those who were murdered in the Holocaust are considered to have died "al
>kiddush Hashem" (in the sanctification of G-d's Name), including
>individuals who had cut off all ties to their Jewish heritage. It also
>seems that victims of anti-Israeli terror and Israeli soldiers who died in
>action are also included in this category. I thought only those who give up
>their lives in order not to transgress a Torah law earn this distinction.
>Does anybody know of a source which discusses this issue?

There are many stories of people standing up to the Nazis even
for small mitzvos. For example washing ones hands before eating. There
are stories of people who died for these and other such mitzvos. Isn't
there a rule that a person is only obligated to allow himself to be
killed for the _BIG THREE_? How can one then allow himself to be killed
for something else? I am not talking about the people killed just for
being Jewish, these people had a chance to survive and gave it up for a
small mitzvah, and I thought that requirement was only by the _BIG


[* The three cardinal transgressions, concerning which one must forfeit his
life rather than commit, are idol worship, forbidden sexual relationships,
and murder.]