Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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Martyrdom as death in defense of one’s own religion or in rejection of forced conversion is not a known concept in the Hebrew Bible. However, Halakhic conditions were formulated in ancient rabbinic literature in which a “Sanctification of the [divine] Name” (kiddush ha-Shem), that is a martyr’s death, were permissible or even required. Since the persecutions during the era of the Crusades in th…

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Heil, Johannes, “Martyrs”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0515>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20210312

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