"We are closer to G-d when we are asking the questions, than when we think we have the answers" Heschel

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chananya Mishael and Azarya - Jumping into the fire (Daniel Chapter 3)

FNQ New Shiur – Series: Controversial stories in the Bible

I originally made this shiur for Yom Ha'zikaron in order to mark the day on which we remember and honor those who made and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the State of Israel and the Jewish people.  The story of  Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya teaches us about the willingness to give up life in order to sanctify G-d's name.  I could think of no more fitting story to speak of on Yom Ha'zikaron. 

Some of the interesting issues I dealt with in this shiur include:

Why did Chananya Mishael and Azarya refuse to do something (bow to an idol)  that would put their lives in grave danger?

Were they obligated to do this or were they acting only lifnim m'shurat ha'din (above the letter of the law)?

Is one allowed to martyr oneself to avoid a sin in a case where the halacha does not require it?

If someone is a great sinner and dies al kiddush Hashem does he merit a place in the world to come?

What is so great about those who die al kiddush Hashem?
Looking forward to your comments.

Binyamin – always looking for a good question

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