Chillul H-shem….Definition

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    Can someone post the proper definition of Chillul H-shem…again.

    The term is erronously getting thrown around so much….again. Such as, but not limited to:

    “I saw a Jew with too high of moral standards…now, tell me what is the non-religious goyim going to think about that? Oy, what a CH”


    “Those Jews in Israel are the same they’ve always been for the past 1,000’s of years. What is the “modern world” going to think of them & their long line of Jewish history that has surpased any of that of the other nations & has watched every other “modern” culture come & go?…I can’t believe the CH”


    An example of a Chillul Hashem is if someone eats treif in public, in front of other Jews. That’s the biggest kind of Chillul Hashem — publicly doing an aveira in front of Jews.


    Which is why the medine is one big chilul Hashem – doing that in Eretz haKodesh is even worse.

    Another example – receiving food stamps because your assets are hidden, driving to Pomegranate in your Lexus, and flashing a diamond ring when you pull out your illegal EBT card to pay for expensive groceries. (I assume Pomegranate takes shtempelach – by law I think they may have to).


    It means embarrasing hashems name in any way.


    chilul Hashem is making Hashem’s name less. Kidush Hashem is elevating Hashems name. when people are doing more then is the exact halacha it is NOT a chilul Hashem. who cares what the goyim are thinking. what matters is what ur doing. if its something that will lower Hashems name in Hashems eyes- thats a chilul Hashem


    Doing something that makes Goyim think less of frum Jews is Chillul HaShem. Dovid HaMelech gave over Shaul’s relatives for execution to avoid this (Gemora in Ha’Arel, Yevamos).


    Look in Rambam, Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah, for the general gedorim

    m in Israel

    mdd — Actually Dovid Hamelech gave over Shaul’s relatives to rectify a Chillul Hashem that had occurred previously and was causing a famine in the land. (The Urim V’Tumim told Dovid the reason.) The Chillul Hashem was giving the impression that Jews do not keep their deals (because 7 Givonim were killed in the city of Nov, and the Jews had a treaty with the Givonim) — a far cry from “something that makes the Goyim think less of frum Jews”.

    I haven’t learned the Rambam recently, and the concept is complex, but from my memory, this is how I understand it:

    The primary definition of Chillul Hashem is to commit an aveira intentionally. If this were done in front of a minyan of Jews (as DH mentions), it would be Chillul Hashem in public. That would be a Chillul Hashem according to all opinions.

    Additionally there is a secondary aspect to Chillul Hashem which is when someone acts in a way that decreases Hashem’s Kovod in the world. This is understood as to mean if someone acts in a way that is not befitting to him. He is doing something that is not perfectly right. I believe there is somewhat of a machlokes if this only applies when doing something objectively morally wrong, or even if it is only wrong because people expect more of that individual (i.e. the world holds Jews to a higher standard — perhaps due to antisemitism and they’re looking for problems, perhaps because they instinctively understand we have more obligations then them — either way if your action would be unbefitting to their perception of how you should behave)

    Finally there is the general conept of “yehi shem shamayim misahev al yadcha”, that a person has an obligation to make Hashem “loved” through his actions, and that people should say “fortunate is one who teaches his child Torah”. Colloquially this concept has also been lumped under the concepts of Kiddush Hashem/ Chillul Hashem, although I’m not sure it’s technically the same mitzva.


    M in Israel, you are not right. The Gemora there(ma’ase with Shaul’s relatives) says befeirush:”…mutav she’yeaker os achas min HaTorah ve’al ischalel Shem Shamaim befarchesia”. Ask you husband to find it for you. A Chilul HaShem in front of Goyim is real Chilul HaShem. Again, just look in the Rambam for the gedorim.

    Sender Av

    ywn coffee room

    m in Israel

    mdd — I did not say Chillul Hashem in front of Goyim is not Chillul Hashem — see my second to last paragraph. My point was that it is only Chillul Hashem if there is something inherently wrong — either objectively or compared to what would be expected — with the action (in this case that Bnei Yisroel violated their treaty). It does not apply to doing “anything” that makes people look down on frum Jews. As I posted on a different thread, the logical conclusion to ignoring that detail (that there is something improper with the action) leads people down very strange paths. Someone posted on a different thread that if people think frum Jews are “not normal” due to our actions it would be a Chillul Hashem. If that is the case, then keeping Shabbos, Kosher, or Tznius in public, all of which are “not normal”, would be included in Chillul Hashem, which is obviously not the case!

    A Heimishe Mom

    Chillul HaShem actually refers to action performed in front of other Jews that denigrates the name of HaShem, chalila. Frum kids pushing on the city bus or talking loudly/rudely in the streets is pretty common. And goes all the way to the Sing-Sing Kollel.


    well mom frum Jews acting improperly on the bus is a Chillul Hashem, as are non frum Jews riding the bus on Shabbos


    M in Israel, I concur.

    Heimishe mom, Chilul HaShem in front of the Umos is certainly Chilul HaShem.


    Somewhat of a pet-peeve, it’s Hashem, not H-shem.


    Someone posted on a different thread that if people think frum Jews are “not normal” due to our actions it would be a Chillul Hashem.

    Yes, this is exaclty why I made this post. It gets confusing on here when everyone keeps saying that EVERYTHING is a CH. I could have looked through previous post for the answer to clarify it in my mind, but after reading through many comments, I feel that it’s a definition that needs to be reiterated….since everyone keeps throwing such a HUGE accusation around over very minor issues. Thanks

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