chillul Hashem

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    what constitutes a chillul Hashem? is a chillul Hashem for goyim or for other Jews (though may be less observant than us)? obviously, if a jew was caught selling drugs or doing something else illegal, that would be a chillul Hasahem. but what if the deed is not illegal? what if deed is muttar by halacha? and what if deed is actual halacha?

    these are all different questions, so answer is probably different for all.


    Chilul HaShem is for Yidden. The common misconception is for non-Jews but it is not so. If the deed is Halacha, then there’s no problem, that is Kiddush HaShem. For a man to show his tefilin in public, indeed to do any mitzvah – that is Kiddush HaShem – doing HaShem’s ratzon. We have to be Shem Shamayim Misyahev Al Yadecha, HaShems name should be loved (to others) through you.


    The biggest kind of chillul Hashem is when a Yid does something wrong in front of Yidden. In front of goyim is also wrong, but not as big a chillul Hashem as when by Yidden.


    The Rambam says it means not saying Shema [even] while in privacy.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Chilul Hashem is for yidden, and probably for others as well. (This is what I’ve heard; if anyone has a source which either agrees or disagrees, please let me know.)

    If something is proper according to halacha (not just acceptable, but demanded by halacha), then it is a kiddush Hashem, even if it angers people. (This is pashut – think bris milah in communist Russia, R’ Akiva teaching Torah, etc.)


    Chillul Hashem is applicable to a trait or action exhibited only by a large number of Jews. Chillul Hashem as most Jews view it, is more accurately a manifestation of Anti-Semitism.

    If a Muslim or Christian cuts me off, or is rude to me, I don’t attribute his actions to his Christianity or Muslimity, I blame the person. I don’t believe the Chinese race lacks patience even though a Chinese waiter once pressured me to finish my meal.

    To blame Jews as a whole for an action committed by one single Jew is nothing other than Anti-Semitism. Now if an entire Jewish organization got up and said that all Jews should cheat on their taxes, that would be a chillul hashem.

    p.s. I don’t really believe this, but why am I wrong?


    so, here’s some questions:

    1. we were always told that when going on class trips, that we should behave very nicely, and i tell my kids so, as that will make a kiddush Hashem. and/or the opposite, if act too wild, can make chillul Hashem. (obviously, i would still tell my kids to behave properly), but is that true – that if act better than “normal” kids – they make a kiddush Hashem?

    2. so, if a minyan goes on in back of airplane – can that be called a chillul Hashem – since not doing anything wrong, or is it better as some say, to just daven in your seat?

    3. what if something is halachakilly correct, but can make Jews look bad, is that a chillul Hashem – i can’t think of really good example; but, two that come to mind is if man doesn’t give a get (for good reason, was told allowed to do that halachikally), but looks very bad – is that a chillul Hashem, or people take money from government funded program, but others think that it looks bad, is that a chillul Hashem? (i’m not getting into whole discussion of what should or should not do, just trying to understand what is chillul Hashem and what isn’t).


    troll – just read your post. that’s what i’m trying to understand. generally, when people say something can be a chillul Hashem – it seems to me that they’re saying, this can cause anti-semitism. is that a separate thing / something to keep into account? are they in fact 2 different things.

    1. is a chillul Hashenm, as the others have said, just doing something against halacha, that other Jews would think badly of him? of Hashem? ex. frum Jew stealing

    2. is it chillul Hashem for us to do something that is not wrong, but may cause other Jews to look down upon us and/or non-Jews to hate us or is there another category of just being careful with what we do because we are still in galus?


    oh, i have a different example that i just remembered someone saying: they said that if a person’s house is a mess and they have a worker (like plumber, electrician, anything) come in – then that could be a chillul Hashem, as he’ll say – oh, look how the more yeshivish/charedi/orthodox, etc. live?

    Is that true?


    When we went on class trips, we were told to behave so as to make a kiddush hashem.

    Translation- We are really ill behaved, and the torah does not make us nice people. But we like to fool people into thinking the torah makes us good, so lets behave and they’ll think that.

    At least that’s how I understood it. (And so would you if you heard some nun saying it in a Catholic school.)


    BY: To understand chillul Hashem, we must fist understand kiddush Hashem. How would you define kiddush Hashem?


    The Chinuch in mitzvah ??”? and the Rambam in ‘??’ ????? ????? ?’ ? both say that someone who is mefursom in Torah and maasim tovim that does something that the ????? look down on that is chilul Hashem.

    As opposed to this they say if someone is oiver an aveirah in front of ten members of the klal then this is also a chilul Hashem.

    So we see a difference between what is called a chilul Hashem in front of the klal and what is chilul Hashem in front of anyone.

    I would opine that the world does look up to all of us baalei maasim tovim and that this can be an issue.

    However, the Rambam doesn’t bring any cases of where a person has the oppotunity to do a mitzvah but he will be looked down upon for doing it. It seems to me that in the case of a mitzvah if a person can do it without chilul Hashem this is preferable, but if it comes down to it, it is better for him to do the mitzvah rather than abstain.

    m in Israel

    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.

    So to apply to the above examples:

    If something is a Mitzva, by definition it is a Kiddush Hashem to do it, not a Chillul Hashem. If something is an aveira, it is a Chillul Hashem (My understanding is that in addition to the aveira itself, if an aveira is done intentionally, there is also an aveira of Chillul Hashem. This can be in public or private –Pirkei avos discusses one is mechallel Hashem in private — although not all meforshim interpret it that way). The class trip/ telling kids to behave extra well probably falls under the third concept of causing others to say “fortunate are those who study Torah”, as may the messy house example. However for it to be Chillul Hashem there must be something wrong about it, either objectively or on a certain level. If something is completely fine to do, but bothers others for unreasonable reasons, there is no inyun of Chillul Hashem, even if the person gets upset a Jews as a result.

    tro11 – This somewhat addresses your issue. The point is not what people say/ think about Jews. It is our obligation not to do anything wrong that will cause that diminishing of Kovod Hashem in the world. If your actions are not wrong, no issue. If they are somewhat wrong (being rude, cutting people off), it may fall under this concept according to the opinions that it would apply even if the “wrongdoing” is only due to higher expectations.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    p.s. I don’t really believe this, but why am I wrong?

    For the same reason that the idea of maris ayin is not a contradiction to the chiyuv to be dan l’kaf z’chus; the fact is that people judge unfavorably, and generalize. So although in theory it shouldn’t, in actuality a public bad deed is m’maet in k’vod shomayim.


    whenever you hasve the chance to make a kiddush Hashem grab at it cuz it gets rid of a chillul Hashem (thats the only way to get rid of it)


    pba: no, we’re normal and not robots. (and i knew a girl who went to a catholic school, and the things they did out of school were much different than what we would ever do in those olden days.)

    we ask kids to behave better than normal, so as to make a kiddush Hashem. 😉


    tbt: right. that’s what i’m asking. i know what we call kiddush Hashem and chillul Hashem, but is that really true or is that our made-up definitions. because people start calling out – this or that is a chillul Hashem – and is that true or not? for example, some people may think that the fact we fight back the Arabs is a chillul Hashem (meaning they hate us or don’t see why we have any rights to Eretz Yisroel), while others see going to the army is a kiddush Hashem, and others say learning Torah all day is a kiddush Hashem. this is just one example. there are tons – where people just throw out the term. now, i know that there is a true concept of what is a chillul Hashem, but i don’t know what it is.


    derech hamelech and m in israel – those were excellent answers; thanks! i think you’ve completely answered my questions. 🙂


    Suppose (theoretically of course) that I knew someone who presents himself as an orthodox Jew.

    He runs a business where he employs mostly non-Jews.

    The non-Jewish employees know that he is (supposedly) an orthodox Jew.

    The non-Jewish employess also know that MUCH of the way he runs the business is definitely immoral, and often even illegal.

    Is that a chilul HaSh-m?


    Kiddush Hashem= sancttify Hashems name. Every single Mitzvah we do does that. Really, every time we listen to Hashem. Doing an aveirah, even in private, is a chilul Hashem.

    There’s a slightly different concept of “Shmi hamchulull ba-goim” mentioned in a recent haftorah



    I don’t think I understand that.

    We should tell kids to behave better than normal because the torah teaches us to.

    I feel like we’re telling kids to behave better than normal because we want people to think the torah teaches us to.


    I feel like we’re telling kids to behave better than normal because we want people to think the torah teaches us to.

    hey! i’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but i think your statement is correct. i guess it’s wrong to say kiddush Hashem or chillul Hashem in this context, but we are definitely saying that they should act like that, so people will want to be like us, as m in Israel wrote, they should say, “fortunate are those who learn Torah”.

    that’s why this whole thing is confusing – at least how it’s typically used.

    m in Israel

    AinOhdMilvado — See my above post which addresses your scenario:

    If he is doing it intentionally, and it is illegal, it is a Chillul Hashem according to all opinions. If his employees were Jewish it would be considered a Chillul Hashem in public (much worse) — that aspect may not apply if it is only in front of non-Jews. If what he does is not illegal, but immoral by all standards, it would also be a Chillul Hashem. If it just viewed as immoral because his employees expect more from a supposedly religious person, it is likely still a Chillul Hashem, although there may be different opinions on this.

    Of course that just addresses the Chillul Hashem aspect. Someone running a business in an illegal or unethical way is likely violating many other aveiros as well.

    m in Israel

    pba — Your complaint seems to say that the kids were given the message that the Torah does not require proper behavior, except in public. That indeed would be very poor Chinuch. I believe what we are trying to tell children is that they must be very careful to adhere to proper behavior as the Torah requires us the behave with Derech Eretz. If you do not live up to that in a public place where people clearly know you are frum Jews than you will be leading them to believe that the Torah does not require proper behavior. That is a Chillul Hashem (more in the colloquial use with regards to the concept of yehai shmai shamayim misaheiv. . .) in ADDITION to the obvious problem of lack of Derech Eretz.

    This is similar to the way we teach that every word of L”H is many aveiros — are we saying that if it was “only” one aveira it would be ok? Obviously not, but it help psychologically to motivate one to be careful when the stakes are higher so to speak. Similarly the hope is that the added dimension of potential Chillul Hashem will help motivate students to behave in the way they should be behaving at all times.


    minisrael – i think pba is writing what i seem to be implying. now i am totally sleep-deprived, so i may not be making sense at all, but isn’t that what we do? i’ve heard a story where (i think) rav yaakov’s kid was climbing on the table, and when asked by someone why he didn’t tell his son not to do so, he replied that since we ???? our kids for purpose of them not doing things in the future, no need to rebuke him for that as he knows his child will not be climbing on tables as an adult. also, it’s normal for children to get wild and fool around, but i ask my children that when we’re in public, not to get wild, etc. – maybe, it’s just ??? ???, so as not to bother others?

    on another thread, this whole topic came up in regards to taking welfare – i don’t think people argued that it was halachakilly wrong, just that it didn’t fit with how they felt frum people should be.

    m in Israel

    bina – this is what pba said that I was addressing:

    “We should tell kids to behave better than normal because the torah teaches us to.

    I feel like we’re telling kids to behave better than normal because we want people to think the torah teaches us to.”

    He seems not to have a problem with telling kids to behave better than normal, but rather with the reasoning behind it — i.e. to project an image rather than because it is required by the Torah.

    As far as what is “normal” for kids to do, if it is age appropriate behavior there probably is not an issue of Chillul Hashem, as there is nothing wrong being done. However if in fact your kids are capable of behaving better then normal, I can definitely hear that is good Chinuch in this general concept of people respecting Torah via the positive behaviors of those who keep it. But I would try to explain it more as I said above — something to the effect that the Torah requires us to always behave with Derech Eretz, speak respectfully, not fight, etc. When we are in public and people know that we are frum Jews we have another special responsibility to show everyone what the Torah teaches us, and be extra careful to follow everything we are taught.

    I don’t know why I alway seem to resort to kids songs on these hashkific threads, but the chorus of the Kiddush Hashem song on the Marvelous Middos machine goes something like “you’ve got to show the world what the Torah teaches you” — that’s the message I try to send to my kids, not that we are putting on a show to give a false impression.

    Again all this is dealing the with the third concept, not the actual main definitions of Chillul Hashem.

    Taking welfare if it would fit in altogether would be in the second category (something that causes others to look down on you), which is actually more within the Halachic parameters of Chillul Hashem. But it is not clear that it would apply, as a big part of the question is if it is morally/ethically wrong to take welfare money or not (assuming you legitimately qualify, obviously). If it’s not wrong, but only gets people annoyed or doesn’t fit in with an individual’s work ethic, it is not likely a Chillul Hashem. As with all areas of halach lmaasah, everyone should ask their own Shaalah!


    A chilul hashem is something you do in front of yidden and goyim cuz we want everyone to know that we are the chosen nation . in front of yidden its not such a chillul hashem cuz they know were doing it by mistake… the goyim see it once and automatically think down on us….

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