Positive Mitzvah Nine

Sanctifying G-d's Name

VaYikra 22:32 You shall not desecrate My holy Name, rather I should be sanctified among the Benei Yisrael; I am Hashem Who sanctifies you,

The purpose of this Mitzvah is that we are duty bound to proclaim this true religion to the world, undeterred by fear of injury from any source. Even if a tyrant tires to compel us by force to deny Him, we must not obey, but must positively rather submit to death; and we must not even mislead the tyrant into supposing that we have denied Him while in our hearts we continue to believe in Him, Baruch Hu.

This is the Mitzvah concerning the Sanctification of the Name which is laid upon every son of Yisrael: that we must be ready to die at the tyrant's hands for our love of Him, Baruch Hu, and for our faith in His Unity, even as Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah did in the time of the wicked Nevuchadnetzar, when he forced people to prostrate themselves before the idol (Daniel 3:1), and all did so, the Yisraelim included, and there was none there to sanctify the Name of Heaven, all being in terror. This was a sore disgrace to Yisrael, in that this Mitzvah was disregarded by them all, and there was none to fulfill it, all being afraid.

This Mitzvah applies only in circumstances such as those of that great occasion, when the whole world was in terror, and it was a duty to declare His Unity publicly at that time. Hashem had already promised through Yeshayahu that Yisrael would not be completely disgraced on that hard occasion, but young men would appear among them, undeterred by death, and would sacrifice their lives and proclaim the Faith, sanctifying the Name publicly, as He commanded us through Moshe our Teacher. This promise is in the words, "Yaakov shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale; when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in the midst of him, that they sanctify My Name (Yeshayahu 29:22-2).

The Sifra says: "On this condition I brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you sanctify My Name publicly." (VaYikra 22:32; Sifra)

The Gemara of Tractate Sanhedrin 74b says:

'Is a Noachide commanded to sanctify His Name or not? Listen to this: "The Noachides were commanded to observe seven Mitzvot; but if they were [also] commanded to sanctify His Name, there are eight."  Thus it has been made clear to you that this is one of the Mitzvot that are obligatory upon Yisrael, the Sages having deduced this Mitzvah from the words, "I will be sanctified among the Benei Yisrael."