Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Whose Blood Is Redder

These different approaches in explaining mai chazit yield an interesting nafka mina: Would yeihareig ve-al ya'avor apply to a sin performed passively?  One of the Ba'alei Tosafot (Rivam) adopts an opinion (cited in several Tosafot in shas - Ketubot 3b and Sanhedrin 74b) that if a woman remains completely passive, she has no obligation to surrender her life to avoid giluy arayot.  As the very source of yeihareig ve-al ya'avor stems from the logic of mai chazit in the case of retzicha, passive involvement is not included in this principle.  I cannot ACTIVELY murder since his blood might be redder.  But by similar logic, if I am completely passive (for example, I allow myself to be thrown onto another person whereby he will be crushed), I cannot refuse, since my blood might indeed be redder than his.  The paralysis which results from the inability to evaluate forces me to withdraw from any active decision.  If the murder will be executed without my active contribution, the logic of mai chazit disappears and yeihareig ve-al ya'avor no longer applies.

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