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Iggeret Hashemad Chapter 4.b

What is the value of the performance of Mitzvot of those that violate the Torah?

The communications between the Creator and man

The Rambam defines what does it mean to desecrate G-d’s name.

This entails any Jew that because of his speech and/or conduct arouses negative speech about him, even in a case where he does not commit a Torah violation.  Another definition of desecration of G-d name is when reputable Torah scholars cease to perform noble behavior, such as Rabbi Yochanan who always wore Tefillin all day; it would be a desecration of G-d’s name would he not wear it. In other words, the desecration of G-d’s name is subjective to the level of observance that one holds himself to.


The definition of sanctifying G-d’s name is a higher level of service, where the person serves G-d only out of his love for G-d and not for personal gain. Even though there are personal gains for fulfilling any one of the positive or negative commandments, when one performs the mitzvot to sanctify G-d’s name, that person’s intention is to perform themitzvah to spread G-d’s name in the world, and has no intention or desire of any personal gain, even though that gain exists.


What is the ramification for the violation of G-d’s name?  A person is obligated in the violation even if he violates mistakenly.  Furthermore, the regular route of repentance is insufficient, only after a person passes away is he atoned for.

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