Day 13: Apostasy, Part I

Day 13 Apostasy, Part I

Sunday, September 3, 2017 English Translation Follows


וְאֵלּוּ שְׁאֵין לָהֶן חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, אֵלָא נִכְרָתִין וְאוֹבְדִין, וְנִדּוֹנִין עַל גֹּדֶל רִשְׁעָם וְחַטָּאתָם, לְעוֹלָם וּלְעוֹלְמֵי עוֹלָמִים: הַמִּינִים, וְהָאֲפֵיקוֹרוֹסִים, וְהַכּוֹפְרִים בַּתּוֹרָה, וְהַכּוֹפְרִים בִּתְחָיַת הַמֵּתִים, וְהַכּוֹפְרִים בְּבִיאַת הַגּוֹאֵל, וְהַמְּשֻׁמָּדִים, וּמַחְטִיאֵי הָרַבִּים, וְהַפּוֹרְשִׁים מִדַּרְכֵי צִבּוּר, וְהָעוֹשֶׂה עֲבֵרוֹת בְּיָד רָמָה בְּפַרְהֶסְיָה כִּיהוֹיָקִים, וְהַמּוֹסְרִים, וּמַטִּילֵי אֵימָה עַל הַצִּבּוּר שֶׁלֹּא לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, וְשׁוֹפְכֵי דָּמִים, וּבַעֲלֵי לְשׁוֹן הָרַע, וְהַמּוֹשֵׁךְ עָרְלָתוֹ.

These are the people who do not have a share in the World to Come; rather they are cut off and lost, and judged according to the severity of their wickedness and sins for all time. The minim. The apikorsim. Those who deny Torah. Those who deny the resuscitation of the dead. Those who deny the coming of the Redeemer. The apostates. Those who cause others to sin. Those who separate from the ways of the community. One who sins in a haughty and public manner like Jehoiachim. The informers. Those who provoke needless fear in the community. Those who shed blood. Those who spread gossip. Those who deny the covenant.


חֲמִשָּׁה הֶן הַנִּקְרָאִין מִינִים: הָאוֹמֵר שְׁאֵין שָׁם אֱלוֹהַּ, וְאֵין לָעוֹלָם מַנְהִיג; וְהָאוֹמֵר שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם מַנְהִיג, אֲבָל הֶם שְׁנַיִם אוֹ יותֵר; וְהָאוֹמֵר שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם רִבּוֹן אֶחָד, אֵלָא שְׁהוּא גּוּף וּבַעַל תְּמוּנָה; וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר שְׁאֵינוּ לְבַדּוֹ רִאשׁוֹן וְצוּר לַכֹּל; וְכֵן הָעוֹבֵד אֱלוֹהַּ זוּלָתוֹ, כְּדֵי לִהְיוֹת מֵלִיץ בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים. כָּל אֶחָד מֵחֲמִשָּׁה אֵלּוּ מִין.

There are five types of minim. One who says that there is no God, that the world has no master. The one who says that there is a master, but that there are two or more of them. The one who says there is one master, but he is a physical being. And similarly the one who says he was not the first Creator of all. One who worships another god in order that he will act as an intercessor between him and the Master of the Universe. Each one of these five is called a min.

Translation from Maimonides on Teshuvah (5th Edition, 2017)

2 thoughts on “Day 13: Apostasy, Part I

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  1. As you know I’m a “Christian”, but you and I have talked about my faith and my personal belief that there is only One G-d and that my being a Christian denotes the simplest, ancient meaning, that I belong to Jesus the Christ as a servant does to his Master. He is my Rabbi, intercessor and Lord. His moral teachings as recorded in the synoptic gospels are most excellent and in no way contradict the Torah.

    So would a non-trinitarian, ecumenical and liberal G-d fearing, proto orthodox follower of Jesus who acknowledges Him as the anointed one in the sense of the suffering Messiah Ben Joseph be considered worthy to have a share in the world to come?

    I know that you are not a Rabbi. We both share a love of Jewish History, personal friendship and Jewish morality, but I was just wondering how I might be viewed by those in the Jewish Orthodox community? I know that some Fundamentalist Christian sects, denominations and cults consider me a heretic, but I’ve spent my life on a quest to peel back the layers of the onion to find authentic, first century Judeo-Christian beliefs.

    In my humble opinion “Christianity” and Rabbinical Judaism were, in the first few centuries of the Common Era, like two babes in the womb. The obvious syncretism and eventual partings developed after 70 CE and continued on well into the third century. So who is a Jew? Is it the one who G-d has circumcised their hearts and those who keep His Law. Is it the one who is worthy to be his Brothers neighbor?


    1. Hi Norm–
      Sorry for the delayed response. Your question is a hard one to answer well, particularly in a public forum like this one. If you are following the Rambam, I think his position is clear enough. I’m not sure, however, how he would respond to similar questions in a 21st century context. I speak about this a little more in the commentary. Maybe email would be better?


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