Day 14: Heresy, Part 2

Day 14: Heresy, Part 2
Monday, September 4, 2017 English Translation Follows


שְׁלוֹשָׁה הֶן הַנִּקְרָאִין אֲפֵיקוֹרוֹסִים: הָאוֹמֵר שְׁאֵין שָׁם נְבוּאָה כְּלָל, וְאֵין שָׁם מַדָּע שֶׁמַּגִּיעַ מֵהַבּוֹרֵא לְלֵב בְּנֵי הָאָדָם; וְהַמַּכְחִישׁ נְבוּאָתוֹ שֶׁל מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ; וְהָאוֹמֵר שְׁאֵין הַבּוֹרֵא יוֹדֵעַ מַעֲשֵׂה בְּנֵי הָאָדָם. כָּל אֶחָד מִשְּׁלוֹשָׁה אֵלּוּ אֲפֵיקוֹרוֹס.

שְׁלוֹשָׁה הֶן הַכּוֹפְרִים בַּתּוֹרָה: הָאוֹמֵר שְׁאֵין הַתּוֹרָה מֵעִם ה’, אַפִלּוּ פָּסוּק אֶחָד, אַפִלּוּ תֵּבָה אַחַת–אִם אָמַר מֹשֶׁה אֲמָרוֹ מִפִּי עַצְמוֹ, הֲרֵי זֶה כּוֹפֵר בַּתּוֹרָה; וְכֵן הַכּוֹפֵר בְּפֵרוּשָׁהּ, וְהִיא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה, וְהִכְחִישׁ מַגִּידֶיהָ, כְּגוֹן צַדּוּק וּבַיְתּוֹס; וְהָאוֹמֵר שֶׁהַבּוֹרֵא הִחְלִיף מִצְוָה זוֹ בְּמִצְוָה אַחֶרֶת, וּכְבָר בָּטְלָה תּוֹרָה זוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שְׁהִיא הָיְתָה מֵעִם ה’, כְּגוֹן הַנּוֹצְרִים וְהַהגרִים. כָּל אֶחָד מִשְּׁלוֹשָׁה אֵלּוּ כּוֹפֵר בַּתּוֹרָה.

There are three kinds of apikorsim. One who says that there is no prophecy at all, and that there is no knowledge of the Creator that reaches the heart of a human being. One who denies the prophecy of Moses our Teacher. One who says that the Creator is unaware of the deeds of humanity. Each of these three is an apikoros.

There are three kinds of deniers of Torah. One who says that the Torah does not come from God, even a single verse, even a single word. If he says that Moses wrote it on his own, behold this is a denier of Torah. One who denies the interpretation of Torah, which is the Oral Torah, and contradicts its teachers, as did Zadok and Boethus. One who says that the Creator exchanged one commandment for another, making the earlier Torah irrelevant, even though it came from God, like the Christians and the Muslims. Each of these three is a denier of Torah.


שְׁנַיִם הֶן הַמְּשֻׁמָּדִים: הַמְּשֻׁמָּד לַעֲבֵרָה אַחַת, וְהַמְּשֻׁמָּד לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ. הַמְּשֻׁמָּד לַעֲבֵרָה אַחַת–זֶה שֶׁהִחְזִיק עַצְמוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָהּ עֲבֵרָה בְּזָדוֹן וְנִתְפַּרְסַם בָּהּ וְהֻרְגַּל, אַפִלּוּ הָיְתָה מִן הַקַּלּוֹת, כְּגוֹן שֶׁהֻחְזַק תָּמִיד לִלְבֹּשׁ שַׁעַטְנֵז אוֹ לְהַקִּיף פֵּאָה, וְנִמְצָא כְּאִלּוּ בָּטְלָה מִצְוָה זוֹ מִן הָעוֹלָם אֶצְלוֹ–הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁמָּד לְאוֹתוֹ דָּבָר: וְהוּא, שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה לְהַכְעִיס. וְהַמְּשֻׁמָּד לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה, כְּגוֹן הַחוֹזֵר לְדָתֵי הַגּוֹיִם בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁגּוֹזְרִין שְׁמָד וְיִדָּבֵק בָּהֶן, וְיֹאמַר וּמַה בֶּצַע לִי לְהִדָּבֵק בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁהֶן שְׁפָלִים וְנִרְדָּפִים, טוֹב לוֹ שֶׁיִּדָּבֵק בְּאֵלּוּ שֶׁיָּדָן תַּקִּיפָה–הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁמָּד לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ.

There are two types of apostates: an apostate for a single sin, and an apostate for the entire Torah. An apostate for a single sin is one who has intentionally habituated himself to a particular transgression. He is well-known for this sin, which he regularly commits, even if it might be one of the lighter sins such as wearing clothing made out of wool and linen, or cutting the hair on the sides of his head in the forbidden manner, as if he considers the commandment irrelevant. This person is called an apostate for such a thing, providing he is doing it to anger God. An apostate for the entire Torah is like someone who turns to the religion of the nations during a time of forced conversion, joining them and saying “what does it benefit me to be part of the Jewish people, who are lowly and persecuted? It would be better for me to join with these people who are more powerful.” Behold, this is an apostate for the entire Torah.
Translation from Maimonides on Teshuvah (5th Edition, 2017)

2 thoughts on “Day 14: Heresy, Part 2

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  1. I also ordered your book; in fact, I ordered one for the shul library and one for myself. This was on July 14. However, I haven’t received my copy and neither has the shul. I sent you an email about this several weeks ago and attached the receipts. I haven’t received a response. Could you please look into this.

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