What is an Apikorus?

What is an Apikorus?

There are many definitions given by our Rabbis regarding an apikorus:

Chofetz Chaim

An apikorus refers to someone who does not believe in Torah or prophecy, either the Written Torah (Tanach) or the Oral Torah (Mishnah / Gemarah).  Even if he disbelieved only one verse in the Torah, one halacha, or one derivation of the Oral Torah, he is included in the classification of Apikorus.  (Hilchos Loshon Hora, Klal 8, Seif 5)


An apikorus is a Jew who denies the Torah or prophecy.

Rabbeinu Nissim

One who denies Hashem's communication with humans, denies the prophecy of Moshe Rabbeinu or denies Hashem's knowledge of human activities.

Beis Yosef

One who treats a talmid chacham, or someone else in the presence of a talmid Chacham, contemptuously.

What is a Kofer?

A kofer is one denies the origin of the Torah or the existence of Hashem. The term is often translated as atheist or agnostic.

What is a Min?

A min is a heretic, Jewish apostate who has adopted another religion, or cleric of other religions.

What is a Malshin?

A malshin is an informer who betrays Jews or the property of Jews to authorities who will deal with them in ways that are not in accordance with Jewish law.

What is a Meisis?

A meisis is one who attempts to persuade Jews to leave their religion for another religion.

What is a Meshumad?

A meshumad is an apostate who lives like an adherent of another religion, abandoning the Torah entirely.

Source: Laws of Loshon Hora and Rechilus and Mishpetei Hashalom 18:1, 4


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