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Encyclopedia > Cherem

Cherem (or Herem חרם), is the highest ecclesiastical censure in the Jewish community. It is the total exclusion of a person from the Jewish community. It is a form of shunning, and is similar to excommunication in the Catholic Church. Cognate terms in other Semitic languages include the Arabic term ḥarām (forbidden, taboo, off-limits, sacred), and the Ethiopic `irm (meaning accursed). For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ... Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. ... Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... harām (Arabic: حرام Ḥarām, Turkish: Haram, Malay: Haram) is an Arabic word, used in Islam to refer to anything that is prohibited by the faith. ... The Geez language (or Giiz language) is an ancient language that developed in the Ethiopian Highlands of the Horn of Africa as the language of the peasantry. ...

Contents

Summary

Although developed from the Biblical ban, excommunication, as employed by the Rabbis during Talmudic times and during the Middle Ages, is really a rabbinic institution. Its object was to preserve Jewish solidarity. The legal instinct of the Rabbis made it impossible for such an arbitrary institution to become dangerous, and a whole system of laws was gradually developed, by means of which this power was limited, so that it practically became one of the modes of legal punishment by the court. While it did not entirely lose its arbitrary character, since individuals were allowed to pronounce the ban of excommunication on particular occasions, it became chiefly a legal measure resorted to by a judicial court for certain prescribed offenses. This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library of Congress. ... Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ... The first page of the Vilna Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot, folio 2a. ... Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ...


The Talmudic form of cherem must be distinguished from that described in the Tanakh in the time of Joshua and the early Hebrew monarchy, which was the practice of consecration by total annihilation at the command of God carried out against peoples such as the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the entire population of Jericho. The neglect of Saul to carry out such a command as delivered by Samuel resulted in the selection of David as his replacement. Tanakh (Hebrew: ‎) (also Tanach, IPA: or , or Tenak, is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... Joshua, Jehoshuah or Yehoshua. ... In the Bible, Midian (Hebrew: מִדְיָן, Standard Midyan Tiberian ; Arabic مدين; Strife; judgment) is a son of Abraham and his concubine Keturah (who according to midrash is Hagar). ... According to the Book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles, Amalek (עֲמָלֵק; Standard Hebrew ʿAmaleq, Tiberian Hebrew ʿĂmālēq) was the son of Eliphaz and the grandson of Esau (Gen. ... The Taking of Jericho, by Jean Fouquet Near central Jericho, November 1996 Jericho (Arabic  , Hebrew  , ʼArīḥā; Standard YÉ™riḥo Tiberian YÉ™rîḫô / YÉ™rîḥô; meaning fragrant.[1] Greek Ἱεριχώ) is a town in Palestine, located within the Jericho Governorate, near the Jordan River. ... Saul (Hebrew Shaul meaning demanded) is: 1. ... Samuel or Shmuel (Hebrew: שְׁמוּאֵל, Standard Tiberian ) is an important leader of ancient Israel in the Book(s) of Samuel in the Hebrew Bible. ...


Since the Enlightenment

Except in rare cases in the Haredi communities, cherem stopped existing after The Enlightenment, when local Jewish communities lost their political autonomy, and Jews were integrated into the greater gentile nations in which they lived. Haredi Judaism, also called ultra-Orthodox Judaism, is the most theologically conservative form of Judaism. ... ...


The only type of cherem which still exists in the general Jewish community is the social ban against Jews for Jesus and the other Messianic Judaism groups. Jews of present-day Jewish denominations reject congregating with members of these groups, which mainstream Judaism believes are evangelistic Protestant Christian organizations attempting to convert Jews to Christianity. They are viewed as missionaries who are trying to end Judaism, one person at a time, by converting Jews into Christians. Jews for Jesus is a Christian [1] evangelical organization based in San Francisco, California, whose goal is to convince Jews that Jesus is the Messiah and God. ... For the Jewish religion, see Judaism. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch...


In the Talmud

The Talmud speaks of twenty-four offenses that, in theory, were punishable by a form of niddui excommunication. Maimonides (as well as later authorities) enumerates the twenty-four as follows: The first page of the Vilna Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot, folio 2a. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ...

  1. insulting a learned man, even after his death;
  2. insulting a messenger of the court;
  3. calling an Israelite "slave";
  4. refusing to appear before the court at the appointed time;
  5. dealing lightly with any of the rabbinic or Mosaic precepts;
  6. refusing to abide by the decision of the court;
  7. keeping in one's possession an animal or an object that may prove injurious to others, such as a savage dog or a broken ladder;
  8. selling one's real estate to a non-Jew without assuming the responsibility for any injury that the non-Jew may cause his neighbors;
  9. testifying against one's Jewish neighbor in a non-Jewish court, through which the Jew is involved in a loss of money to which he would not have been condemned by a Jewish court;
  10. appropriation by a priest whose business is the selling of meat, of the priestly portions of all the animals for himself;
  11. violating the second day of a holiday, even though its observance is only a custom;
  12. performing work on the afternoon of the day preceding Passover;
  13. taking the name of God in vain;
  14. causing others to profane the name of God;
  15. causing others to eat holy meat outside of Jerusalem;
  16. making calculations for the calendar, and establishing festivals accordingly, outside of Israel;
  17. putting a stumbling-block in the way of the blind, that is to say, tempting one to sin (Lifnei iver);
  18. preventing the community from performing some religious act;
  19. selling forbidden ("terefah") meat as permitted meat ("kasher");
  20. omission by a "shohet" (ritual slaughterer) to show his knife to the rabbi for examination;
  21. self-abuse;
  22. engaging in business intercourse with one's divorced wife;
  23. being made the subject of scandal (in the case of a rabbi);
  24. excommunicating one unjustly.

For all practical purposes, most of these conditions no longer were considered as grounds for a ban since the end of the Talmudic era, around 600 CE.[citation needed] Lifnei iver (Hebrew: before the blind) is one of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) in Jewish law. ... Shechita Shechita (or shechitah) (Hebrew:שחיטה) is the ritual slaughter of mammals and birds according to Jewish dietary laws. ... The population of the Earth rises to about 208 million people. ...


The Niddui

The "niddui" ban was usually imposed for a period of seven days (in Israel thirty days). If inflicted on account of money matters, the offender was first publicly warned ("hatra'ah") three times, on Monday, Thursday, and Monday successively, at the regular service in the synagogue. During the period of niddui, no one except the members of his immediate household was permitted to associate with the offender, or to sit within four cubits of him, or to eat in his company. He was expected to go into mourning and to refrain from bathing, cutting his hair, and wearing shoes, and he had to observe all the laws that pertained to a mourner. He could not be counted in the number necessary for the performance of a public religious function. If he died, a stone was placed on his hearse, and the relatives were not obliged to observe the ceremonies customary at the death of a kinsman, such as the tearing of garments, etc.


It was in the power of the court to lessen or increase the severity of the niddui. The court might even reduce or increase the number of days, forbid all intercourse with the offender, and exclude his children from the schools and his wife from the synagogue, until he became humbled and willing to repent and obey the court's mandates. According to one opinion, the apprehension that the offender might leave the Jewish fold on account of the severity of the excommunication did not prevent the court from adding rigor to its punishments so as to maintain its dignity and authority (Shulkhan Arukh, Yoreh Deah, 334, 1, Rama's gloss, citing Sefer Agudah). This opinion is vehemently contested by the Taz (ibid.), who cites earlier authorities of the same opinion (Maharshal; Maharam; Mahari Mintz) and presents proof of his position from the Talmud. Additionally, the Taz notes that his edition of the Sefer Agudah does not contain the cited position. For the medical term see rigor (medicine) Rigour (American English: rigor) has a number of meanings in relation to intellectual life and discourse. ... The Shulkhan Arukh (Hebrew: Prepared Table), by Rabbi Yosef Karo is considered the most authoritative compilation of Jewish law since the Talmud. ... Yoreh Deah is a section of Rabbi Jacob ben Ashers compilation of halakha (Jewish law), Arbaah Turim. ... Moses Isserles Moses Isserles (or Moshe Isserlis) (1520 - 1572), was a Rabbi and Talmudist, renowned for his fundamental work of Halakha (Jewish law), entitled HaMapah (lit. ... A Gloss–word, phrase, (or syllable), is the dictionary entry for that word. ... Rabbi David ben (son of) Israel HaLevi Segal (1586-1667) was a Polish Rabbi and Halakhist (expert in Jewish law). ... Rabbi Solomon Luria (1510-1574), was one of the great Ashkenazic poskim (decisors of Jewish law) and teachers of his time. ...


The cherem

If the offense was in reference to monetary matters, or if the punishment was inflicted by an individual, the laws were more lenient, the chief punishment being that men might not associate with the offender. At the expiration of the period the ban was raised by the court. If, however, the excommunicate showed no sign of penitence or remorse, the niddui might be renewed once and again, and finally the "cherem," the most rigorous form of excommunication, might be pronounced. This extended for an indefinite period, and no one was permitted to teach the offender or work for him, or benefit him in any way, except when he was in need of the bare necessities of life.


The Nezifah

A milder form than either niddui or cherem was the "nezifah" ban. This ban generally only lasted one day. During this time the offender dared not appear before him whom he had displeased. He had to retire to his house, speak little, refrain from business and pleasure, and manifest his regret and remorse. He was not required, however, to separate himself from society, nor was he obliged to apologize to the man whom he had insulted; for his conduct on the day of nezifah was sufficient apology. But when a scholar or prominent man actually pronounced the formal niddui on one who had slighted him, all the laws of niddui applied. This procedure was, however, much discouraged by the sages, so that it was a matter of proper pride for a rabbi to be able to say that he had never pronounced the ban of excommunication. Maimonides concludes with these words the chapter on the laws of excommunication:(Mishneh Torah, Talmud Torah, vii. 13). Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... The Mishneh Torah or Yad ha-Chazaka is a code of Jewish law by one of the most important Jewish authorities, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides or by the Hebrew abbreviation RaMBaM (usually written Rambam in English). ...

"Although the power is given to the scholar to excommunicate a man who has slighted him, it is not praiseworthy for him to employ this means too frequently. He should rather shut his ears to the words of the ignorant and pay no attention to them, as Solomon, in his wisdom, said, 'Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken' (Eccl. vii. 21). This was the custom of the early pious men, who would not answer when they heard themselves insulted, but would forgive the insolent. . . . But this humility should be practised only when the insult occurs in private; when the scholar is publicly 'insulted, he dares not forgive; and if he forgive he should be punished, for then it is an insult to the Torah that he must revenge until the offender humbly apologizes"

See also

Look up Heresy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Pulsa diNura or Pulsa Denoura (Aramaic: פולסא דנורא lashes of fire) is a kabbalistic ceremony in which God is asked to curse someone who is believed to be a sinner. ... Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ... Expulsion is one of words used to describe expulsions after World War II, indicating condemnation of the events. ... Pieces of broken pottery as voting tokens. ... Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. ...

External links

  • Jewish Encyclopedia 1901: Anathema
  • Jewish Encyclopedia 1901: Ban

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