Apikoros... A lovely word, that. Parallel to the definition of an alcoholic, I suspect: "...anyone who drinks more than I do," translated in this context into "anyone who doesn't believe as much as I do."
I received this note today from a word-lover (word for that?), and I had to admit that I don't know much about Apikoros--mainly that it is an heretic. It wasn't even in my dictionary. Is my friend's analysis of this word correct?
I've never come across that word before. Dictionary.com doesn't list it either. It looks Greek to me. However, Greek for heretic is hairetikos.
Thanks, Arnie. Having used Google, I see that it is definitely used in Judaism. Here is a link that shows its use. I wonder if it is just used in Judaism, and I also wonder about its derivation. It does look Greek to me, too.
I see that it is definitely used in Judaism.
Aren't there several words adopted by Hebrew from Greek? After all, Greek was at one time the lingua franca. (oops - that's Latin, but you get the idea!)
Where is MuseAmuse when we need her? Another source of mine says that it is Greek word borrowed by Yiddish.
I also found that the plural is apikorsim. This source says that apikorsim are Jews who deny basic tenets of faith; for example, they accept Darwinism. I wonder if apikoros only applies to Jews--or to other religions?
Sorry people! I can't seem to find it either! I checked my Greek dictionaries and it isn't there, nor anything remotely similar. I'll have to ask my Dad to look in his dictionaries of ancient Greek. I will get back to you on this!
An orthodox Jewish co-worker has confirmed to me what we have already discovered; that apikoros means a Jew who denies the fundamental tenets of the Jewish faith. Possibly the closest word used in the Christian religion is apostate.
It is a Hebrew word, which came originally from Greek. The plural, apikorsim, is a Hebrew formation.
I have extracted these lines from an article about book "Etincelles" of rav Chlomo Aviner (december 11, 2001)
from : http://www.a7fr.com/article.php?id=61
"La voix de la Torah"
For Hebrews, greek philosophers were certainly close of the "paths of the faith", but their population lauded too much the debauchery, the immorality and satisfaction "up to the dregs" of the ground pleasures.
Such customs violated the chastity which is, for hebrews and jews, one of the life foundations.
The philosophy of Epicurus is thus a spiritual enemy of the jewish culture, so much that jews define the "jew renegade" as an "epicurean", in Hebrew "apikoros " (a word doubtless that sounds
greek, but we have "word-lovers" to confirm this affiliation).
Hebrews are not for all ascetics which hate body and its pleasures. The "Ramhal" teaches, in the "Path of the Righteousness", that the pleasures of this world are not to be banished, but that it is not necessary to be meanly overcome by them.
The pleasures, always temporary, call ceaselessly other more and more violent and powerful pleasures which often lead to the disgust of others and themself.
And will "words pleasures" call ceaselessly more and more violent and powerful "words pleasures" ... oaH !
That's fascinating, safi. The Epicurean philosophy is certainly totally at odds with Judaism. This site backs up your etymology:
Another site I found refers to "Epicurus, who is more properly known as Apikoros..."
Thanks, Safi. Your post was definitely helped my understanding (you see how I avoided "clarify" and "elucidate"?) I hope you stay with us!