Rasa"G's interpretation of Sefer Hayetzirah 4,2 (c.900CE):

"העולם ככפה, והגלגל אינו זז ממקומו...:
(the world is like a dome and the sphere [of stars] does not move).

Are there other Rabbinic sources that support the idea of a Flat Earth?

  • You push an open door. So what?
    – kouty
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 19:31
  • @kouty I'd like that door to be wide open.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 19:39
  • 1
    I understand you but there is no nafka minah. Downvote is not mine. Simply I want to say you that everyone needs to build his emunat chachomim as he wants. If someone cannot assume that chachomim were synchronized with their time, so he needs to think they know everything. And subsequently can continue to learn Gemara. After all that is good
    – kouty
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 19:55
  • 5
    Downvotes not mine but question would be more compelling if you quoted the Rasag into the question, with appropriate translation of the relevant part, so all can see what you are speaking about
    – mbloch
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 3:54
  • I don't see how this suggests a flat earth. ככיפה sounds like a hemisphere, and what indication is there that the bottom is not the completion of the sphere?
    – Mordechai
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 22:34

4 Answers 4


I think this is another Rabbinical source which promotes the idea of a flat earth:

The Holy One, blessed be He, raised up all the waters of creation and set half of them in the firmament and half in the Ocean; it is surprising! It is thus written: The river of God is full of water. The firmament is similar to a pool [reservoir] and above the pool is a dome. (Bereishit Rabbah 4:4-5)

How can a dome cover a spherical earth and be attached to it at the same time? It only works with a flat circular earth IMO.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first answer. Since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 14:07
  • Where do you see that the dome is attached to the Earth?
    – Mordechai
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 17:35
  • If you put a marble on a plate and cover it with a cheese dome, then the latter rests on the plate (not on the marble), but I don't see how this should work with a spherical earth. It's not a cocoon but a dome, so on what shall a water-dividing dome rest if not on the earth itself? Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 20:07

You ask if there are other Rabbinical sources that support the idea of a Flat Earth? there are some, though they are few.

Whether or not some sages believed in the geocentric view - the sun revolving around the earth or the heliocentric view - the reverse, we still describe our evenings as “sunset”. Our perspectives are based on our assertions which is decided by looking to the horizon.

It has been noted that since antiquity, the Greeks recognized the heliocentric and not the geocentric view, which was the consensus at the time. However, since the antiquity of its history, the Church knew it was round and the size of its circumference. While most Talmudic rabbis endorsed the heliocentric view, there were some who engaged in the geocentric. Of course, the sun’s position is relative to each standing perceptive.

In Ri of Barcelona’s commentary on Sefer Yetzirah (p. 254a), he quotes Rav Saadia Gaon supporting the theory that the earth is flat. This was a minority (miktzat) opinion. Another was Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi who said the underground streams were cold because the sun traveled beneath the earth at night and that this theory seemed more correct. Some Jews believed the sun traveled above, indicating a more flat earth theory. The Lubavitcher, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of Chabad wrote in a correspondence to a friend of the nonsensical notion that the sun and earth change positions based on the merits or sins of the Jews. Obviously, this nonsensical notion is ridiculed. Magic, demons, and ghost do not exist. They have never been proven and thus belong to the fabrication of the wild imagination of the mystics to support their emotional needs. Maimonides said that some ancient rabbis were little experts in the realms of science and did not always fully understood how the laws of nature worked (Guide to the Perplexed, III:14). For the rationalist, Gersonides (Ragbag), Maimonides (Rambam), and Ibn Ezra were convinced that the sun did not stand still for Joshua nor did the sun’s shadow move ten degrees backward on Hezekiah’s deathbed.

In summary, a few rabbis in the Talmud believed it was flat and some were unsure. In spite of that, the majority knew it had to be round, which was proven by modern science today.

  • 1
    Most of this doesn't answer the question. Please edit it down.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 16:56
  • @DoubleAA, I believe the comments made therein are relevant to the question.
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 17:01
  • This is not a chat forum for posting generally related material. This is a question for sources for flat Earth support. You can post your other material about round Earth sources elsewhere.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 17:49
  • @DoubleAA, the whole point about posting the material about round Earth is for context. Without context the question can not be answered in detail. 2nd, the material works as a bonus to prove Judaism’s validity for readers who do not know. Most people think Judaism is just a backward religion like everyone else but it’s not. So the extra material serves two purposes. What do you suggest I remove?
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 18:42
  • Did you use this site as a source? If so, you should cite whatever your source of information is
    – b a
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 18:44

All biblical and cuneiform texts "posit a flat, probably disk-shaped world. The heavens are made of solid material. They are ... dome-shaped, completely enclosing the surface of the earth." Moshe Simon-Shoshan, "The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God: A Study in Rabbinic Cosmology," BDD 20 (2008): 70.

"[The ancient sages of Israel] believed that the earth is a roughly flat disc, and the rest of the universe is a hemispherical solid dome fixed above it." Natan Slifkin, The Sun’s Path at Night: The Revolution in Rabbinic Perspectives on the Ptolemaic Revolution (Jerusalem: Lander Institute, 2010), 4.

  • We know they had, I'm specifically looking for clear cut Rabbinical sources. You might want to append this clarification to your existing answer.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 19:25

I've bumped into probably the last of this camp, Jacob ben Joseph Reischer in his Shvut Yaakov SHU"T (c.1730) (Part 3, Q. 20) writes angrily against Rambam and other followers of Aristo who try to shake the traditional Jewish Flat Earth approach (couldn't find it in the text form):

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  • I don't see him being so against a round earth or being angry at those who hold of it. He says to be careful when accepting things from scientists, and says that he doesn't study hilchos kidush hachodesh for that reason, and that the Gemara sounds like a flat earth. The one of his sources that I could look up, BTW, talks about getting chochma from Torah and not from the goyim, which is more along the thrust of the teshuvah.
    – Mordechai
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 23:10

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