In Sefer HaIkkarim the following quote appears:

וזהו שאמרו שהנביא האומר לעבוד עבודה זרה אפילו לשעה אין שומעין לו. אבל אם יאמר שנחלל שבת או שנעבור על אחת מן המצות בהוראת שעה או בענין שלא יהרוס שרשי הדת, ראוי שנשמע לו משום שנאמר אליו תשמעון,

But that which is told to a person by God without the mediation of a prophet, no prophet has the power to abolish even temporarily. Hence the statement of the Rabbis, “If a prophet tells the people to worship idols, even temporarily, he must not be obeyed; but if he says that we should violate the Sabbath or transgress some one of the commandments as a temporary measure, or even permanently, provided he does not subvert the foundations of the religion, we must listen to him, because it says, “Unto him ye shall hearken.” (translation from Sefaria)

Where is this "statement of the Rabbis" found? The traditional sources allowing for a prophet to annul a command (besides idol worship) stress that it be temporary, not permanent (Yevamos 90b; Sifrei Devarim 175; Mishneh Torah Yesodei HaTorah 9:3).

  • 3
    Where do you see the word permanent in the Hebrew, am I missing it?
    – sam
    Apr 9, 2021 at 13:50
  • It is hard to punctuate the phrase: "בהוראת שעה או בענין שלא יהרוס שרשי הדת," It could be read "בהוראת שעה או בענין" שמג" and עניין being permanently and then "שלא יהרוס שרשי הדת"ת or: either "בהוראת שעה" OR "בענין שלא יהרוס שרשי הדת". Both are difficult. However, Horaas Sha'ah can be pretty permanent, as long as Rabbis see the decree fit.
    – Al Berko
    Apr 14, 2021 at 16:50
  • 3
    This is really a kasha on JPS, who added the words "or even permanently" in their translation.
    – robev
    Apr 14, 2021 at 19:33
  • @AlBerko The problem seems more to be coming from the translator not understanding the meaning of the phrase, "בענין שלא יהרוס שרשי הדת". This means, "concerning a concept that will not destroy the Shoreshei HaDat." The meaning of this term is explained concisely by the Maharal in Gevurot HaShem, 47:14-16. He says this term means: 1) Belief in Divine Providence, 2) Belief that everything is in the hands of G-d and nothing is apart from Him, meaning the existence of G-d, and 3) Belief that G-d speaks to mankind via the giving of the Torah. He says these are the "Shorashei HaDat". Apr 14, 2021 at 20:38
  • 1
    @AlBerko And that is why you don't listen to a prophet who tells you to worship an idol even temporarily. It is in violation of and destroys those 3 roots. Apr 14, 2021 at 20:40


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