I am trying to find a source where Maimonides allegedly says that there are no parts of the Torah that are any holier than the other. That the passages transmitting the Ten Commandments are just as holy as the passages mentioning the princes of Esav. Thank you.


2 Answers 2


In the 8th ikkar in the Rambam's introduction to Perek Chelek, he writes:

ואין הפרש בין "וּבְנֵי חָם כּוּשׁ וּמִצְרַיִם וּפוּט וּכְנָעַן" (בראשית י ו), "וְשֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ מְהֵיטַבְאֵל בַּת מַטְרֵד" (שם לו לט), "וְתִמְנַע הָיְתָה פִילֶגֶשׁ" (שם לו יב), ובין "אָנֹכִי יְיָ" (דברים ה ו) ו"שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְיָ אֶחָד" (שם ו ד). כי הכל מפי הגבורה, והכל תורת ה' תמימה, טהורה וקדושה, אמת

And there is no difference between "And the sons of Cham were Kush and Mitsrayim" (Genesis 10:6), "and his wife's name was" Meheitabel" (Genesis 36:39), "And Timnah was his concubine" (Genesis 36:12) [ on the one hand] and "I am the Lord, your God" (Exodus 20:2) and "Hear Israel" (Deuteronomy 6:4) [on the other]; since they are all from the mouth of the Almighty and it is all the Torah of God - complete, pure and holy truth.

The verse "And Timnah was his concubine" (Genesis 36:12) is taken from Esav’s genealogy in chapter 36, and "I am the Lord, your God" (Exodus 20:2) is from the Ten Commandments. Here Maimonides clearly equates the two.


Elsewhere, Maimonides writes:

Only the Master of Opinions [that is, God] knows how the comparison between sins and merits is made. [Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Teshuvah 3:1-2]

Point: We do not know enough to rank mitzvot. The Mishnah is very explicit on that point: וֶהֱוֵי זָהִיר בְּמִצְוָה קַלָּה כְבַחֲמוּרָה, שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ מַתַּן שְׂכָרָן שֶׁל מִצְוֹת. רַבִּי אוֹמֵר

Rabbi said: Be as scrupulous in observing a [seemingly] minor commandment as a [seemingly] major commandment, because you do not know the value of each commandment. [Pirkei Avot 2:1]

  • 2
    How does this answer the question? The OP didn't ask about ranking מצוות. Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 20:58
  • Ranking can be interpreted to imply holier. Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 22:16
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    Again, the OP did not ask about ranking מצוות or which מצוות are holier. I do not see how this attempts to answer the question. Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 0:23

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