As I was in the process of writing this post, I found a related one on this website: Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?

Based on that post mentioned above, I ask: how can believing the Lubavitcher Rebbe is mashiach constitute heresy? Isn't a heretic only someone who rejects at least one of the 13 Principles of Faith of the Rambam?

Disclaimer: No, I am not a Lubavitcher. Though I do admire some of their activity.

  • This post notes those who agree with you that it doesn't judaism.stackexchange.com/q/27767/759 But isn't this just a duplicate of the post you linked to?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 1 at 21:09
  • I don't see anywhere in that post addressing the 13 Principles of Faith of the Rambam
    – Grapefruit
    Commented Apr 1 at 21:14
  • It asks "If there are halachik authorities that deal with the question explicitly and decide that it is kfira, what is their reasoning for saying so?" Isn't that what you want?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 1 at 21:21
  • 1
    Good then answers there should provide that. Seems like a duplicate
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 1 at 22:47
  • 1
    @MichoelR I didn't say it doesn't track. Commented Apr 3 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


The Rambam's list is only his opinion of the 13 most important beliefs.

There can be other beliefs that, failing to believe them, will make you a heretic.

For example, rejecting Rabbis' ability to enact Mitzvot, decrees, minhagim woudn't fall afoul of Rambam's 13 but Orthodox Rabbis would call you a heretic if you did so.

Furthermore, just as there are slightly different enumerations of Mitzvot, there are different lists of principles of the religion.

See here for details on big rabbis not holding by the principles. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-thirteen-principles-of-faith/

  • "rejecting Rabbis' ability to enact Mitzvot, decrees, minhagim woudn't fall afoul of Rambam's 13" Why do you say that?
    – MichoelR
    Commented Apr 3 at 0:08
  • B/c the principles don't talk about the subject Commented Apr 3 at 2:08
  • So you're saying that the Rambam does talk about Torah s'b'al peh, in his Principles, but only in so far as he's discussing the "פירש התורה המקובל", things like the definition of an esrog - not the other (two) roles he gives to the chachamim in Hilchos Mamarim, of darshonim using the י"ג מידות and making d'rabanans.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Apr 3 at 16:47
  • I think there are a lot of things that "Orthodox Rabbis" would call you a heretic about. There is a story about R' Chaim Kanievsky z"l and someone who didn't believe in the Zohar... Seems like the Rambam's list is a much smaller harder set of core values.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Apr 3 at 16:53

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