When we are told not to go in the ways of the Amorites (Shabbat 67a, Yerushalmi Shabbat 6:9), However the practices enumerated there do not seem to be specific to the Amorite people. Were there other practices that were specific to them? If not, why were they singled out for association with superstition?

  • Looks good to me now. +1. (It'd be even better IMO if "the practices enumerated there" was followed by a (partial) list.)
    – msh210
    Aug 30, 2012 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


The Rambam (Avodah Zarah ch. 11) writes:

1 We don't walk in the ways of the idol worshipers, and we don't imitate them — not in hairstyle, etc. — ... rather, a Jew should be distinct from them and recognizable in his dress and actions just like he is distinct from them in his beliefs. ... He shouldn't wear their exclusive clothing, he shouldn't grow his bangs like their bangs, and he shouldn't shave his hair around his head leaving some hair in the middle ... Someone who does one of these things or similar things is lashed.

3 A Jew who is close to the government and would be disgraced if he didn't imitate them, he is permitted ... to do like they do.

4 We don't do magic like non-Jews ... e.g. like those who say "Oops, I dropped my bread from my mouth, I'd better not go to this place today..."

5 If someone says "This house that I built is a good sign for me" ... or asks a child what verse he recently learned, and if it's a blessing, he rejoices — all these and similar things are permissible.

16 These things are all false ... so it isn't appropriate for Jews, who are very smart, to follow them, and not to consider that there is any value in them. ... Whoever believes in these or similar things and believes they are true and wise, although the Torah forbade them, are among the idiots and those who lack intelligence, and is included in the women and children whose intelligence is limited. ...

It has nothing to do with gods, only superstition. It has nothing to do with the Emorim specifically; it is a "code name" (according to Wikipedia).

  • i've updated the question to more accurately reflect what I'm trying to understand
    – user1668
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:57
  • @PM See the last sentence
    – b a
    Aug 30, 2012 at 17:03
  • Note: The question was changed significantly after this answer was written.
    – b a
    Jan 24, 2013 at 1:24

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