I have heard many times that the Rambam "killed" the demons rather than simply denying that they ever existed. Which Rabbinic source claims as much? The Rambam himself seems to have said that they never existed.

  • 8
    Your question would be much improved if you'd include a basis for thinking a rabbinic source claimed the Rambam killed demons, and a basis for your claim that the Rambam seems to have said they never existed.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 15:44
  • 1
    Never existed is universally well known. As for the basis for killed, I heard it many times, and my question was literally what is the basis and source for it.
    – Eliyahu
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 20:45
  • 3
    Your universe is very small, then, WADR. This site is read by anyone with Internet access and an interest in Judaism.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 1:06
  • 1
    And he affected thermodynamics in the process.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


The famous position attributed to the Kotzker Rebbe is that, since the Rambam paskened that demons do not exist, his psak halacha caused the demons to cease to exist. See my analysis here.

This position is discussed in Prachei Rashi,

שאל אחד את רבי מנדל מקוצק: הרמב״ם במורה נבוכים כופר במציאות שדים וכשפים, ואלו בתורה כתוב ״ולא יזבחו עוד את זבחיהם לשעירים״? גם כיצד יתיישבו דברי רש״י, שנח נצטוה מפי הגבורה להביא שדים אל התיבה? ענה הרבי מקוצק, אלה ואלה דברי אמת: בימי קדם היו שדים וכשפים בנמצא, אך מיום שבא הרמב״ם ואמר שאינם בנמצא, הרי הרמב״ם פוסק הוא והסכימו עמו גם בשמים, וקימו את דבריו הלכה למעשה וחדלו שדים מן הארץ.

My translation:

"Someone asked Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk: The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim denies the existence of demons and magic, yet in the Torah is is written 'and they shall no longer offer their sacrifices to seirim?' Also, how can the words of Rashi be resolved, that Noach was commanded from the Mouth of the Omnipotent to bring demons to the ark? The Rabbi of Kotzk replied, 'This as that are simultaneously true. In days of old, demons and magic existed. But, from the time that Rambam came and said that they did not exist, behold, Rambam is a posek, and they agreed to him as well in Heaven, and established his words halacha leMaaseh such that demons vanished from the earth."

See my analysis for why such a position is difficult to take, assuming that it has been reported correctly.


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