Most authorities interpret Rambam in Hilchot Mamrim 3:1-3:3 to be saying that the law concerning minim/apikorisim do not apply to the tinok shenishba. They treat tinok shenishba as a halachic status. Looking into the gemara, I found the entire discussion in Shabbat 68B. In the sugya, it talks about two different types of people, the tinok shenishba, and a "halachic status" I've never seen referenced before, a ger shenitgayer levin hanacharim. I have two questions concerning this subject:

Are there any interpretations of the Rambam in Mamrim (and other places where he mentions a tinok shenishba) where tinok shenishba isn't a halachic status? That is to say, where tinok shenishba is more of an adjective used to give suggestions on how to treat him? I found a few commentaries on the Rambam online, and one in particular gives this opinion.

What exactly does the Rif say about the ger shenitgayer levin hanacharim? When I looked up the Rif in Shabbat, his commentary ended a daf before 68B. The Steinsaltz's makes reference that the Rif thought the the ger shitgayer levin hanacharim was a goy that converted among the gentiles, without a beit din, and that he is halachically Jewish. What exactly, in full detail, does the Rif say? Also, is this an opinion widely held or do most authorities completely reject Rif?

  • Note pagination of the Rif does not follow the pagination of the Vilna Talmud Bavli. – Double AA May 11 '14 at 9:02
  • So it could be that the pagination is one behind or forward of the Vilna and that he does actually make a note about it within Shabbat (and not Shavuot or some other place)? – rosenjcb May 11 '14 at 9:09
  • 1) There is no tractate Shavuot (weeks). You may be thinking of Shevuot (oaths). 2) It could be much more than one page off. – Double AA May 11 '14 at 9:15
  • Shevuot* Sorry, typo. I'm running on fumes here (Rabbi has been working me like a slave :D). – rosenjcb May 11 '14 at 9:17
  • Regarding 1st question, if we don't separate out Tinok Shenishba as its own independent halachik status, how would one read the Rambam in Mamrim? How could we treat him differently to other minim and apikorsim if we didn't define a separate halachik status for him? – Yehuda May 11 '14 at 13:14

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