I've heard (maybe seen also?) that the Ramban (Rav Moshe ben Nachman, Nachmanides) said that Rabbincal Commands are only obligatory while in the Land of Israel. Is this true? (If so) Where is it recorded? Has it ever been treated by other rishonim/poskim?

  • 2
    I don't think he ever said that...
    – Double AA
    Sep 3, 2015 at 16:46
  • Sounds similar to Rashi on Devarim 11:18 (though there's no distinction made between rabbinic and biblical commandments): אף לאחר שתגלו היו מצויינים במצות, הניחו תפילין, עשו מזוזות כדי שלא יהיו לכם חדשים כשתחזרו. וכן הוא אומר הציבי לך ציונים
    – paquda
    Sep 3, 2015 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


I think you are thinking of his commentary to Sefer VaYikra 18:25, where he famously argues, based on the Sifri, that (many) positive commandments are not applicable outside Eretz Yisrael, but are practiced anyway so that they are not forgotten.

  • 1
    A point of clarification, I believe his point is not simply "are practiced" but "are obligatory" despite not being applicable.
    – Yishai
    Sep 3, 2015 at 17:27
  • @Yishai if any point of clarification were required, I posit that it would be quite the opposite. He says "are not obligated". I worded it "are not applicable" to avoid a lengthy debate about what he really means (DeOraitha/Divrei Soferim, etc).
    – Seth J
    Sep 3, 2015 at 17:34
  • 1
    I would suggest putting in the actual language of the Rambam with your translation. Sep 3, 2015 at 17:39
  • @SethJ hmm, could be, interesting the main 'gist' of what I heard is close to being the complete opposite of that ;) .
    – jj2
    Sep 3, 2015 at 18:18
  • 1
    I don't think this is the correct interpretation of the Ramban.
    – Alex
    Jan 5, 2021 at 2:01

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