In his introduction to chapter Chelek, Maimonides stated thirteen principles of faith (or fundments of religion).

The third principle is to exclude any materiality or similarity to materiality from our idea of G-d. We must refute material like atributes for him. For instance, He has no movement or arrest, localisation. Those are not concerning him not essentially, nor accidentally.

Rambam showed that this principle was stated by the wises in Talmud. The text quoted is in Masechet Chagiga 15a. According to Rambam lecture, Talmud states that G-d is not "linked to something else or separated from something else".

The text is the following:

לא ישיבה ולא תחרות ולא עורף ולא עיפוי

no neck and no contact.

The problem is that the statement end is:

שמא חס ושלום שתי רשויות הן? ‏

Don't we conclude from this that there is two powers Chas Veshalom!?

This is precisely the statement pronounced by Acher (Elisha Ben Abuya when he became confused in his faith.

So this conclusion need to be wrong. How can the Rambam read it as a true statement?

  • 1
    Rambam demonstrate that this matter was treated by the wises if Talmud. They listed a couple of material atributes which don't be attributed to "the top”. The text quoted is in Masechet Chagiga 15a and according ti his lecture refutes to considere it as linked or separated. I am having difficulty deciphering this paragraph. The presentation of the Gemara is also confusing.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


The first part of the quote from Acher was that which he held to be true until enter the pardes (i.e what he learned from his teachers). The second part is the conclusion he mistakenly drew based upon what his eyes beheld, which led to his excommunication/loss of heavenly reward.

  • You are right, I accept entirely the answer.
    – kouty
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 13:02

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