I understand the question is very general, so any sources discussing an Am Haaretz from around the times of the Achronim to modern day would be very helpful in gaining a clearer picture of what is an Am Haaretz. As always I appreciate any input. Thank You & Be blessed!

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    Do you have some technical context in which you think it would have some specific meaning? Consider clarifying. – mevaqesh Jan 1 '18 at 2:46
  • I recall (perhaps in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch) that today we do not consider any run-of-the-mill frum Jew an am ha'aretz. – ezra Jan 1 '18 at 9:31
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    Regarding my first comment, note that unless we have some specific context for the term, this is just semantics and not answerable. – mevaqesh Jan 1 '18 at 14:50

"Am Haaretz" has different usages

Practically in our times, it is:

  1. regarding marriage, it is someone who knows of a Mitzvah and does not keep it (for his own pleasure) (Bais Shmuel 2.20, Bais Yosef 2.18, Drisha 2.8, Bach 2.8
    (but the Tur says it is someone who is suspected to transgress mitzvos lihachis (to anger Hashem))
  2. Regarding not marring a daughter of a kohen there is an opinion that an Am Hooretz does not exist (piskai teshuva 2.9
  3. in general, it is someone who does not know Torah (the written Torah) and the Mishna (the Halochot (H"M 34.17, Rambam Eidut 11.2 end)
  4. also, Someone who is not a comrade (ḥaver), meaning someone that was not checked if he takes off the proper Trumot and Maasrot, meaning everyone

  5. See Berakhot.47b and Sotah 22a

  6. It also means normal people (H"M 35.10 and Rambam edut 9 halacha 10
  7. Someone who can not read, or understand Hebrew (aramaic) when it is read to him (H"M 61.13 , E"H 66.13 , 142.7 end
  • Worth noting that for marriage purposes the Pischei Teshuvah (se'if katan 9 here) citing the Chavos Yair says that there is no din of Am Haaretz nowadays. – Alter Bochur Jan 1 '18 at 22:45
  • @AlterBochur thank you (there is a better link beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=eh_x7494) if you still are without a zivug, you should get yours fast and she should be the correct one and a good one (same for me!) – hazoriz Jan 1 '18 at 22:51
  • thanks for the improved link and the well wishes, I hope Hashem sends you a zivug hagun soon as well. I haven't seen jewishmarriage.us before but it seems to be an entire book that would take a lot of time to go through. From a cursory look, it does seem to be very detailed. – Alter Bochur Jan 1 '18 at 23:13
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    Supplemental to #6, Rabbeinu Yonah's comment on Pirkei Avot that discusses the 4 midot in people (it's somewhere in 5th chapter, I believe) compares middat chassid with midat am ha'aretz (re the one who says what's mine is mine and what's yours is yours.) R. Yonah's explanation of am ha'aretz there is similar to "the man on the street". Comparing it to middat chassid which means someone who goes beyond the halacaha - thus one who says "What's mine is yours and what's yours is yours" is considered a chassid. It puts a good perspective on things. – DanF Jan 2 '18 at 17:40

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