Is there a halachik definition of a tzadik?

There is the rambam's definition in hilchos teshuva 3:1 That it's someone who is 51% mitzvos. But according to this definition basically everyone is a tzadik, and it's definitely not how people use the term.

One application would be https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/90988/6788

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    have you ever learned tanya. the beginning of tanya answers this very question
    – Laser123
    Apr 4, 2018 at 0:39
  • Are you asking about how the term is used by people, or what the Halachic definition is? You gave the Halachic definition from the Rambam! Apr 4, 2018 at 1:34
  • @Laser123 I haven't learned Tanya, and I'd like to see it! Please, write it out as an answer. Apr 4, 2018 at 1:34
  • @Laser123 tanya is not a halachik definition as far as I understand
    – mroll
    Apr 4, 2018 at 11:34
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    @SAH You’re welcome. Not exactly, but it gets more complicated with reflection. Like Ramchal explains in the 1st section of Derech HaShem, those ‘closest to G-d’ AKA Tzaddikim Gamurim, are held in the highest esteem, a 2nd aspect of this judgement is because those with less than 51% merit are boosted by those with more merit. That is also said by Rambam & hinges on the unique Jewish state of ‘Tzibbur’, (כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה). In the last analysis, the goal is to minimize Din. Like Navi says, an exceedingly small number don’t make it including all non-Jews. And that is through all time. Apr 10, 2018 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


The Rokeah defines Tzaddik by the Notrikon of the middle letters צדיק, דרך ישר a person who abides by the straight path of Mitzvot, not 51% I am afraid as RAMBAM said. (appears in Sefer Az Yashir Moshe, Page Kaf Hey, Parashat Noach)

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    כלל העולה כי קיום תרי"ג מצות ע"י היות יצר הרע באדם והוא מתגבר עליו- נקרא צדיק “A rising rule, fulfilling 613 mitzvot while Yetzer Hara rises and he overcomes it, is called TZADDIK Appears in Rabbi Chayim Vital's “Shaarei Kedusha”/ Gates of holiness book Part Alef, Shaar Gimel Apr 9, 2018 at 10:25
  • Welcome to MiYodeya Oudi and thanks for a great first answer. Please note comments are not meant to stay so please edit your comment into the main text. Hope to see you around !
    – mbloch
    Apr 9, 2018 at 10:55
  • And yet, this too is not a halachic definition. The Rambam quoted in the question is part of the definition found in Mishnah Torah. Even there, Rambam points out there are levels of Tzaddikim. And the general concept in regard to judgement of who is righteous is to be as all inclusive as possible. The hope is that no one is excluded. Apr 9, 2018 at 14:20

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