In this video, Rav Gamliel Rabinovitch shlita says that Rasbhi writes that one who speaks during davening is a kofer b'elokei yisrael. On this, I have two questions.

1) Where is this source from Rashbi? (Gemarah, Zohar?)

2) There is a mesorah from the Vilna Gaon that there is never any conflict between nigleh and nistar. If this statement is indeed from the Zohar, and is one of nistar, how does this fit into, say, the Rambam's definition of who a kofer is.

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    Where does the Rambam define a Kofer? I see in Teshuvah 3:8 he addresses one who is a Kofer in the Torah, but where does he define one who is a Kofer in Hashem?
    – DonielF
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 19:17
  • by the way probably this is only during the hasoras hashas , chabad.org/3299223/#v10 :For anyone who engages in ordinary conversation in a synagogue while the congregation is involved in the praise of the Omnipresent shows that he has no share in the G‑d of Israel.:
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


The source you are looking for is in the Zohar, parashat Teruma, 131b, traditionally attributed to Rashbi:

ומאן דמשתעי בבי כנישתא במילין דחול, ווי ליה דאחזי פרודא, ווי ליה דגרע מהימנותא, ווי ליה דלית ליה חולקא באלהא דישראל, דאחזי דהא לית אלהא ולא אשתכח תמן ולא דחיל מניה ואנהיג קלנא בתיקונא עלאה דלעילא

And one who speaks about mundane matters in the synagogue: Woe to him for he shows dissension [in the supernal worlds], woe to him for he lessens the faith [in the Divine Unity] and woe to him for he has no part in the G‑d of Israel [for he isn't ashamed to interrupt His praises], because he shows that [he considers in his mind that] G‑d is not present there [in the synagogue]. And he does not fear Him and he disgraced the supernal perfection of Above [through interruption of prayer with worthless speech]. (Translation by Rahmiel-Hayyim Drizin)

This Zohar does not specifically call the talker a kofer, and this and other terms for people labeled as not having a share in the world to come (e.g., apikores) are often conflated in colloquial speech. If you're looking for a link with Rambam's thought, the sin as described by the Zohar sounds more approximate to a definition of the apikores, specifically:

...שלשה הן הנקראים אפיקורסין

והאומר שאין הבורא יודע מעשה בני האדם

Three individuals are described as Epicursim...one who maintains that the Creator is not aware of the deeds of men. (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Teshuva, 3:8).

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