Proud to Be Apikoros!
Here’s a new post from Forward- The Jewish Daily, entitled: How Are We Getting Epicurious? It’s a brief read and informative for those who are not aware of the Jewish term Apikoros, if one keeps in mind the error of calling the Epicurus an “atheist.” The post includes the paragraph:
The rabbis of the Mishnaic period, which ended about 250 C.E., were aware of the differences between the three [Greek schools, Epicurean, Stoic, and NeoPlatonist], and while they had no particular interest in any of them, they were put off most by the atheism of the Epicureans. Hence, we find it written in the Mishnaic tractate of Sanhedrin, “All Israel has a share in the world to come… except for he who denies the scriptural basis of the resurrection, he who says the Torah is not God-given, and the Apikoros [the follower of Epicurus].”
For more background, consult Epicurus and the Judeans on Epicurus.net.
Also on the same topic of Epicurean/Judean relations, there is an available on JSTOR an article by Martin Ferguson Smith (“Excavations at Oinoanda 1997: The New Epicurean Texts” Anatolian Studies, Vol 48 (1998) in which one of the inscribed stones is translated to read:
A clear indication of the complete inability of the gods to prevent wrong-doing is provided by the nations of the Jews and the Egyptians, who, while being the most superstitious of all peoples, are the vilest of peoples.
So thanks to Forward for the reminder that fans of Epicurus should be proud to be called Apikoros.