Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Our Generation: The Tinok SheNishbah


The Rambam, in a well-known comment regarding the children of the sectarian group the Karaites, elucidates an issue that can be relevant for us in this generation as well:

“However the children and the grandchildren of these errants, whose parents have misled them, those who have been born among the Karaites, who have reared them in their views; each is like a child who has been taken captive among them, who has been reared by them, and is not alacritous in seizing the paths of the commandments; his status is comparable to that of one who has been coerced. Even though he later learns that he is a Jew and becomes acquainted with Jews and [the Jewish] religion, he is nevertheless to be regarded as a person who is coerced, for he was reared in the erroneous ways [of his parents]. Thus it is of the children and grandchildren of the karaites who adhere to the practices of their Karaite parents who have erred. Therefore it is proper to cause them to return in repentance and to draw them near with words of peace until they return to the strength-giving Torah.”2

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