Herem (, also Romanized chērem, ḥērem) is the highest ecclesiastical censure in the Jewish community. It is the total exclusion of a person from the Jewish community. It is a form of shunning, and is similar to vitandus excommunication in the Catholic Church. Cognate terms in other Semitic languages include the Arabic term ḥarām (forbidden, taboo, off-limits, sacred or immoral), and the Ethiopic`irm (meaning accursed).
Arguably the most famous case of a herem is that of Spinoza, the seventeenth century philosopher.
Other famous subjects of a herem were early Russian communists Leon Trotsky and Grigory Zinoviev. Sometime in 1918, while Ukraine was under German occupation, the rabbis of Odessa pronounced herem against Trotsky, Zinoviev, and other Jewish Bolshevik leaders in the synagogue.
Herem or cherem ( Hebrew: חרם, ḥērem), as used in the Tanakh, means ‘devote’ or ‘destroy’. It is also referred to as the ban. The term has been explained in different ways by scholars. It has been defined as "a mode of secluding, and rendering harmless, anything imperilling the religious life of the nation," or "the total destruction of the enemy and his goods at the conclusion of a campaign," or "uncompromising consecration of property and dedication of the property to God without possibility of recall or redemption. J. A. Thompson suggests that herem meant that in the hour of victory all that would normally be regarded as booty, including the inhabitants of the land, was to be devoted to God. Thus would every harmful thing be burned out and the land purified.
In the Tanakh, the term herem (Hebrew חֵרֶם) is used, among other meanings, for an object or real property to be devoted to God, with God authorizing a kohen (Jewish priest) to be its receiving agent.
Herem (or Chērem חרם) is a Hebrew word and may refer to:
- Herem (commercial), boycott, withdraw from commercial or social relations as a punishment or protest
- Herem (censure), expulsion from the Jewish community
- Herem (war or property), a belief that any property imperiling Jewish religious life should be destroyed
- Herem (priestly gift), an object that is devoted to God
Usage examples of "herem".
For an instant while Herem and Jehannum yowled, the monolith blazed with verdant fire-a conflagration the color of leaves and grass flourishing, green that had nothing in common with Lord Foul's emerald Illearth Stone.
And before they could defeat Herem, rescue Covenant, and retrieve the ring, that call was answered by the dead Elena, wielding the Staff of Law.
Then she gave Whane to Herem, so that Triock's anguish would be more poignant.
For an instant while Herem and Jehannum yowled, the monolith blazed with verdant fire-a conflagration the color of leaves and grass flourishing, green that had nothing in common with Lord Foul’s emerald Illearth Stone.
Then she gave Whane to Herem, so that Triock’s anguish would be more poignant.
We knew that they were named Sheol, Jehannum, and Herem, and that they lived without bodies, feeding upon the souls of others.
It was turiya and moksha, Herem and Jehannum, who lured the powerful and austere Demondim to their breeding dens, and to the spawning of the ur-viles.