The term epikores, self-evidently derived from ‘Epicurean’ in the Greek, originally signified in the rabbinic idiom a Jew who, like the Epicurean philosophers, did not believe that the gods intervened in the affairs of this world. … But in popular parlance, the epikores signifies much more broadly the rebel against Orthodox Jewish belief and practice whose rebellion is thoroughly grounded in the classical sources themselves.
— David Biale, “The Last German-Jewish
Philosopher: Notes toward an Intellectual Biography of
Amos Funkenstein,” Jewish Social Studies 6:1 (1999): 1
epicurean, a. and n.
2. Devoted to the pursuit of pleasure; hence, luxurious, sensual, gluttonous. Now chiefly: Devoted to refined and tasteful sensuous enjoyment.
— Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1989
It should go without saying that I don’t mean to compare myself to the great epikorsim, like Spinoza or Chaim Grade. L’havdil: if anything, the domain name of this website signals my deep respect for such figures and the traditions of informed and passionate dissent they represent, as well as, more practically, the admission that I’ll probably never get my hands on joshlambert.com. It’s also worth mentioning, perhaps, that from both conversations and published sources, I’ve discovered that I’m hardly the only contemporary Jew to feel this way about the term.