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What is the status of divrei Torah written by someone who does not believe in the oral Torah? Does it retain any sanctity? Should it be burned or buried?

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related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14492/759 –  Double AA Feb 29 '12 at 0:37
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You refer to someone that does believe in G-d and the Written Torah, just not the Oral Torah? –  HodofHod Feb 29 '12 at 1:57
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physically written by him (as in if you find his Ksav Yad of a Pilpul) or written by him (as in he wrote something and it was physically printed by someone else). –  Shmuel Brin Feb 29 '12 at 19:24
    
@ShmuelBrin is there a difference? –  Shokhet May 8 at 14:02
    
@Shokhet Printed Chumashim have lower holiness level than a Sefer Torah, so it could be implied that Printed works by a kofer have less Tumah than hand written –  Shmuel Brin May 8 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

http://dafyomi.co.il/azarah/halachah/az-hl-026.htm

Rambam (Hilchos Mamrim 3:3): One who does not admit to oral Torah is an Apikores

http://dafyomi.co.il/sanhedrin/halachah/sn-hl-113.htm

Shulchan Aruch (334:21): If Kisvei ha'Kodesh were written by an Apikores, i.e. a devout idolater, or a Mumar to idolatry, we do not save it. Even on a weekday, we burn it with the Azkaros (mentions of Hash-m's name).

There is a story I verified about Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam (Second Bobover Rabbi) in Bobov prior to WW2. Once a shipment of Seforim written by an Apikores arrived at the Yeshiva. He took them outside and burnt them all. At that time he composed the song B'ni Al Teileich B'Derech Itom.

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would that only apply to kisvei hakodesh or anything written that is torah related? –  none Feb 29 '12 at 2:26
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If we burn the most holy of items, then why would we not burn just a book or Divrei Torah written by such a person? –  Gershon Gold Feb 29 '12 at 2:34
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@GershonGold We may do that to make a very public and frightening statement, not necessarily out of a need to eradicate the material itself. –  none Feb 29 '12 at 2:42
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Also, I assume the question is not just discussing something he physically wrote. –  Ariel K Feb 29 '12 at 3:32
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If you burn it with Hashem's name then why would you hesitate to burn it without Hashem's name? –  Gershon Gold Feb 29 '12 at 19:29

Nechama Leibowitz, in this letter, outlines her approach to this question. I think a basic level of intellectual honesty demands that if someone says a good pshat, that we use it. If they got it right, they got it right. To the sources regarding kisvei hakodesh written by an apikores, I think one must distinguish between the ideas and the physical books. The alternative is nonsensical. I'm supposed to ignore what I think is a correct idea simply because of who said it? Furthermore, on a practical level, I don't think the label of apikores can be so simply applied to all the "non-frum" sources. If someone did not grow up frum, its arguable their status is a tinok she'nishba, not an apikores. Additionally, it's debatable exactly what constitutes apikorsus. One man's Rebbe is another man's apikores. There's a lot of rishonim who did not conform to all 13 of Rambam's Ikkarim, yet they are accepted halachic authorities. The question of who and what is considered out of religious tradition is a much more complicated sugya than how it is presented in other answers to this question.

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We still say over things from Elisha ben Abuyah –  Michael Sandler Feb 29 '12 at 18:12
    
True. As Rabbi Meir put it, "I found a pomegranate, I discarded the peel and ate the fruit" –  Aqibha Y. Weisinger Etc Feb 29 '12 at 20:14
    
In Berachos 59a there is a story about R. Katina and a necromancer. The necromancer said what an earthquake is and R. Katina said that he's a liar and his words are false. A little later the Gemara says that this wasn't really true but that R. Katina said this so people wouldn't go after his words. As for R. Meir - my question is are other people (Ie us) able to properly distinguish between the peel and the fruit. In generally if something comes from a questionable source, it should not be used. –  Yehosef May 21 at 0:18
    
a mashal - few pills of rat poison fall into a jar of medicine. The pills happen to look the same to the untrained eye. Only a fool would rely on his judgement to take a pill from there - the risk is too great. But a trained pharmacist can tell the difference and is able to distinguish between the poison and the medicine. –  Yehosef May 21 at 0:24

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