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13
votes
1answer
403 views

Can Purim Torah be heretical?

How far can one go with Purim Torah? Can one descend into heresy, so long as it is known that one is not serious?
15
votes
3answers
347 views

Is it heresy to follow secular dating on the destruction of the first Temple?

There is a discrepancy between rabbinic and secular sources regarding when the first Temple was destroyed -- a difference of some 165 years or so, which are called the "Missing Years." My question is ...
4
votes
3answers
300 views

Why is a prayer leader still removed for omitting V'lamalshinim?

TL;DR The Ashkenazi nusach of V'lamalshinim omits explicit mention of heretics. Therefore, recitation or omission of this blessing by the prayer leader seems to no longer serve as a signal for ...
6
votes
1answer
446 views

Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?

Are there any documented halachik authorities that rule that the belief in a dead Messiah is beyond the pale of permitted Jewish belief and therefore would qualify as Kfira? If there are halachik ...
4
votes
2answers
214 views

Why do we pray for G-d to smash down our fellow Jews?

My question refers to the twelfth blessing of the Amida, which seems to contravene the Biblical mitzva of ahavas yisroel*: "And for the slanderers let there be no hope; and may all wickedness perish ...
17
votes
1answer
272 views

Can you learn from seforim written by someone who believed in Shabbetai Tzvi?

During the times of false messiah Shabbetai Tzvi, and for several decades afterwards, many well established rabbanim [1] believed him to be Moshiach. Some even maintained this belief after his ...
9
votes
6answers
710 views

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah? Not necessarily that the Rashbi authored the Zohar, but in the general tenets of kabbalah including but not limited to: tzimtzum, sefirot, ...
4
votes
2answers
315 views

Should someone who isn't 100% certain of God's existence be considered a kofer?

I was told by two respected Roshai Yeshiva that one who isn't certain of God's existence (an agnostic) is not deemed to be a kofer (denier of His existence) as long as he thinks that His existence is ...
4
votes
4answers
329 views

What if someone is unable to believe in God?

Suppose someone really truly wants to believe in Hashem, but is simply unable to. Even after much trying and learning Torah, he still is simply unable to believe in God. Would that person be ...
7
votes
2answers
241 views

Reading books about Avodah Zarah

Is it permissible to read books about Avodah Zarah? Is it permissible to read Greek mythology for informational purposes, seeing as it's not particularly tempting to anyone nowadays? Is it ...
14
votes
3answers
549 views

Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?

Avoda zarah is one of the things prohibited by the Seven Noachide Laws. But what about atheism? I know that the 7 Laws are often taken to include a larger number of halachot from the Torah, so would ...
22
votes
6answers
752 views

Looking for more information about a story of positive atheism/heresy

In a 2006 article (original link no longer available), Rabbi Jonathan Sacks tells the following story: “DO YOU believe,” the disciple asked the rabbi, “that God created everything for a purpose?” ...
9
votes
1answer
262 views

When does one become considered shomer shaboss?

Clarification : Mr. X is a orthodox religious Jew. Mr. X has a rebellious phase and violates shaboss. Mr. X later starts keeping the rules again. I'm asking in both cases: Case 1: Ten people knew ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

How does one become a Min?

What is a min (heretic)? And how does one become a min? And what are the Halachic Ramification about a min? Some Examples: Can't talk to a min. No matter what reject min's teshuva. etc. Thank ...
5
votes
2answers
215 views

Divrei torah written by a heretic

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?
4
votes
1answer
197 views

Was Marcus Jastrow an apikores?

During Yeshiva I remember some bochrim made a point of not putting the Jastrow dictionary on top of sefarim, and would often talk about how it does not have kedusha because it was written by an ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

If someone doesn't believe in the Gemara, is he a heretic?

If someone says "I believe that the Mishnayos/Braisos/Toseftas are accurate, but I think that the Gemara made mistakes and has no holiness. Is such philosophy heresy? What about someone who argues ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Are the ignorant/uneducated exempt from halacha?

Are the ignorant/uneducated (Jews) exempt from following halacha? Do they have a share in the world to come even if they break Jewish law or are apikores? I am led to believe that the answer is, more ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

Celebrate 5 Iyar; not “Yom HaAtzmaut”?

Do any religious-zionist figures (or anyone else for that matter) advocate the commemoration of 5 Iyar but reject the adoption by the religious community of the name "Yom HaAtzma'ut" - "Independence ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status?

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status (whether it be a question of the status of the soffer who wrote it, or if it is unknown who ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

Moses Mendelssohn, permitted to quote him?

Is it permitted to quote Moses Mendelssohn, the father of the Jewish Enlightenment, as a source or reference? Is he considered in jewish lore a heretic? from wikipedia page linked above: In the ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

What's the source for the line “Nebach an Apikoirus”?

I've heard that R' Chaim Brisker said that "Nebach An Apikorus is Oichet an Apikorus" (A "poor" heretic is still a heretic). What's the source and what does it mean? Does it mean that, for example, ...