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14
votes
1answer
445 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?
9
votes
1answer
620 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
3answers
269 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
795 views

How can the Rambam's Eighth Principle of Jewish Faith be believed in light of Hazal?

The Rambam's eighth Principle of Jewish Faith states that the entire Torah in our possession - every verse - was dictated to Mosheh Rabbenu and that it has not changed. However, we have explicit ...
16
votes
3answers
403 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
644 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
360 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
305 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
1k 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
350 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
384 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
257 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?
3
votes
2answers
350 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
1k 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?” ...
10
votes
1answer
250 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
9
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

How are “Orthoprax” people treated in halacha?

There are several cases of people who identify as "Orthoprax", meaning that they follow mitzvot, but do not believe in G-d. (Most notable have been the cases of anonymous rabbis like the aforelinked ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

List of things that make one 'as if one rejects the core'

I was recently looking up something about lashon harah, and on Erchin 15A, Rav Yosi ben Zimra says that anyone that says lashon harah it is as if they reject everything, and I know I have seen similar ...
4
votes
1answer
456 views

Would it be permissible to believe that Jesus is the messiah if that belief otherwise entails no rejection of halakha or Jewish tradition?

"Messianic Judaism" is generally speaking Christianity repackaged in a Jewish veneer, so they have the same beliefs on the Torah and the divinity of Jesus/Trinity as mainstream Christianity. But ...
0
votes
2answers
94 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
521 views

Heretics in the bathroom

From my understanding a torah scroll written by a heretic has no sanctity and should be burned (Gittin 45b). May one read torah related material, written by a heretic but that contains nothing ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Belief in the Exodus

Recently, someone who presents himself as a religious member of Jewish society told me that he feels it doesn't matter if the story of the Exodus actually happened, and can be viewed as a nice ...
5
votes
1answer
220 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
138 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
61 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
175 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
3answers
127 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Source of the first verse of the sectarian

It has been proposed that Rabban Gamliel quoted from Matthew 5 17 in his debate with a sectarian in maseches Shabbos 116a-b. See here http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6495-gamaliel-ii My ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

May one learn from a heretic?

The Rambam writes in his introduction to Shemona Perakim: "kabel ha-emet mimi she-amerah - accept the truth from whoever speaks it". Furthermore, the gemarah Chagigah 15b indicates that Rebbi Meir ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

is one an apikores for believing that only Darwin's evolution is a possibility? [duplicate]

Given that the torah's account of creation clearly seems to state that man was created independently from the animals, and likewise, the animals, plants, were created from the ground, would someone ...