I always heard that one who is a שוטה to a certain extent isn't obligated in Torah and Mitzvot. The first time I saw something similar inside is in Rambam Mishneh Torah (Yad Hachazaka) Hilchot Chametz U'Matzah Chapter 6 Halacha 3, where he paskens as follows:

אָכַל כְּזַיִת מַצָּה וְהוּא נִכְפֶּה בְּעֵת שְׁטוּתוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִתְרַפֵּא חַיָּב לֶאֱכל אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְרַפֵּא. לְפִי שֶׁאוֹתָהּ אֲכִילָה הָיְתָה בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָיָה פָּטוּר מִכָּל הַמִּצְוֹת.

[If] he had epilepsy and ate a kazayit of matzah at the time of his seizure, and was healed afterward, he is obligated to eat [it again] after he was healed, for the first eating, was at a time when he was exempt from all of the commandments.

So the question(s):

1. What are the illnesses or conditions that Halachicallly exempt someone from Torah and Mitzvot?

2. Do certain conditions have to be met (for example, regarding a person with epilepsy, it seems that according to the Rambam, that person is only exempt during a seizure)?

3. Have modern poskim differed than prior poskim because of yeridat hadorot?

4. Are there limitations to the exemption(s)?

Please provide sources for any answers.

  • pretty sure in context "epilepsy" and "seizure" are very poor translations of what should be something more along the lines of a psychotic/schizophrenic episode.
    – Loewian
    Dec 29, 2020 at 18:27
  • @Loewian could very well be that is why I ask about the context. The translation is provided by Sefaria and also in perush of Rambam L'Am from HaRav Kook translated on Chabad.org. HaRav Kook brings that it is Machala Hanefilah, which is translated to be epilepsy. I am open to other interpretations, translations, or understandings. That is part of the question, in a sense.
    – DoreshEmet
    Dec 29, 2020 at 18:29


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