The Chazon Ish in the Sefer 'Emunah Ubitachon' says that unless one has focused intensely on trying to believe that all the seemingly small details of halacha are indeed just as serious as killing, stealing and adultery, one does not truly believe it.

For example, one who has transgressed 'Borer' on Shabbos by removing the bad from the good for later in the day (since for immediate eating purposes the m.b, maharsham, and chazon ovadiah permit though chazon ish disagrees) one is WORSE than a murderer. Since a murderer is only liable for the punishment of 'sayif' beheading, while a violator of Shabbos is liable to 'sekila' or Kares. This is obvious from the gemara in yevamos that says that since a wicked person shouldn't be buried near a righteous one, separate cemeteries were necessary for criminals killed by the courts, and since someone killed by the relatively lenient punishment of 'sayif', is righteous compared to someone who was liable for 'sekila', there were cemeteries for each level of sinners.

The same applies to eating just an olives worth of specific types of fat of animals, chametz on Pesach or infractions of niddah.

  1. Does everyone agree with Chazon Ish? To me it seems the reality is as he claims, since we are repulsed by people who kill, rape and steal but we do not feel that way towards upstanding people who have gone OTD. In addition, very few orthodox people are fluent in all the myriad detailed laws of Shabbos. Furthermore, in the yeshivas there is no serious focus on halacha even the halachos that involve sekilah or kares such as shabbos. Now if they would truly beleive its importance, surely there would be emphasis on it. But in truth the opposite is true. Learining any Halacha is subtly disparaged.

  2. From a theological perspective, since these ideas are so difficult to believe, how can we be held accountable for them, and all the more so with such severe punishments.

  3. According to Chazon Ish, the average person is a quasi-heretic since they don't fully believe the consequences of these actions. How can that be?

  4. How can an authentic God given law be so hard to stomach and belive?

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    In deriving the permission to violate Shabbat to save a life, the Talmud (Yoma 85a) reasons (my summary): if one is allowed to murder a home-intruder (which is such a terrible sin that it defiles the land and causes the Shekhina to depart from the Jewish people) because he might kill someone, all the more so you can violate Shabbat (which isn't as strict) because of the possibility of potential death.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 20:50
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    Is it so obvious that all details of halacha should be equally severe? I'd think it's obviously not the case even if we can't well-order them. We have ranked punishments (קים ליה בדרבה מיניה), we have rules pushed aside by other rules (עשה דוחה לא תעשה), we have rules that must be followed on pain of death (ייהרג ואל יעבור), limitations on capital investment (עד חומש, אפילו מן התמחוי) and more. None of those leads to any one particular ranking as official but do imply diversity in value.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 20:58
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    "very few orthodox people are fluent in all the myriad detailed laws of Shabbos" There is such a thing as שוגג, violating the Sabbath by mistake. It is not as severe, and probably most of the violations you're discussing would fall into that category.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 21:46
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    Welcome @Bpsb you state "The Chazon Ish in the Sefer 'Emunah Ubitachon' says..." Can you please edit the post to include the relevant text, and if not at least provide a full citation? This would greatly improve the quality of your question. Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 23:28
  • "והבדלתם בין הבהמה הטהורה לטמאה נב" - אין צ"ל בין פרה לחמור שהרי מובדלין ונכרין הם אלא בין טהורה לך לטמאה לך בין שנשחט רובו של סימן לנשחט חציו וכמה בין רובו לחציו מלא שערה "ואבדל אתכם מן העמים להיות לי" - אם אתם מובדלים מהם הרי אתם שלי ואם לאו הרי אתם של נבוכדנצר וחביריו he.wikisource.org/wiki/…
    – The GRAPKE
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 15:09


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