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 one, who's congregations don't know they are closet atheists).

Halacha treats secular Jews, who don't keep Shabbat, etc., differently in many matters (for example, with kashrut). How does halacha treat someone who does not believe in G-d, but fulfills the mitzvot (almost the opposite of Reform Jews who believe in G-d, but don't fulfill mitzvot)? Does it make a difference when an apikoros is shomer mitzvot?

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    The simple answer, based on the Rambam's intro to Cheilek: they are heretics and should be treated as such (which means they are to be hated and perhaps it's best to throw them into pits and let them die). If someone can give a real answer though, discussing the applicability of the Chazon Ish's opinion etc, I'd give them extra points/bounty – הנער הזה Nov 24 '14 at 6:49
  • See what I wrote here: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/28636/… – הנער הזה Nov 28 '14 at 16:06

if they truly dont believe at all (which i'm not so sure), then:

the Chafetz Chaim's Sefer Hamitzvos mitzva #1

positive commandment to believe in the existence of Gd

As written "I am the Eternal your Gd" (ex.20:2). He created all that is found and all the worlds by His power and intent. He presides on every thing. This is the foundation of Judaism. He who does not believe this is a kofer b'ikar (denies the main principle) and he has no portion or merit with the Jewish people...

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    Why quote the Chofetz Chaim when you can quote the Rambam? The Rambam actually responds to your equivocation in his intro to Cheilek, where he writes (Kafah translation): וכאשר יפקפק אדם ביסוד מאלו היסודות - even merely doubting, apparently, is enough to warrant being נקרא מין ואפיקורוס וקוצץ בנטיעות, וחובה לשנותו ולהשמידו ועליו הוא אומר הלא משנאיך ה' אשנא – הנער הזה Nov 24 '14 at 6:53
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    @Matt When dealing with practical Halachah (at least in the Ashkenazic tradition), a more recent Posek is generally preferred to an earlier source. Since the question asked about Halachah, quoting the Chofetz Chaim seems more appropriate in this case than quoting the Rambam. – Salmononius2 Nov 24 '14 at 16:37
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    @Salmononius2 point taken. I'll revise my objection to be: why quote from a mussar sefer of the Chofetz Chaim when you could quote from the Biur Halacha 39:4 (which expressed a more careful/nuanced opinion)? – הנער הזה Nov 24 '14 at 16:58
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    @Matt because he knew the rambam and those after him. sefer hamitzvot is not a mussar sefer. the chafetz chaim wrote it as a practical work as he explained in the intro there – ray Nov 24 '14 at 22:00
  • @Matt this was the last sefer he wrote so yes. how about adding your own answer which is probably betterthan this one – ray Nov 24 '14 at 22:09

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