Are we commanded to love an Apikores as a fellow Jew, or are the regarded as something else?

My question is: does the Mitzva of Viahavta Lereiacha Kamocha apply to an Apikores?

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    Note that it may be appropriate to love someone even if the particular mitsvah of v'ahavta l'reakha kamokha does not apply. If you care about love in general, but not about that verse in particular, then consider removing reference to the verse. – mevaqesh Oct 2 '16 at 3:32
  • Rabbi Pinchas Mikorits said that a little tsadik can love only a little rasha but a big ts. can love a big rasha – kouty Oct 2 '16 at 4:22
  • @kouty By "can" do you mean 'is capable of', or 'is permitted to'? The former would be irrelevant, the latter would possibly be relevant. – mevaqesh Oct 2 '16 at 4:24
  • In mitsva 112 regarding veahavta, no distinction is appears – kouty Oct 2 '16 at 4:46

This seems to be addressed Sefer Chafetz Chaim 8:5

(Source provided from Sefaria.org)

And this entire issur of lashon hara applies only [when spoken] against the man who is in the category of "your neighbor" [amitecha], "am she'techa", i.e. "a people who is with you" in Torah and in mitzvoth. But those people whom he knows to have "apikorsoth" [heresy] among them, it is a mitzvah to demean and to shame, both in their presence and not in their presence, in everything that he sees or hears about them. For it is written (Vayikra 25:17): "And you shall not wrong, one man, his fellow [amito]" and (Vayikra 19:16): "You shall not go talebearing among your people [be'amecha]." And they are not in this category, for they do not act as Your people. And it is written (Tehillim 139:21): "Do I not hate your haters, O L-rd? And against those who rise up against You do I strive." And one who denies the Torah and prophecy of Israel, both the written and the oral Law, is called an apikoress [heretic], even if he says all the Torah is from Heaven, except for one verse, or one kal vachomer [a fortiori argument], or one gezeirah shavah [identity deduction], or one dikduk [inference].

Hope this helps.

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    Although the question was asked in a vacuum, we do not live in a vacuum, and a proper answer would therefore clarify whether, for example, there is a distinction between one who was raised with certain beliefs, and others. – mevaqesh Oct 2 '16 at 3:13
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    This claim does not provide convincing proof for itself. It defines the apikoress, then says that we are to hate those who hate God and rise up against Him, but provides no evidence for the main point; that the former has anything to do with the latter. – mevaqesh Oct 2 '16 at 3:17
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    Another problem, (admittedly not as glaring) is the claim that one who denies that a particular bit of rabbinic eisegesis is Sinaic, is a heretic. By this definition, Rambam and Rav Saadya Gaon are heretics. Incidentally, besides for being dubious, this claim is irrelevant to the OP, which mentioned apikorsim in general, and said nothing of the issue of critical study of the Torah or rabbinic texts. – mevaqesh Oct 2 '16 at 3:20
  • For varying views on textual criticism, see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/56994/…. – mevaqesh Oct 2 '16 at 3:24
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    Sounds like good advise for destroying relationships. I think practically this needs further discussion before following. Also consider that there are opinions that people today are technically not apikorsim. And don't you think some of his statements need a little more support? Going only off of what you cited, he equates hating with shaming, assumes that thinking one dikduk is not from heaven is equivalent to hating God, and he assumes that it's Halacha to do something just because David did. Does he have sources or explanations for any of that? – A L Oct 2 '16 at 3:47

The minor tractate Avot D'Rabbi Natan (c.700–900 CE) records in chapter 16, commenting on the teaching of R. Yehoshua that hatred of creatures removes one from the world:

ושנאת הבריות כיצד? מלמד שלא יכווין אדם לומר אהוב את החכמים ושנא את התלמידים, אהוב את התלמידים ושנא את עמי הארץ, אלא אהוב את כולם, ושנא את האפיקורסין והמסיתים ומדיחין, וכן המסורות. וכן דוד אמר (תהלים קלט) "משנאיך ה' אשנא ובתקוממיך אתקוטט תכלית שנאה שנאתים לאויבים היו לי" הלא הוא אומר (ויקרא יט) "ואהבת לרעך כמוך אני ה'" מה טעם "כי אני בראתיו"? - ואם עושה מעשה עמך אתה אוהבו, ואם לאו אי אתה אוהבו.

"Hatred of creatures - How so? This teaches that one should not intend to say to love the wise men and hate the students, or love the students and hate the ignoramuses. But rather, one should intend to love them all, but hate the Apikorsim and those who entice to idolatry..."

The teaching here brings that very verse of ואהבת לרעך כמוך as a source text to prove that someone who is not considered a רעה is not privy to being treated as such. Thus, the Mitzvah does not apply to an Apikores, according to the Avot D'Rabbi Natan.

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  • Interesting resource. I love ADRN. I have to research some mefarshim on this one. Generally, the Torah encourages us to hate a person's behavior, not the person, himself. This quite clearly implies an exception to this rule. I see the citing of the verse to back it up, and, it's extremely convincing. I'm just curious if there's another explanation to this, though. Ah! I see that Ramba"m - next answer, confirms this, too. Have to look at that source, too. – DanF Jun 14 '17 at 14:07

The Rambam himself (who mainly defined who is an apikores) addresses this question,

וכשנתקלקל לאדם יסוד מאלה היסודות הרי יצא מן הכלל וכפר בעיקר ונקרא צדוקי ואפיקורוס וקוצץ בנטיעות ומצוה לשונאו ועליו נאמר (תהלים קלט) הלא משנאך ה' אשנא

רמב"ם פירוש המשניות - מסכת סנהדרין פרק י משנה א

Actually it seems like its not only permitted to hate him, but it is mandatory, since he is god's enemy. The possible source for this Halacha is the Avos Dr Nathan cited in the previous answer.

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