Questions tagged [heresy]

Questions pertaining to heretics, forms of heresy and the ways they are dealt with.

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Isn't a heretic only someone who rejects at least one of the 13 Principles of Faith of the Rambam?

As I was in the process of writing this post, I found a related one on this website: Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira? Based on that post mentioned above, I ask: how can believing ...
Grapefruit's user avatar
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Ralbag - "the reason for smart people often becoming heretical is because they are not smart enough" - source?

Rav Paltiel quotes the Ralbag to the effect of the title, and adds his own explanation that there are many people who are smart enough to "understand the question, but not the answer". Does ...
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Burning missionary material

I remember learning a while ago that we are supposed to burn missionary material, presumably because it is kefirah. At one point a local missionary was specifically targeting us and putting it ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
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Belief in the details of Halacha

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, ...
Bpsb's user avatar
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Rabbi Yaron Reuven - Severe torture in gehinnom

I was out to eat the other day and in the restaurant, where one can take more sauces, there was a pile of dvd'd that people can take for free with the Tikkun Habrit movie on it. I ended up watching ...
Seeker's user avatar
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Under what circumstances (if at all) can excommunication be reversed and what is the process of the reversal if its possible?

There are some well known cases of certain Jews being excommunicated from their communities (e.g. Spinoza). However, it's not clear to me whether its possible for excommunication to be reversed and ...
setszu's user avatar
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Is this idea (dictation model of Torah) by Rambam heretical/blasphemous/idolatrous?

Rabbi David Bigman in his article The Dictation Model of Torah Revelation convincingly argues that the idea of Torah being entirely dictated to Moses, and then preserved over the generations (...
setszu's user avatar
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Is this Jewish Neoplatonic idea heresy?

Context: I've noticed before that whenever I post anything about Neoplatonism in a Jewish context, such posts usually tend to get downvoted to oblivion, and in general, such views are not very well ...
setszu's user avatar
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1 answer
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What should one do if he sees a question on Mi Yodeya by an atheist? [closed]

He asks a very lengthy question about emunah which reveals a misguided way of thinking. I also happen to know that the person is a public atheist. Thanks!
user33308's user avatar
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Is it apikorises to believe animals (not humans) evolved? [duplicate]

Is it apikorises to believe such a thing? On the surface it makes sense, but evolutionism seems to greatly contradict with the Torah’s calendar in some ways.
Raphael Chilungu's user avatar
4 votes
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Rambam controversy

I don’t like that I have to ask this but I haven’t heard of this before and would like some information on it. If one holds, for example, that the Rambam literally holds that demons don’t exist, ...
Rardal 's user avatar
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Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschutz and Shabbtaism

Are there recent "orthodox" rabbis who think Rav Eybeschutz was indeed a shabbtaist ?
EzrielS's user avatar
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4 answers
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How to identify if a Chabad shul is Meshichist?

How can one discern whether a Chabad shul is Meshichist?
WWsr's user avatar
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2 answers
536 views

Believing Universe to be older than 6k years K'firah (heresy)?

I know that the age of universe and/or earth is not one of the 13 ikarim. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan held it could be much older. But he wasn't a posek (at least he wasn't known as one) and was controversial. ...
benny's user avatar
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Looking for a compilation of heresies

Is anyone aware of a book/essay/website/other that compiles all Chazalic sources that refer to heresies, heterodox ideas, minut, etc? Things such as the stories about Jesus, Mishna Megillah 4a, and so ...
Harel13's user avatar
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Psalm 110. God's Right-Hand-Man. David or Messiah? Potential blasphemy

Ok whoever this passage is about is shown sitting at the right hand of God in verse 1. Being someone's right hand man means one's primary or most trusted assistant. Unless this meant something ...
Mordecai's user avatar
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Ibn Ezra and R. Joseph Bonfils And different opinions on Judaism [closed]

Can I agree with them that some passages were not written by Moses and that in some parts there were updates to the type text in Gen 14:14 that is considered a sin in Judaism? I can agree with rabbis ...
Matheus Sales's user avatar
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4 answers
371 views

Is someone who believes in the doctrine of tzimtzum a heretic?

The doctrine of tzimtzum teaches that HaShem contracted Himself to create a space within which to create creation. "Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite Or Ein Sof filling all existence....
Yochanan Mauritz Hummasti's user avatar
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0 answers
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Chatam Sofer on tchiyat hametim

I heard in this lecture that the Chatam Sofer was once told about a certain person in a community who proclaimed publicly that he didn't believe in tchiyat hametim, and that the Chatam Sofer wrote a ...
Harel13's user avatar
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Rav Moshe Sternbuch's position on the belief in HaShem for Gentiles

Among the answers to the following question in this forum: Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist? I read that, according to Rav Moshe Sternbuch, as he writes in Teshuvos Vehanhagos 3: 264 and ...
Amos74's user avatar
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Is Sefer HaRazim heretical?

Is the book Sefer HaRazim heretical? Does it play any part in kabbalah? If so, is it still used by kabbalists today?
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-2 votes
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Can a kofer be a dayan on a giyur beis din?

Assuming a person meets the Rambam's definition of a kofer as outlined in Hilchos Teshuvah Chapter 3, can such a person serve as dayan on a giyur beis din?
Nosson's user avatar
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Are Reform Jews heretics?

Reform Jews believe in the messianic age but not specifically in a personal miraculous messiah. According to Rambam's 13 principles of faith, is this heresy? Are Reform Jews heretics?
Turk Hill's user avatar
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Why weren't Tzaddok and Baytos put to death?

Why weren't Tzaddok and Baytos, fathers of the Tz'ddokim and Baytosim, put to death as z'kenim mamrim?
Harel13's user avatar
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1 answer
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Adam & Eve as parable- Kefira? [duplicate]

Is believing that the Adam & Eve story was a parable and not to be read literally, considered Kefira (heresy)? Are there any Gedolim that sanction this position? I know there are other very ...
Lee N.'s user avatar
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Were the Essenes considered apikorisim?

The ancient Essenes are known as being an highly Ascetic sect, with many Mystical and Monastical practices. In fact, Rav Aryeh Kaplan seems to imply that much of our Kabala actually originated from ...
Adam's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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How are we supposed to understand Rambam's Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 4:10?

In Mishneh Torah, Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 4:10, there is a halacha which is clearly (and thankfully) not practiced, at least as it relates to the surface reading of the halacha: הָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִים ...
Aaliyah's user avatar
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Is there a mitzvah to kill an apikorus that did teshuva?

In Yoreh De’ah 158:2 it says that there is a mitzvah to kill an apikorus. Assuming this is in the time of the Temple (i.e Jewish/religious autonomy), if that person did teshuva, is there still a ...
Fei23's user avatar
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What made Yochanan go off?

After Yochanan served as the Kohen Gadol for 80 years, he "left the fold" (Berachos 29a) ולא והא תנן אל תאמין בעצמך עד יום מותך שהרי יוחנן כ"ג שמש בכהונה גדולה שמנים שנה ולבסוף נעשה צדוקי The ...
NJM's user avatar
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2 answers
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What is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy: Atheism vs Avoda Zara?

In the eyes of halacha, who is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy, an idolator or an atheist? Whichever is worse, is that the case by both Jew and Non-Jew?
Big Mouth's user avatar
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The treatment of Jewish unbelievers in Halacha

There is a man, not an am ha'aretz by any means nor a Tinok Shenishba who has become an Apikores by any definition. He is not evangelical about his unbelief and is observant. He does not publicly ...
Yiddishe Yid's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
195 views

Who are the Rabbis that don't meet Rambam's reqs acc. to Raavad?

In Hilchos Teshuva 3.7 Rambam defines Minim (that can't do a full Teshuvah): חֲמִשָּׁה הֵן הַנִּקְרָאִים מִינִים. ...3) וְהָאוֹמֵר שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם רִבּוֹן אֶחָד אֲבָל שֶׁהוּא גּוּף וּבַעַל תְּמוּנָה. ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How did Tzedukim practice fundamental Halachic principles not mentioned in the written Torah?

Many basic and fundamental Halachic principles are not mentioned in the Torah at all but learned by the Sages only from some [even seemingly unrelated] Psukim. For example, Kiddushin is not mentioned ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
107 views

Which Divrei Minus are forbidden to read/hear today?

The Talmud in (Avodah Zara 16b–17a) brings that Rabbi Eliezer was upset that he had been accused by the Romans. His student, Rabbi Akiva suggested that perhaps he had heard a teaching of the minim and ...
michael's user avatar
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Does the story of R. Bena'a in the Cave of Macpelah imply that G-d has a physical form?

On Bava Basra 58a it says (from Sefaria): כי מטא למערתא דאדם הראשון יצתה בת קול ואמרה נסתכלת בדמות דיוקני בדיוקני עצמה אל תסתכל הא בעינא לציוני מערתא כמדת החיצונה כך מדת הפנימית ולמ"ד שני בתים זו ...
Fei23's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
546 views

What is the status of someone who denies one of the Rambam's 13 Principles?

i.e. are they considered an apikores etc? Or that they just hold an incorrect belief. Previously I had assumed their status was dependent on the principle they denied, so a person who denied the first ...
Finnegan's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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The case of the expanding heresy

Mitzvah # 387 in the Sefer Hachinuch is not to go astray towards heresy and licentiousness. In that mitzvah, the Sefer Hachinuch writes the following line: ענין לאו זה שנמנענו שלא ניחד מחשבותינו ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
209 views

Rambam's seemingly contradictory statements about one who denies the Oral Law

Rambam clearly and explicitly states on a number of occasions that one who denies the Oral Law is a heretic, and that this includes Tzadok and Baythus and their followers (Sadducees and Boethusians). ...
Alex's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
851 views

Source and etymology of כפירה kefirah ‘heresy’

Can someone inform me of where the word כפירה meaning ‘heresy’ was first used? Mishnah? Talmud? Word is not found in Tanach, apparently. How is it distinguished from other triliteral roots meaning ...
Gnarlodious's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
292 views

Is one who only keeps Rabbinic laws he agrees with a Apikores?

There is a world famous Jewish speaker who believes in Torah Misinai and the like but only keeps the Rabbinic laws that make sense to him. For example, he does not keep Yom Tov Sheini in Chutz La'...
Eliyahu's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
107 views

Temporary doubt and becoming a min

The Rambam says that one of the categories of a 'min' is someone "who says there is no God and the world has no leader" Does it have to be him actually saying it, or is just believing that sufficient?...
useruser9135's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
224 views

How to understand Hilchot Mamrim 3?

In Hilchot Mamrim 3a, it states: מי שאינו מאמין בתורה שבעל פה, אינו זקן ממרא האמור בתורה, אלא הרי הוא בכלל המינים, ומיתתו ביד כל אדם. [ב] מאחר שנתפרסם שהוא כופר בתורה שבעל פה--מורידין ולא מעלין, ...
Uncle's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is the Halachic protocol for assessing an alleged Apikores?

Today, people cavalierly throw around accusations of Apikorsut to identify practically anyone who doesn't think the identical way as them. Throughout Jewish history, claims of Apikorsut have been ...
Chaim's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
261 views

What's the deal with moral relativism?

I have heard and read from kiruv books, outreach speakers, pamphlets etc. that Orthodox Judaism doesn't like "Moral Relativism" (the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Is the study of biblical criticism considered heresy according to Jewish law? [duplicate]

The Rambam writes (Hilchos Teshuva 3:8) that one who says Torah is not from God, or even that one verse in the Torah, if Moses said it, he said on his own - is considered a heretic. Does this apply to ...
Bach's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What are Sifrei Minim today?

In Sanhedrin 100b: Rabbi Akivah says "Even one who reads foreign Seforim (has no chelek in Olam Haba)". Beraitha there: "He refers to Sifrei Tzedukim" (or "Sifrei Minim" ...
ray's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
257 views

Understanding the Zohar's Anthropomorphism of God

Unlike the Rambam's now-conventional ideas against anthropomorphizing God, there are kabbalistic texts studied today which seem to espouse completely antithetical ideas. I am familiar with the ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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How does the 19th brocho of the shmona esrai open?

I see nusach taiman has it starting with למשומדים אל תהי תקוה  I see the rambam has that too Rambam (mechon mamre) לַמְּשֻׁמָּדִים אַל תְּהִי תִקְוָה, כָּל הַמִּינִים כְּרֶגַע יֹאבֵדוּ, ...
hazoriz's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
682 views

What specifically was the sin of Acher (Elisha ben Avuyah)?

In Chagigah 14b-15a it says What is the meaning of "Acher destroyed the plants"? Of him scripture says: "Do not let your mouth make your flesh sin". What does this mean? Acher saw that Metatron ...
Fei23's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
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How is this belief muttar?

A friend of mine mentioned yesterday during our se'udah with the way in which the Zohar comments on a particular mitzvah lo ta'ase. In Devarim 16, Hashem commands us not to erect an asherah by the ...
Noach MiFrankfurt's user avatar