Skip to main content
15 votes
Accepted

Source and etymology of כפירה kefirah ‘heresy’

Edits in italics: Balashon blog discusses it at length here, and provides many sources, as well as a look at one example of it by various Rishonim. I have added some content from there during this ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

How does the 19th brocho of the shmona esrai open?

I obviously can't comment about what is "original" or not, because we don't know what the "original" wording was, if there ever was such a thing. Chazal left us nothing of the sort. What we do know ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.9k
11 votes
Accepted

Rambam controversy

the Rambam literally holds that demons don’t exist, which are talked about multiple times throughout tanach and Talmud, would that mean that the Rambam is a heretic c”v? No, there is no fundamental ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
  • 9,019
8 votes
Accepted

How did Tzedukim practice fundamental Halachic principles not mentioned in the written Torah?

The simplest answer would probably be that they only reject the specific Oral Torah of Rabbinic Judaism; they don't reject interpretation altogether. This is essentially what R. David Ibn Zimra writes ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
8 votes

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

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, wrote a series of letters to one of his students, Dr. Moshe Zeidel, regarding Torah and science. In letter 91 (numbering per ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.9k
7 votes

What is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy: Atheism vs Avoda Zara?

Rambam in Guide for the Perplexed 1:36 writes as follows: How great, then, must be the offence of him who has a wrong opinion of God Himself, and believes Him to be different from what He truly is, i....
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
7 votes

What made Yochanan go off?

Yochanan didn't leave Judaism; he became a Sadducee, meaning that he left the Pharisees. If we follow Abbaye's opinion that Yannay is Yochanan (Berachot 29a), then the story of how he became a ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.8k
7 votes

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

Definitely not. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a single rishon who was a Young Earth Creationist. The Ramban says that Bereishis 1:1 describes creation yeish mei'ayin (ex nihilo; something ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
  • 9,706
7 votes

Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschutz and Shabbtaism

I have heard a number of rabbeim say this in private and in public. It's a minority but not of rabbeim who have actually looked deeply into the issue. The evidence against Eybeschuetz (a bunch of ...
user25970's user avatar
  • 575
6 votes

Loving an Apikores?

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 ...
Chaim's user avatar
  • 4,369
6 votes

Me'or Einayim-The Maharal

What happened was that R. Azaryah de Rossi was in the right place at the wrong time. He openly scrutinized non-halakhic parts of Chazal, such as historical components. This is totally consistent with ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Rabbi Yaron Reuven - Severe torture in gehinnom

There is a strong rabbinic mainstream consensus who would tell you to stay far, far away from him and his ideas. (Ask Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom -- who has ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
5 votes
Accepted

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

R. Joseph Karo in his commentary to that halacha suggests that based on how Ra'avad is quoted in Sefer HaIkarim the text may not have said "bigger and better than" in the first place: ויש לתמוה על ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
5 votes

What is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy: Atheism vs Avoda Zara?

Rabbi Tovia Singer seems to say that idolatry is worst than atheism. Saying that should not be mistaken as saying atheism is the preferred path. I am an Orthodox Jew. Nevertheless, atheism can ...
Turk Hill's user avatar
  • 1,370
5 votes

How to identify if a Chabad shul is Meshichist?

From what I have observed some will have the famous psak din declaring the Rebba as Mashiach hung up in the shul. Picture of psak din declaring the Rebba as Mashiach and making obligatory for ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.2k
4 votes

Source of the first verse of the sectarian

@moses in this answer refers to Edgar J. Goodspeed, who in "The Possible Aramaic Gospel", pg. 335, brought Hermann Strack's suggestion that: "It is probably, as Strack suggested, a ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.9k
4 votes

What are Sifrei Minim today?

Rashi on the Daf (S.V Rav Yosef) says that the Sifrei Minim ie. Sefer Ben Sira is called a Sefer Min: שיש בו דברי הבאי ובא עליהם לידי ביטול תורה Because it has Divrei Havai - empty things, and ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
4 votes

Does the story of R. Bena'a in the Cave of Macpelah imply that G-d has a physical form?

Depending on what you mean by "imply", yes, the Talmudic passage does imply that God has a physical form/image. The simple reading of the passage is that God has an image/form. If not for the fact ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
3 votes

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

According to the Rambam the category of Epicurus includes those who "dispute [the authority of the Oral Torah's] spokesmen" (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah 3:8). It is very difficult to argue that ...
Yirmeyahu's user avatar
  • 13.4k
3 votes

How is this belief muttar?

You can have a concept that some of God's traits are "feminine" and that He has both masculine and feminine aspects but that is different from saying that there is a separate god that is God's wife. ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
3 votes

Sources for seeing the Exodus as metaphorical rather than historical

In K'tav Hitnatzlut, an apologetic letter Rabbi Yeda'ayah Ha'pnini wrote as a reply to a cherem from the Rashbah on his philosophical views, he only makes a passing mention of Yetziat Mitzrayim, but ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.9k
3 votes

In Hilkhot Teshuvah 3:7 the Rambam says one who believes in more than one ruler is a heretic. What is the basis for this?

R. Menachem Krakowski's Avodat ha-Melekh on Hilkhot Teshuvah 3:7 (also here) brings the following sources (amongst others), to support Ramabm's statement, that one who says there are two or more ...
Tamir Evan's user avatar
  • 2,478
3 votes

tevilat keilim - ger toshav and meshumad

Regarding the ger toshav, it makes sense that it should be considered like a goy as the reason the Yerushalmi brings for טבילת כלים is "לפי שיצאו מטומאת הגוי ונכנסו לקדושת ישראל": They left ...
user6781's user avatar
  • 3,333
3 votes

What's the source for the line "Nebach an Apikoirus"?

This was explicitly stated several hundred years prior to R. Chaim. In enumerating the different categories of heretics, Rambam writes in Hilchot Teshuvah 3:7: והאומר שיש שם רבון אחד אבל שהוא גוף ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
3 votes

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

Regarding one who is unsure of the veracity of the Qabbalah and its multi-faceted tradition, and therefore chooses to live a Jewish life devoid of Qabbalistic influence, Rabbi Dawidh (David) Bar-Hayim ...
Lee's user avatar
  • 7,482
3 votes
Accepted

The case of the expanding heresy

Re: question 1. The Sefer Ha-Chinuch is addressing the prohibition of לא תתורו, which means (in a translated version of the Rambam's words) "We should not turn our minds to these matters, think about ...
wfb's user avatar
  • 14.6k
3 votes

Is there a mitzvah to kill an apikorus that did teshuva?

The Rambam writes in Perush Ha-Mishnah (Chullin ch. 1) that the purpose of executing an apikores is to remove the espousal of his ideas from society; thus if the apikores did teshuvah he would ...
wfb's user avatar
  • 14.6k
3 votes
Accepted

How are we supposed to understand Rambam's Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 4:10?

It is not that a court is required; that is not the situation described here. Rather, based on Mamrim 3:2, it would appear that this is referring to a case where it became publicly known that an ...
Aaliyah's user avatar
  • 1,434
3 votes
Accepted

Why weren't Tzaddok and Baytos put to death?

By way of getting a clearer understanding of the parameters of a zakein mamre one should refer to Mishna Sanhedrin 11:3 which writes: There is greater stringency in respect to the teachings of the ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible