Hashkofos & Apikorsos

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  • #699668
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    MW13, Yes, I am aware that the Rambam defines apikorus differently in Hilchos Teshuva than in Hilchos Avodah Zara. See the nosei keilim who debate whether there is any possibility of doing teshuva under either definition. Nevertheless, one can say that one who denies Techiyas Hameisim is claiming that there is no eternal reward, therefore why should I do mitzvos; I might as well be hefker. I still believe that there must be some nefarious motive to be a bona fide apikorus, not just a matter of innocent beliefs that do not ever translate into actions.

    Your second question about the akeidah is a very good one, and one that has bothered me. I asked my family what amounts to the same thing on R”H at the meal. Why did Avraham not daven for his son Yitzchok to try to save him from the Akeida the same way he davened for the chotim of Sdom? Was his son any less worthy? Second of all, he had some very good arguments that he could use about Yitzchok, first, Yitchok was a tzaddik, not like the anshei sdom; and in addition, Avraham could say my whole life I have been preaching against child murder in the name of religion like the Ovdei Avodah Zara do to molech and other gods. I have taught that G-d wants menschlachkeit. Now, by telling me to offer Yitzchok, you are making me look like a fool and a liar, when my G-d also wants a child sacrifice. All my converts will now leave me in droves.

    But we do not find that Avraham argued or davened in any way. But what is very interesting is that in the end, the RBSH was maskim to these unargued points, and taught us that he does not want child sacrifices, only menschlachkeit, like Avraham had been teaching all along. So possibly, Avraham thought that had it been somebody else’s child, he would have argued his head off. But for his own child, he had no right to, as it was a personal test. Nevertheless, in the end, the maskana seems to clearly be like I have been writing here all along, that menschlachkeit is the ikar.

    I admit this is still very confusing, but that is how I understand it.

    #699669
    mw13
    Participant

    “I still believe that there must be some nefarious motive to be a bona fide apikorus, not just a matter of innocent beliefs that do not ever translate into actions.”

    The pashtus of the Rambam is not like that. If you find me a source, then we can talk…

    “Why did Avraham not daven for his son Yitzchok to try to save him from the Akeida the same way he davened for the chotim of Sdom? Was his son any less worthy?”

    I think the difference is that by Sodom Hashem clearly said this was a punishment, but by the Akeida He simply stated it as a tziyvuy.

    “Nevertheless, in the end, the maskana seems to clearly be like I have been writing here all along, that menschlachkeit is the ikar.”

    Perhaps, but we still celebrate Avrahom’s willingness to sacrifice everything (including his reputation for mencshlichkeit throughout the world) in order to do Hashem’s will. We still beg Hashem, to this day, “just like Avrahom suspended his mercy from his only son, so may you suspend Your wrath from us…” (from the teffilah right after the Akeida, although I don’t have it front us me so it’s probably not exact). We extol Avrahom for suspending all sense of decency to do Hashem’s will: it seems to me that this is a clear proof the ultimate good is following Hashem, no matter what.

    #699670

    I think the difference is that by Sodom Hashem clearly said this was a punishment, but by the Akeida He simply stated it as a tziyvuy.

    basically what Rabbi Avigdor Miller, tzl said in answer to that same question posed to him

    #699671
    mw13
    Participant

    Mod80:

    Hah this is funny… you responding to my yet-unposted comment.

    “basically what Rabbi Avigdor Miller, tzl said in answer to that same question posed to him”

    Barush she’Kivanti. Do you know where?

    #699672

    i do that a lot.

    he said it in the question session at the end of one of his thurs night talks

    somewhere in the first 200 talks

    sorry cant be more specific

    #699673
    mw13
    Participant

    “somewhere in the first 200 talks”

    Yeah… guess I’ll just take your word for it.

    #699674

    thats up to you

    maybe this will make you feel better:

    it was on tape 176 in the e series, 112 minutes into the talk, following a question on whether one can read the Jewish press.

    #699675
    mdd
    Member

    Pashute Yid, you are wrong. Even if a fellow just holds of an apikorosishe view without doing anything, he is a full-fledged apikoyres. Mefurash in the Gemora and Rambam, and just ask any Rov.

    #699676
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    In general, I think the Akeidah was a nisayon to set the stage for later generations R”L who gave up what was dearest to them, including their lives, for Kiddush Hashem. We have had so many kedoshim who refused to convert to other religions and were willing to be slaughtered all through the ages. Hashem wanted to see if Avraham had this mesirus nefesh in him.

    Neverthless, we never found any time when a person was asked to kill his own child ever again. And if a person would ever be asked to do so, he would not be permitted, as it is now yehareg v’al yaavor to take the life of any person, including his child.

    So while Avraham was asked to withhold his menschlachkeit and humanity at the Akeida, that was a one-time event, and I think that ever since, menschlachkeit is the ikar.

    Of course, you may ask me about Mechiyas Amalek and the Milchemes Zayim Amamin. But that is a long and separate discussion, and I am too tired now.

    #699677

    why was the nisayon of chana and her seven sons not a groise zechus for klal yisroel also ?

    #699678
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Mdd, in the interests of intellectual honesty, I will bring you a rayah, but it may not be conclusive.

    The gemara says if a man was mekadesh a woman al mnas sheani rasha, afilu tzadik gomur kol yamav mekudeshes, shema hirher dvar avodas kochavim blibo. It is mashma that the thought alone can make someone a rasha. But to defend my point, in that case it was a thought to actually do avodah zara, and I believe that such a thought, even if he does not carry it out, HKBH metzarfo lemayseh.

    I need to think about it. I also want to look up the gemara about Elisha ben Avuya who saw someone doing kibud av and shiluach hakan, and the person died. Because of this Elisha ben Avuyah became an apikorus. Why did this make Elisha not believe in schar mitzvos? Maybe the person was thinking an apikoreseshe thought at the time and deserved to be punished. Yet the gemara, I believe, does not explain the reason for this person’s death that way. It instead says he died because schar mitzvah bhai alma leika.

    I need to look up and think about it, but tired now.

    #699679
    mw13
    Participant

    “And if a person would ever be asked to do so, he would not be permitted, as it is now yehareg v’al yaavor to take the life of any person, including his child.”

    Incorrect. If a person is told something through nevauh, it suspends halacha. I belive there is a case of this in Nach where a Navi (forgot which) married somebody he wasn’t allowed to al pi halacha because of a Nevauh.

    “So while Avraham was asked to withhold his menschlachkeit and humanity at the Akeida, that was a one-time event, and I think that ever since, menschlachkeit is the ikar.”

    Huh? You’re saying that menschlichkeit wasn’t the be all and end all of the Torah then, but is now? Please explain.

    matziv chapper: Whoever suggested it wasn’t?

    #699680
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    MW13, You are the one who suggested that menschlachkeit is not the be all and end all of yiddishkeit above, because of your kashya from the Akeida. These are your words:

    “We extol Avrahom for suspending all sense of decency to do Hashem’s will: it seems to me that this is a clear proof the ultimate good is following Hashem, no matter what.”

    All I am saying is that after the Akeida, the RBSH made it clear that he does not want child sacrifices, and now all he wants is kindness. Deracheha darchei noam.

    #699681
    mw13
    Participant

    “You are the one who suggested that menschlachkeit is not the be all and end all of yiddishkeit above, because of your kashya from the Akeida. These are your words”

    It appears that you have misunderstood my question. My problem wasn’t in the “You’re saying that menschlichkeit wasn’t the be all and end all of the Torah then,”, rather in the “but is now”? In other words, why would it have changed?

    “All I am saying is that after the Akeida, the RBSH made it clear that he does not want child sacrifices, and now all he wants is kindness.”

    No, the RBSH made it clear that we must be willing to override any sense of kindness to do His will.

    “I need to think about it. I also want to look up the gemara about Elisha ben Avuya who saw someone doing kibud av and shiluach hakan, and the person died. Because of this Elisha ben Avuyah became an apikorus. Why did this make Elisha not believe in schar mitzvos? Maybe the person was thinking an apikoreseshe thought at the time and deserved to be punished. Yet the gemara, I believe, does not explain the reason for this person’s death that way. It instead says he died because schar mitzvah bhai alma leika.”

    Not a rayah, the Gemora always uses an answer that applies across the board before an answer that relies upon certain conditions.

    Also, another question: We know it says in Koheles “hakul zman vu’eis… eis li’sinoh… eis milchoma” “there is a time for everything… a time for hate… a time for war”. This can be seen li’maseh in the halachic chiyuv to hate an apikores, and to wipe out amaleik. If everything is menschlichkeit, what constructive purpose do hate and war serve?

    #699682
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    MW13, Having a police department is in my view no contradiction to menschlachkeit. There are dangerous individuals who are a threat to society and must be detained to preserve shalom for everybody else.

    #699683
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    The RBSH made clear he does not want child sacrifices, because there is a pasuk somewhere in sefer Devarim which states something like Ki brishas hagoyim hahem ani morish osam mipanecha ki gam beneihem uvnoseihem yisrifu baeish lelohehem. Hashem says he is disgusted with the nations who lived in EY before the Yidden because they burn their own children in fires for their gods. Now, if Judaism also believed in that practice, wouldn’t that pasuk be completely hypocritical and false?

    #699684
    oomis
    Participant

    If everything is menschlichkeit, what constructive purpose do hate and war serve”

    They serve to remind us that sometimes we need to take action against people who are totally against menschlechkeit.

    #699685
    mw13
    Participant

    Pashuteh Yid”

    “Having a police department is in my view no contradiction to menschlachkeit.”

    Of course it is. However, I don’t see how that’s war or hatred (unless you have a police department like those in South America… ;))

    oomis1105:

    Fine, that answers why war would be necessary, but why hate? If the whole reason we’d be going out to war is to preserve menschlichkeit, we would have to kill people, but we still wouldn’t have to hate them.

    #699686

    mw13: I like what you just said, a lot. We don’t have to hate our enemies, but we do have to fight them.

    #699687
    mw13
    Participant

    pascha bchochma:

    What I said may be very nice, but it is not always the case. “Ohavi Hashem sinoo ra” “those who love Hashem hate evil”. If something is truly evil (apikorsus, amalaik, etc), we must hate it. (Which was kinda the point I was trying to make.) The rest of the time we can and must fight our enemies, but it should be done without hate.

    #699688
    oomis
    Participant

    We are not supposed to hate PEOPLE. we are supposed to hate the evil that some of them do. Don’t hate the sinner, but rather the sin. Without hate, some people’s emotions might not sufficiently be stirred to change a bad situation.

    #699689
    mdd
    Member

    Oomis1105, you are wrong. Chafets Chaim in his sefer says it is a mitsva to hate re’shoim. I understand, in your school they did not tell you that, but that’s what the Torah says.

    #699690
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Mdd, I think we would be better off hating reshaim like Ahmadinejad, Hitler, Arafat, Hamas, than hating our own brethren who may have different views than us.

    #699691
    mdd
    Member

    Pashuteh Yid, I am not talking about your self-concieved ideas in this area, I am talking about what the Torah says. And there are me’koros for this in many places.

    #699692
    rebdoniel
    Member

    Showing kindness to reshoim is like aveiras Korach and is among the worst things a person can do and is a slap in the face to justice.

    #699694
    squeak
    Participant

    Wow that was low.

    #699695

    yes it was

    #699696

    squeak is referring to a deleted post, not to anything currently up

    #699697
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Mdd, as you probably know, the Chazon Ish said we do not display any hatred or use alimus (violence or harsh words) these days, but use avosos haahavah to bring our brethren back, as they are tinokos shenishbu. This applies until nevuah comes back.

    #699698
    mdd
    Member

    Chazon Ish is a shvere da’as yehid. according to him, anybody who does any aveira, even if he was brought up frum, we can not treat him as a rosha. Most poskim disagree. and I was not talking about real tinokos she’nishbu, when I mentioned hating re’shoim.

    #699699
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Mdd, the Chazon Ish’s point is gevaldig. Even if one was brought up frum why does that necessarily obligate him to keep mitzvos, if he later had some bad experience, or had other problems with his faith? How is he any different than a public school child, just because somebody told him he should keep Shabbos, or just because he kept it for a few years when he was younger? How does he really know that the mesorah is true?

    The Chazon Ish is stating that until we get to see Nevuah with our own eyes, we can’t really be considered to fully know the emes, whether we were brought up frum or not. Once one has actually seen Nevuah, then one cannot deny that the Torah is emes, unless he is a real rasha.

    #699700
    mdd
    Member

    The sugyos are not mashma like that. The Poskim do not hold like that. Very far off left-wing approach. you can find many shvere shitos. This is one of them. And even if you see n’viim, you can make up excuses.

    #699703
    mdd
    Member

    According to the Chazon Ish, all the halochos which deal with mumarim, mechalelei Shabbos and kofrim should be taken out of the Shulchan Aruch.

    And what you wrote appears to be a defence of agnosticism.

    #699704
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    A few hours ago, I wrote a nice piece about the secular Jews of today. It seems to be swallowed up in cyberspace. Maybe the Mods can find and repost, as it doesn’t seem that it was edited or deleted, just disappeared.

    At any rate, I just had occasion to look up the Chazon Ish. It is in Yoreh Deah, Siman 2, Os 16, last paragraph. Maybe someone can translate, as I am tired now.

    In the next Os, he seems to say what I was saying earlier, that an apikorus is one who allows his anti-Torah beliefs to affect his life style; not one who merely doesn’t believe in something. He proves this from the fact that Kusim, who don’t believe in Torah Shebeal Peh are allowed to shecht. Also, we give the kohein gadol a shevuah that he shouldn’t switch the order of lighting the ketores and entering the kodesh kodashim. But the ones who do that are tzedukim who don’t believe in Torah Shebeal Peh. How would a shevuah help? The entire avodah would be pasul, not just the ketores. So the CI concludes that when it says that one who does not believe in Torah Shebal Peh is a Mumar Lchol Hatorah Kula, or a Min, it means one who does not live his life according to the way the Rabbanan prescribed. But since the Kusim are medakdek to keep the Torah Shebichsav, they are not considered as a Min. This is truly a far reaching chiddush, which even I have trouble digesting, and also I read it quickly and don’t have in front of me, and may not be saying it over completely right. But please look up when you have a chance.

    #699705
    jay11691
    Member

    The word “Apikoros” is completely misused by most people. Basically, they imply that if you don’t believe in the Yeshivish hashkofos you are an apikoros. However, those who take this position fail to realize that many many great Gedolim did not have the same Hashkafos as R’ Aharon Kotler Zt”l.

    Although not directly related, it may be useful to quote R’ Shimon Schwab Zt”l :

    ” While we do not insist that only “Torah Giants” come forth from our great yeshivos, we are certainly not anxious to put up with any “Torah dwarfs” either. By this we mean the overly inflated semi-scholar, whose knowledge of Neviim and Kesuvim is nil and whose acquaintance with Shisha Sidrei Mishna is pitiful. These individuals are only vaguely familiar with halachah and aggadah, and their encounter with hashkafah literature is confined to two or three books. Sadly enough, some of these people become self-styled experts on daas Torah today” – Selected Essays, page 144

    #699706
    mw13
    Participant

    jay11691: When we refer to an Apikores here, we are referring to somebody who denies one of the 13 ani maamans. There is a mitzva to hate such an individual. The Chazon Ish holds there are no apikorsim today: however, he agrees that if there were there would be a mitzva to hate them.

    oomis1105:

    “Don’t hate the sinner, but rather the sin.”

    In most cases, correct. However, there is a mitzva to hate an apikores.

    #699707
    mdd
    Member

    Mw13, even a rasha le’teavon — look in the”Chofets Chaim”.

    #699708
    mw13
    Participant

    mdd: Could you be more specific?

    #699709
    so right
    Member

    There seems to be a misconception by some here over what the Chazon Ish said about an apikorus. According to the Chazon Ish, the level of Apikores in the Gemora, where the Halachah allows us to cause his death, does not apply nowadays, since today we do not see open miracles on the same level that we used to, a denier of the Torah is not guilty to the extent that one may kill him. On the contrary, we should try to be mekarev them and cause them to do teshuva (YD 13).

    #699710
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    On Shabbos I had the opportunity to further look into the definition of apikorus, following the trail of the Chazon Ish I quoted earlier.

    First, contrary to what SoRight writes, it is 100% impossible that the Chazon Ish would ever had said that a frum Jew who keeps Torah and Mitzvos is an apikorus, since, as I mentioned ear;lier, one needs to be porek ol to fall into that category, and live one’s life in a manner inconsistent with Chazal. This is even according to the strict opinion of the Rashba, I believe, who says one who denies Torah Shbeal Peh is an apikorus. As I posted earlier, the Chazon Ish said from the fact that a Kusi can shecht, it is clear that more than bad hashkafas are needed. What is needed is hefkerus (from which the word apikorus is derived). So if it is a choice about believing some hearsay story, or what the Chazon Ish wrote in his own hand in black and white, I will go with what he wrote.

    But let us look at Shitas HaRambam. In Hilchos Shechita (4:14)

    ????? ???? ?????? ?? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ?? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ??? ????? ?? ????? ???”? ????? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ?????. ??? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?? ???????? ???? ????? ????? ????? ????? ??? ??????? ?????? ????? ??? ??? ????”? ??????? ????

    An apikorus is one who denies the Torah and Moshe Rabbeinu (and certainly one who denies the RBSH). He is like a gentile and his shechita is neveila.

    But in Halacha (4:16) the Rambam writes:

    ??? ??????? ?????????? ????????? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ??????? ????? ???? ?? ?????? ?????. ??? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ?????. ???? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ??????? ????? ?????? ?????

    ???? ?????? ???? ?? ??????

    We see that EVEN ONE WHO DENIES THE ENTIRE TORAH SHEBEAL PEH IS NOT AN APIKORUS, AND HIS SHECHITA IS KOSHER.

    So now getting back to the opening post, does anybody seriously think any knowledgeable Rav could have possibly labeled Rav Kook an apikorus? On what grounds? Obviously this is another one of these hearsay stories which have no factual basis.

    To sum up, as Jay11691 put it so beautifully in the name of Rav Schwab, just because one disagrees with the Yeshivishe hashkafa does not make one an apikorus. The only thing that does is to totally deny Moshe Rabbeinu, the entire Torah or the existence of the RBSH. Quite possibly there is also an additional requirement that one must actually live a lifestyle of hefkerus, as is mashma from the Chazon Ish, and from the language of the Rambam in Avodas Kochavim (2:5) where he says Ad shenimtzeu ovrim al gufei Torah as below:

    ??????????? ?? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ??? ??????? ???? ??? ???. ????? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?? ??? ????. ?????? ?? ???????? ?????? ??????:

    I rest my case. (Thanks to HebrewBooksdotOrg for the text.)

    #699711
    mdd
    Member

    So right, you are not right. Chazon Ish held that not only the “moridin ve’ayn ma’alin…” does not apply but all the halochos of a kofer do not apply. He refused to pater a woman from halitsa when the yevom was off the derech because of his shita that you can not treat him as a mumar. Look in his sefer.

    #699712
    mdd
    Member

    For mw13, look in the mafteyhos in the back of the sefer “Chofets Chaim”, and you’ll find it.

    #699713
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    If you look at the very end of the Chazon Ish Siman 2, which is Os 28, he quotes from the Ahavas Chessed which I assume is the Chofetz Chaim who brings from Hagaon R”Y Molin who quotes the Maharam Lublin that today there is a mitzva to love reshaim, because the mitzva to hate them is only after one gives them tochacha and they refuse to listen. But today, nobody can give proper tochacha and they remain tinokos shenishbu, so the mitzva to hate them does not apply. Therefore, the Chofetz Chaim and those he quotes are in full agreement with the Chazon Ish, and the Chazon ish is not a daas yochid, as someone posted earlier, but is mainstream.

    #699714
    mdd
    Member

    Pashute Yid, Chafets Chaim brings at the end of the “Ahavas Chesed” a list of hanhagos of R. Molin. One of them is the shita you mentioned. However, it is clear from the sefer “Chafets Chaim”, that he did not agree with this shita.

    In many simonim in the Shulchan Aruch there are halochos about reshoim. None of the commentaries there say that all these halochos do not apply nowdays. Most Poskim do not hold of this far-off shvere kula. According to this shita, all the kofrim, murderers, noafim, thieves etc. can not be treated as reshoim. This is very shvere.

    #699715
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Tired now, but bein adam lachaveiro is a separate parsha, and is a simple sevara that I must not do to others what I dislike. It does not require nevuah or other divine inspiration to obligate me. A thief needs to be treated as a thief, regardless. However, a kofer or one who is lax in bein adam lamakom must have a clear motivation to keep the Torah.

    #699716
    mdd
    Member

    All these se’voros are your own. The Chazon Ish does not differentiate.

    #699717
    mdd
    Member

    Most Poskim hold that if somebody was brought up frum, he has seen enough to know better. Some hold that if a tinok she’nishba has lived in a place where there are a lot of frum Yidden etc. for a while, he has seen enough also.

    #699718
    mdd
    Member

    Pashute Yid, according to you, if a fellow believes in everything, but is oyver be’meizid on an issur bein adam le’Mokom, he is also not a rasha?

    #699719
    kgh5771
    Participant

    Ruach HaKodesh as it applies to leaders of K’lal Yisrael means something different than the thread here implies. Ruach HaKodesh is a form of N’vuah. NO ONE today has N’vuah. The period of N’vuah ended with the prophecies of Malachi. Ruach HaKodesh is some Divine inspiration, but it is not on the level of N’vuah of the past. Also, if you say that Rashi, or any commentator, had Ruach HaKodesh, how could one be “cholek” on him? No one is allowed to disagree with a Navi! How could the Ramban disagree with the commentary of Rashi if Rashi had a form of N’vuah? The great G’dolei Yisrael were holy men, but they do not have N’vuah. They have Da’as Torah.

    #699720
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Mdd, on a practical basis, we must treat people who are lax with mitzvos bein adam lamakom as the normative halachos state. I.e., one who is not shomer kashrus obviously can’t have neemanus about kashrus, and can’t be a mashgiach.

    However, as far as hating them, which is how this point of the discussion began, that is not something we should do today. As far as whether the RBSH thinks they are reshaim, that is for Him to decide, and is not my concern. I am sure He takes each individual case and his circumstances and upbringing into account. I am sure He also knows that it’s been a long galus and hester panim, and people have lost faith along the way due to many tragedies, and probably some may have given up on Mashiach simply because they have waited too long for their yeshuah.

    What about a person who has been davening for 25 years to find a shidduch, and now she still hasn’t found one, and is now too old to have children, and her lifelong dreams have been dashed, along with those of her parents who desperately want to walk her down to the chuppah, while they are still able to.

    I am not one to judge my fellow Jews after all they have been through.

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