Rav Chaim: A Nebach Apikorus is also an Apikorus

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  • #605314

    bubka
    Participant

    Rav Elchonon Wasserman (Explanations of Agados #2):

    #900844

    bubka
    Participant

    Rav Elchanan brings the famous statement of Rav Chaim that “nebech an apikorus is still an apikorus”. To this Rav Elchanan asks several kashes. One is from a gemara in Cheilek in which R’ Hillel felt Moshiach came already in the form of Chizkiyahu Hamelech. According to Rav Chaim, why isn’t R’ Hillel an apikorus? To this Rav Meir Stern answered that since R’ Hillel was a bar plugtah with the other Amoraim, he had a right to argue. However, once the halacha was paskened not like R’ Hillel, subsequent generations can’t argue. And he compared this to any machlokes in halacha. We only go basar rov (Yachid V’Rabim halacha K’rabim) if one doesn’t know what the halacha is, but the yachid himself doesn’t have to go basar rov since he is a bar plugtah.

    The Gemorah in Sanhedrin 99a quotes R. Hillel as saying “There shall be no Mashiach for Israel, because they have already enjoyed him in the days of Chizkiyah.” The Chasam Sofer (Teshuvos, Yoreah Deah 356) writes that while R. Hillel was not an apikorus for saying what he did, the question has already been decided and anyone who says the exact same thing today is an apikorus who denies the Torah.

    Ramban, in Kisvei Ramban, vol. I, p. 345., writes to the Gedolim in France argues with them against a belief in corporeal Hashem. He writes that Scriptural and Aggadic references to Hashem’s form should not be taken literally. Yet regardless of any of the Rishonim’s belief in a corporeal G-d, such a belief today would be heretical.

    So we see even in areas that are not halacha l’maaisa (i.e. belief in Moshiach or the form of Hashem is not something we tangibly express but rather simply think) one can be a heretic even if he find a source in the gedolim that once held it. It was okay for them to hold, but certainly not for any of us.

    #900845

    Sam2
    Participant

    I can go into this at length, but basically the Rambam holds that Olam Habah is a continuation of the amount of understanding of G-d that you earned in this world. Thus, someone with false ideas about G-d inherently does not receive this, whether or not it’s his fault. Because if you have false ideas, there is inherently nothing for you to receive in Olam Habah. Pashtus is that we hold by the Ra’avad in this.

    #900846

    WIY
    Member

    Is this directed at anyone in particular?

    #900847

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    You know, if you’re going to copy and paste from R. Eidensohn’s blog, you should at least give him credit. This also goes for the other thread you started (sons vs. daughters) as well.

    The Wolf

    #900848

    Apikoris is a definition not a punsihment.

    #900849

    mdd
    Member

    Bubka, you got it wrong. In a nutshell: Rambam agrees that there is such a thing as tinok she’nishba. A nebach apikores is someone who was not raised frum and who was later exposed to Yiddishkeit, but he still maintains his apikoyrosish shittos.

    #900850

    besalel
    Participant

    bubka: i am not sure what rav chaim brisker came to add as this is pashut pshat in the rambam which is why rambam recounts the whole story of how people (inadvertently and innocently) began worshiping idols in the times of enosh as he states:

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

    ? ???? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???? ?????, ?????? ??? ???? ???? ????; ????? ????, ?? ??????. ??? ????? ?????: ???? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ??????? ??? ?????? ?? ?????, ????? ?????, ???? ??? ????, ??? ????? ??????? ?????–?????? ?? ????? ??????, ?????? ??? ????. ??? ??? ???? ??? ???? ???, ???? ????? ?? ?????? ??????, ??? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???????? ?????, ??? ??? ?????? ?? ???.

    ? ???? ???? ??? ?? ?? ????, ?????? ????? ??????? ??????, ??????? ??? ??????, ?????? ?????? ??????, ????????? ?????–??? ????? ???? ?????, ????? ????. ???, ??? ???? ????? ???.

    ? ??? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? ?????, ?? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??. ??? ??????? ???? “?? ?? ????? ??? ??????, ?? ?? ???? . . .” (?????? ?,?-?)–?????, ???? ?????? ???? ??? ??? ????; ??? ????? ????????, ?????? ??? ???? ????? ???.

    ? [?] ???? ????? ?????, ???? ???? ??? ????? ???, ????? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???: ???? ???? ?????, ?? ?? ???????, ??????? ?? ????? ?? ?? ???, ???? ?? ???? ???? ????? ??? ???????? ??–?? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ????. ?????? ??? ???? ???? ?????, ????? ?? ??? ???? ????? ?????? ????????? ???????.

    ? ??????? ?? ??? ?? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ??????? ?????? ????? ??? ??????, ???????? ????????? ???; ??????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??????, ????? ?????? ?????? ????. ???????? ?????? ??? ??????? ??, ???? ???????; ???? ?? ???, ??? ???? ?? ???.

    ? ??????? ?????? ?????, ????? ????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ????? ???? ???, ?????? ??? ???, ?????? ??? ??? ??????, ???? ??, ??? ???? ??. ???? ??? ?? ??? ?????, ????? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???, ??????? ???, ?????????.

    ? ????? ????? ?????, ????? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ??????, ??? ???????: ?????? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???????, ???? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ?? ?????, ??????? ??????? ???????? ??? ???????, ??????? ????.

    ? ??????? ???? ??? ???? ??????? ?????? ???, ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ???????? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ???????. ??? ??? ???????, ?? ??? ?? ????? ??? ?????, ??? ?????? ?????, ???? ???? ??????? ???? ??? ????. ??? ??? ??, ??? ????? ?????? ?????, ?? ????? ????? ?? ????, ???? ????? ????? ???? ?????.

    #900851

    yitayningwut
    Participant
    #900852

    bubka
    Participant

    mdd: You aren’t being clear which part you had trouble with. If it was anything from the first post above, that is an exact translation of the words as stated by Rav Elchonon Wasserman hy’d, in his Sefer.

    #900853

    Sam2
    Participant

    Also, R’ Meir Stern’s P’shat is a nice Teretz, but it doesn’t work if you really study the Moreh. According to the Rambam, he would have to say that R’ Hillel was an Apikores. Since Apikorsus is defined as incorrect ideas about Hashem (according to the Rambam), it doesn’t matter whether or not you have permission ro argue. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and nothing can change that fact.

    #900854

    mdd
    Member

    Bubka, it sounds from your post that there can not be such a thing as a tinok she’nishba.

    #900855

    bubka
    Participant

    mdd: The first post is all a translation of Rav Elchonon Wasserman. I didn’t add anything or comment.

    #900856

    “According to the Rambam, he would have to say that R’ Hillel was an Apikores. Since Apikorsus is defined as incorrect ideas about Hashem.”

    If Hillel was allowed to have those views then at that point it is eileh veeileh divrei Elokim Chayim, as such they are not incorrect.

    In addition, I don’t believe apikursis is defined by having incorrect views, rather by having nonpermitted views. I.e. If someone believes that you can use a lemon for an esrog, he is incorrect but he is not an apikores.

    #900857

    Sam2
    Participant

    MediumThinker: No. That doesn’t work within the Rambam. Because according to the Rambam it’s not about beliefs that you are allowed to have or not; it’s about beliefs that are inherently false. Which, even if an Amora had them, still makes one an Apikores and brings the consequences thereof.

    #900858

    Sam2
    Participant

    MediumThinker: It is also interesting that you give that as an example. According to the Rambam, thinking that a lemon is Kosher for an Esrog might be Apikorsus as a denial of Torah Sheba’al Peh because Pri Eitz Hadar meaning Esrog is a Halachah L’moshe Misinai and no one has a right to argue on them.

    #900859

    mdd
    Member

    I think Rambam never meant it like that.

    #900860

    Sam2 My first point still stands.

    As to your view on the Rambam, what is your source? In addition, what source do you have that the Rambam would label an individual who mistakenly believes an esrog is a lemon with the din of an apikores?

    #900861

    Sam2
    Participant

    MediumThinker: I don’t remember where precisely, but look in the Moreh by where the Rambam defines Olam Habah. It’s somewhere towards the beginning. It’s pretty Mevuar. Also look in the Moreh (this might be a Peirush Hamishnayos somewhere, actually) where he discusses Halachos L’moshe Misinai.

    #900862

    lebidik yankel
    Participant

    The Sefer HaIkkarim (Rishon) discusses this very question long ago, and he brings proof from Rabbi Hillel that one is not an apikorus if one erred honestly. Nebech an apikorus is not an apikorus.

    Another thought that comes to mind is that on the Rambam in hilchos Tshuvah who writes that someone believing that Hashem is physical is a min, the Raavad comments that many of our greatest believed so in error, and they are not apikorsim. So the Raavad, at least, certainly holds that nebech an apikorus is not an apikorus.

    Perhaps the Raavad does imply that the Rambam feels that nebech an apikorus is also an apikorus. Otherwise, what is his objection?

    #900863

    Sam2: Thanks. When i have time I’ll try to find them. If you find more specifics, please let me know.

    #900864

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    You can’t say Eilu Ve’eilu when the Shita was knocked down. When there is a Machlokess Abaye and Rava we say Eilu Ve’eilu, but when one asked and knocked it out it does not remain. There we say, K’sheim shemikablim S’char Al Hadrisha Kach Mekablim S’char Al Haprika.

    The Gemara said of Reb Hillel’s words, Shara Lei Marei, Hashem should be Mochel him.

    #900865

    WIY
    Member

    Leibedik yankel

    Where is this Raavad?

    #900866

    Sam2
    Participant

    WIY: It’s the famous Ra’avad in Hilchos Avodah Zarah (maybe T’shuvah? I don’t remember) where the Rambam talks about Apikorsus. The Rambam explicitly says that one who mistakenly believes in corporeality of G-d is an Apikores, to which the Ra’avad famously replied, “Gedolim V’tovim Heimenu… have erred on this matter because of their learning”.

    #900867

    lebidik yankel
    Participant

    The Raavad is in Hilchos tshuva 3:7. The Sefer HaIkkarim is in the Fourth chelek, I’m pretty sure. Look in the chapter title – he notes in the title that he will be discussing the question.

    #900868

    sushee
    Member

    If it is apikorsus to hold the position that Hillel, an Amora, took on Moshiach’s future status since we reject it, wouldn’t it similarly be apikorsus to believe something about Maaseh Beraishus or astronomy that Chazal or the poskim reject?

    (And if someone nebech mistakenly believes it, he is still an apikorus per Rav Chaim Brisker and the Rambam.)

    #900869

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    When I was younger, I had trouble with my multiplication tables. For some odd reason, I had it fixed in my head that 12 times 5 equaled 50, not 60. Was I an apikorus then* (since the Torah explictly states that 12×5=60) since, according to R. Chaim, I would seem to be one irrespective of how I arrived at that belief?

    The Wolf

    * Of course, now, I am very conversant with the multiplication tables and believe with a complete emunah that 12 times 5 is 60 — so I certainly wouldn’t be an apikorus anymore on this count. My question is regarding my belief back then.

    #900870

    Sam2
    Participant

    Sushee: It would be Apikorsus to believe something that’s not true about Ma’aseh B’reishis, according to the Rambam. So read through the Moreh and see what he says about Ma’aseh B’reishis. Lema’aseh, however, I don’t think anyone holds like this Rambam (even R’ Chaim was just explaining the Rambam, not Paskening like it). The Ra’avad makes the biggest point. Rashi and other Rishonim believed that Hashem has a body. It’s inconceivable to say that L’ma’aseh they are Apikorsim. (Also, Judaism nowadays probably has a much more Kabbalistically-influenced view of Olam Habah than the Rambam did, and the Rambam’s Shittah on an Apikores who mistakenly believed it is a direct result of his view of Olam Habah, which we probably don’t quite hold by anyway.)

    #900871

    Whiteberry
    Member

    What is the aggada r’ elchanan was coming to explain?

    #900872

    Sam2 Where is that rashi?

    #900873

    WIY
    Member

    Sam

    Dont slander Rashi.

    #900874

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Back to R’ Chaim. It is important to note, that this person is also still a Nebach, as such should be treated accordingly.

    #900875

    Sam2
    Participant

    Peirush Rashi on Pirkei Avos on the Michnah of Chavivin Adam Shenivrah B’tzelem. This is also quoted as Rashi’s opinion in the Machzor Vitri. (It’s also Mashma in a Rashi Al Hatorah in B’reishis by Na’aseh Adam or Asah Es Ha’adam B’tzalmo or one of the Pessukim that mention creation of man.)

    #900876

    Quote that Rashi, because I don’t see Rashi saying anything near that. I will not have to greatly question your trustworthiness when you expressed nonspecific sources in the Rambam before. Needless to say, untill you show us the machzor vitri, you have no credibility.

    #900877

    mdd
    Member

    Chevrah, the Rambam does not say that someone who believes in it is an apikores with all that that implies. He just says that it is an apikorsus shittah. The person could be a shogeg. The Ra’avad comments that many “gedolim and tovim”, nebach, by mistake believed so. That’s the gantze zach.

    #900878

    Sam2
    Participant

    MediumThinker: You didn’t see it? Did you look? Rashi there on Pirkei Avos, D”H Chibah Y’seirah. In fact, he calls it (close to) Apikorsus to believe that G-d doesn’t have a body because the Passuk explicitly says that we were created in “G-d’s image”.

    #900879

    No, Rashi says that we are created in the form of God and anyone who darshens the passuk differently is sprinkling apikursis. Where do you see in Rashi that he believed chas veshalom that Hashem has physicality?

    #900880

    Sam2
    Participant

    MediumThinker: What do you think Rashi is doing here? What is he coming to reject? He is rejecting the Spanish/rationalist reading of the Passuk that has to split that Passuk in two to avoid a corporeal G-d. He says that you can’t split the Passuk. Ki B’tzelem Elokim Bara Es Ha’adam. What do you think Rashi means Tzelem means? It means form or shape. Look at Rashi Al Hatorah on Na’aseh Adam or somewhere around there. It’s a 2-word Rashi that says “B’tzalmeinu Kidmuseinu”. Rashi, as well as many of the French Rishonim, believed that you read the Pessukim literally and that G-d has a body. I wish I knew where in the Machzor Vitry this is brought down offhand, but I’ll find it and post it at some point. (Someone also told me that there’s a Rashi in D’varim that’s Mashma like this too, but I don’t recall what it is.)

    I don’t see why you’re so strongly refusing to believe that Rashi could have held that. We know that other French Ge’onim at the time held that. So what would the Chiddush be in Rashi holding that? And who do you think the “Gedolim V’tovim” that the Ra’avad refers to are? R’ Moshe Taku? He’s talking about Rashi and some of the Ba’alei Hatosfos, who clearly did not see a problem with believing in the corporeality of HKBH.

    #900881

    Just give me one clear source.

    #900882

    old man
    Participant

    The source in the Machzor Vitri may be found in Pirkei Avos, perek 3, mishnah 14. In the Nirenberg edition of Shimon Halevi (Ish) Horowitz , 1923, it can be found on page 514.

    It should be remembered that in those times, fierce polemics existed between the Jews and Christians, and often still with the Karaites. Much of what was written was affected by those theological battles. Therefore, it is a mistake to draw conclusions as to apikorsus generally, and who is an apikores individually. Be careful what accusations are made,the apikorsus sword is double edged.

    #900883

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    To quote Rabbi Slifkin:

    1. It is heretical to believe that God possesses form.

    2. Rashi was a Torah scholar of inconceivable greatness.

    3. Hence Rashi could not have believed that God possesses

    form.

    #900884

    Sam2
    Participant

    Look, the Peirush on Pirkei Avos is clear. I’m sorry you’re denying it. Please, what does Rashi mean by “Tzelem”, according to you? We are so used to the Rambam-esque interpretation because we know it can’t mean “form”. But Rashi wasn’t bound to that. In fact, that’s precisely what Rashi is coming against. When (if) I see the Machzor Vitry again, I’ll B”N post it here.

    #900885

    What does everybody mean when they say Tzelem. The debate between Rishonim may haev been if we can even use the concept of Tzelem in regards to Hashem. How far the analogy can go etc. Any serious thinker or philosopher realizes that there are subtleties in how we can refer to Hashem. Your 1 or 0 mentality is simply flawed.

    However, you have not named one, not one source that believes that physicality can be attributed to Hashem. Why does Rashi continously in Chumash, when the Torah references the had of Hashem to mean a non physical concept? what do you think the Gemorah means when it says Torah Dibrah Belashon Bnei Adam.

    #900886

    Sam2
    Participant

    MT: That Rashi Al Hatorah is pretty clear. I just don’t feel like taking the 5 minutes and finding the exact Passuk for you. Maybe I will later this afternoon. And the Pirkei Avos is clear, even if you deny it. And Old Man gave you the page number in the Machzor Vitry (thanks, by the way).

    Also, look up where the Gemara uses Dibrah Torah K’lashon B’nei Adam (which is a Machlokes Tannaim anyway and we seemingly Pasken like R’ Akiva and not R’ Elazar Ben Azaryah anyway); it’s never in regards to anthropomorphisms.

    #900887

    I just looked at the machzor vitri and there is not one word that indicates chalila that Hashem has a Guf or a “body” as you said. Just look up the machzor Vitri and you realize my off the bat interpretation of Rashi is by far closer to the Machzor Vitri than yours. Just find me one source that would apply the concept of Guf to Hashem.

    #900888

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Just find me one source that would apply the concept of Guf to Hashem.

    The Rambam, in Hilchos Teshuva (3:7), states that one who states that God has a body is a “min.” The Ra’avad asks on this why the Rambam would call such a person a “min” when greater rabbis than he (the Rambam) held such beliefs.

    While I do not think this means to imply that the Ra’avad, himself, held such a belief, he was, however, clearly okay with it and did not consider it heresy to hold such a view.

    You might also want to check out Dr. Shapiro’s book (which I don’t have handy right now) “The Limits of Orthodox Theology” where he brings several examples of gedolim who held that the idea of God having a body isn’t heresy.

    The Wolf

    #900889

    Sam2
    Participant

    MT: Rashi Al Hatorah B’reishis 1:27. He says that Adam’s “D’mus Dyokno” looked like his Creator’s. That’s pretty explicit. And Rashbam on Bava Basra 58a clearly agrees with that interpretation.

    Wolf: The Ra’avad clearly doesn’t agree that Hashem can have a body because he uses the phrase “Ta’u Mitoch Limudum” to explain those who think that He does.

    #900890

    An original source, not a diyuk in what someone else thought. In addition I’m not questioning if it is heresy (You don’t need this Rabbi Shapiro you have the Raavid), rather if any accepted rishon espoused that view.

    If you look at the Raavid (aside the fact that it is unclear if he is going on baal temunah or guf), he says bemachshava zu. It is an interesting lashon. It likely means that there were some great people who believed in machshavah that one can refer in machshava to Hashem in the language of Guf and baal Temunah. The Raavid then brings pesukim, which refer to Hashem in that way. The Raavid however, seems to agree with the Rambam’s prime theology. The question then remains what does he do with the pesukim. Therefore, it is logical that the Raavid is arguing that since the Torah uses the leshonos of guf and since there were gedolim who went with a machshava of thinking about Hashem in that fasion, one can therefore not call a person who mistakenly says Hashem actually has a body (Like Sam2 claims Rashi believes, chalilah) is a Min.

    #900891

    Sam2
    Participant

    MT: Counter-read the Rashis all you want. Do you have a way to waive off B’reishis 1:27? He says what he says. I don’t see why you say, “Chalilah”. Just that we have accepted the Rambam’s opinion and not Rashi’s in this does not mean that Rashi wasn’t entitled to his own Shittah on this. Bava Basra 58a sounds like HKBH has a Tzurah. See the Rashbam there who says it almost explicitly. R’ Moshe Taku, one of the Ba’alei Hatosfos, was famous (the Rambam mentions him by name in a letter) for believing in the corporeality of Hashem. Just because the Rambam is the only accepted Shittah on this nowadays doesn’t mean that we have to deny that at some point there were other Shittos.

    #900893

    Waive off that Rashi? How in the world do you see that in rashi? Do you see one word about guf? Does Rashi say that Adam had the same physicality as G-d, chalila? All I see is Bedefus Hasuy shelanu shelanu, that all creations were created with maamer and adam biyidayim. Whyh does Rashi have to say that, let him come out and say your pshat? Don’t you think it is Fascinating that the Ramban explicitly says on this pasuk that Hashem has no guf, but doesn’t bring this Rahi. Have you ever seen a Ramban in Chumash where he vehemently disagrees with Rashi, and doesn’t mention him? If you wish pick any translation of that rashi from a ny publishing house, post it and show me where Rashi says what you say he does. Or if you want show this Rashi to any reasonably accepted Rav within any orthodox community and see if he sees what you say.

    As to R’ Moshe Taku (Honestly, I never heard of him before), where is the original source? (As an aside where is that letter?)

    As to why I can’t accept that notion that our great rishonim believed it, it is becuase it is not a great theological error, it is the error of the simpleton. The great debate was whether we can refer to Hashem with the lashon of tzelem.

    Since you seem to play this attack game on why I believe what I believe here goes: Just because you have a desire to prove to yourself that you can think outside the box, that doesn’t make ir right. Always trying to think differently than the accepted mesorah is just as closed minded.

    With all your arguments you have not shown one source that said Hashem had physicality, or a “body” as you put it. Just one source please, not speeches, arguments, attacks, just one source please.

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