So is Zev Farber an Apikores

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  • #610779

    Sam2
    Participant

    I got bored early this morning and read through his whole series. After reading through mounds of Apikorsus (denying Yetzias Mitrayim, Torah Sheba’al Peh, and more), he ended with this. I’m not sure if this is just sucking up to the Frum community because it contradicts just about everything he said before this, but it would seem from his list of beliefs that he isn’t an Apikores. Maybe.

    “I believe in Torah Min Ha-Shamayim, that the Torah is from heaven, and that the entirety of the book is nevua (prophecy) and represents the encounter between God and the people of Israel.

    #977008

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    (as a purely theoretical discussion…)

    Maybe. From Rambam Teshuva 3rd perek:

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

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

    Kofer B’Torah – Yes. Is someone like that being “????? ” the Nevuah of Moshe Rabbainu? I don’t know.

    #977009

    Everyone is so quick to label someone an Apikores.

    Similar to a classroom full of 7 year olds, trying to be the one to tattle the most.

    Attack ideas on their merit, and not hide behind some “label”

    #977010

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    He explained how he thinks the Torah was written, and by whom. He then added in apparent qualifiers to pacify Kanoim. However, he left room for what he wrote earlier and at other times.

    A “narrative depiction of a deeper truth” does not mean standing near the mountain and directly hearing Hashem speak $mdash; what the Rambam calls the biggest, unrepeatable, and most essential miracle experienced by Am Yisroel. It sounds rather like a unanimous conclusion which resonated emotionally with the people, therefore being attributed to a higher element.

    He believes that the Torah is meant to be. This is in line with what he clarified elsewhere, that everything added became part of the Torah since they were put in through Divine Inspiration. They were meant to be added in.

    He believes in interpreting the Torah only by using (or playing with) the built in methods. This is the typical Orthoprax ideology. Halacha must be kept because that keeps the people.

    I’m not sure to what extent he believes in Nevua. Calling it the ‘encounter between God and the people of Israel’ sort of washes that out.

    #977011

    rebdoniel
    Member

    As I said before, I put him in the same rank of people as Louis Jacobs, Umberto Cassuto, Isaac SD Sassoon, Mordechai Breuer, and other traditional Jews who meld halakhic living and belief in higher criticism.

    #977012

    000646
    Participant

    Sam2,

    What he says cannot be Apikorsis if he is correct. If his assertions that the historicity of many of the stories in the Torah cannot be reconciled with reality then what he’s saying is the truth. If the Torah is true in any sense then the truth cannot- by definition be Apikorsis.

    #977013

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Sam2,

    Your question in the title of this thread is beyond my pay grade for sure.

    I’m not sure if this is just sucking up to the Frum community because it contradicts just about everything he said before this, … Maybe.

    I don’t think what you quoted above contradicts anything he said earlier. Rather, it is a very clever but disingenuous attempt to make it look like he upholds the same faith as other Orthodox Jews. Whether he actually does or not remains a mystery. I’ll elaborate below.

    I believe in Torah Min Ha-Shamayim, that the Torah is from heaven, and that the entirety of the book is nevua (prophecy) and represents the encounter between God and the people of Israel

    We would have to ask him what “from heaven” and “nevua” mean to him, because it is likely he defines these things in a different manner from traditional Jewish understandings. We’ll see one of these strange definitions in the very next quote.

    I believe in Torah mi-Sinai, meaning the uniqueness of the Torah as being of a higher order than any other work in its level of divine encounter.

    That’s a very convoluted definition of Torah mi-Sinai, since nothing about Sinai is even mentioned. Torah mi-Sinai simply means “Torah from Sinai.” He says nothing about Moshe Rabbeinu or his actual receipt of the Torah as a historical event, which is the only aspect of Torah mi-Sinai that would posit the Torah’s superiority over any other prophecy. Without Moshe Rabbeinu speaking to G-d “face to face” and receiving the Torah directly from Hashem, there can be no argument made for “the uniqueness of the Torah as being of a higher order than any other work in its level of divine encounter.” It would just be a book written by “divinely inspired men” on the shelf with all the other books written by “divinely inspired men”, G-d forbid. A strange omission indeed.

    The story of the revelation at Sinai in the Torah I understand as a narrative depiction of a deeper truth

    A cloaked way perhaps of saying “not to be taken literally”…

    Finally a true statement, but he doesn’t arrive at this result from Torah mi-Sinai, so I honestly can’t say how he does arrive at it, or even whether his definition of “G-d’s book” is the same as mine.

    This is perhaps the most disingenuous statement in the quotation you provided. Note “meant to be as it is today” is NOT the same thing as “I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moses”, and “I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will never be another given by G-d” (quotation of the ikkarim emunah are from the OU). In fact, by utilizing the word “meant”, the implication is very clear that he holds the Torah has changed, G-d forbid.

    What on earth does he mean by “develop organically”? It certainly does not seem to equate with the traditional notions of mesora.

    The only salient point I could garner from these quotations is that Farber thinks the Torah is spiritually special. We can not derive that he thinks the Torah was authored by G-d and not Man, nor can we say that he believes there was any kind of literal encounter between the Divine and Israel at Har Sinai.

    #977014

    000646
    Participant

    Correction to my comment above. I meant to write “if his assertions that the historicity of many of the Torahs stories cannot be reconciled with reality is the truth then what he is saying is the truth” etc

    #977015

    Turns out the more ignorant you are, the easier it is to determine that someone else is an apikores.

    #977017

    Bookworm120
    Participant

    @crisisoftheweek – “Everyone is so quick to label someone an Apikores.”

    Unfortunately so. But, all the same, the impression I’m getting is, indeed, that this guy is just trying to appeal to the frum people he’s trying to brainwash.

    Of course, I’m not going to waste my brainwaves watching his video, so please don’t consider me an authority. I’m just following my gut feeling here.

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