August 4, 2016 1:59 am at 1:59 am #1164023
It’s not about policing emotional reactions. I’m identifying a very disturbing characteristic of MO which you’ve unwittingly described (and I’m not accepting it as universal characteristic of MO) if you feel that part of MO is struggling with Torah values and finding them highly uncomfortable..
If Torah values were part of a person, he wouldn’t struggle with them or be uncomfortable with them.August 4, 2016 2:11 am at 2:11 am #1164024
daas yochid – you need to keep the whole torah according to your rabbi. my rabbi is mo.August 4, 2016 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #1164025
DY, you’re the one who keeps using the word “values”. I never said that a person should struggle with “Torah values” or feel uncomfortable with “Torah values”. I said that sometimes when we study Torah, the text of the Torah can make us uncomfortable, and that we should acknowledge that discomfort and wrestle with it.August 4, 2016 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #1164026
jewish feminist – people should never feel uncomfortable by the Torah unless their apikorsim.August 5, 2016 2:18 am at 2:18 am #1164027
Sparkly – Hashem says that you need to keep the whole Torah, and what your Rabbi says doesn’t change that. If your Rabbi says that one doesn’t need to keep the whole Torah, then he is an apikorus. However, I will be dan l’kaf zchus and assume that wasn’t exactly what he said. I suspect from your posts that he is being understanding/tolerant/realistic regarding where his particular Congregants are holding and giving over the message to them that they don’t have to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” and give up on everything just because there are certain things that they don’t feel they can handle right now. Kind of like the way, when one works with people who are becoming baalei teshuva, you are supposes to encourage to “take baby steps” and grow at their own pace.
But there is a very big difference between saying that one does not have to cover their hair or keep certain halachos, and saying that you know it’s the halacha and it’s a goal to strive for but you’re not holding by it. Even the second thing is something that should be said with caution, and only in certain circumstances. In general, we do say that any Jew who grew up Frum should be keeping all of the halachos. However, sometimes, there can be specific people who are having a hard time with specific things and have to work on things at their own pace. Since you mentioned that you almost became OTD, I suspect that you fall in that category. It sounds like you have an understanding Rabbi who is working with you, but you have to be careful about making statements like, “if someone is MO, then they don’t have to cover their hair.” If that were really the definition of MO, then it would be in the same category as Conservative and Reform when they started (in other words Kefira which is worse than OTD).August 5, 2016 4:37 am at 4:37 am #1164028
lilmod ulelamaid – i dont know what could be worse than OTD when it comes to being religious they literally stopped keeping the whole Torah. even reform and conservative are better. at least their tinok shenishba and still try keeping something like a holiday. I already stated that a good definition of someone who is mo is ivanka trump. so now you want to start calling her not religous (or not jewish) because her rabbi told her to keep less?August 5, 2016 6:01 am at 6:01 am #1164029
Jfem, if you didn’t mean values, what were you referring to that is “difficult to accept” (or as you originally phrased it, “you will struggle to accept”)?August 5, 2016 6:43 am at 6:43 am #1164030
Sparkly – someone who denies the truth of the Torah which includes denying any particular Mitzvah is considered an apikorus and that is much worse than someone who acknowledges the truth of Torah but doesn’t keep it. It is ten million times worse to be Conservative or Reform than it is to by OTD or to be Chiloni!!! Rav Moshe Feinstein has a teshuva in Igros Moshe where he discusses this.
Even if the Conservative person keeps more than the OTD person it is still worse, because Kefira is one of the worst (or probably the worst) aveira that there is! There are very few things for which one loses their cheilik in Olam Haba but kefira is one of them. A person can keep nothing and still have a cheilik in Olam Haba, but if he is an apikorus, no matter how many Mitzvos he does, he has no cheilik in Olam Haba.
Just to clarify – if the person is a tinok shenishba, obviously he won’t lose his cheilik in olam haba. I am not judging anyone right now – I am just judging their actions. In Rav Moshe’s teshuva, he is talking about the Issur of answering Amein to the Bracha of an apikorus, and he says that people who are Conservative or Reform fall in this category. He says that they may be tinok shenishba, but l’maaseh they are still apikorsim. It’s possible that they are wonderful people who don’t better and they won’t be punished, but that has nothing to do with this discussion. The OTD person and the Chiloni person might also be wonderful people who don’t know better and won’t be punished for that matter.August 5, 2016 6:50 am at 6:50 am #1164031
As for Ivanka Trump, I know almost nothing about her, so I can’t tell you if she is religious, not religious or not-Jewish. I also don’t think it’s fair (or mutar) to talk about specific people on-line. It is not her fault that her father is famous and that does not justify talking about her publicly (or at all!).
I also want to stress again that the issue here is not what someone does or doesn’t do, but whether or not he denies the validity of the Mitzvos and says that they (or any one of them) do not have to be kept.August 5, 2016 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #1164032
lilmod ulelamaid – the OTD person was probably once in their lifetime in a jewish school if not throughout their lives. how can you say that a not frum person who had nothing to do with judaism and was grown not to keep anything is worse than someone who was grown to keep stuff and stopped?August 5, 2016 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #1164033
Sparkly – I didn’t say that at all – please reread what I wrote. I am not judging people – it is impossible to talk about who is worse (or better) since there are so many factors that only Hashem knows. That is why Hashem is the only One who can judge anyone. I pointed out that the Tinok Shenishba may not be punished since it’s not his fault. For that matter, I wouldn’t be so quick to blame the OTD person. It might also not be his fault and he might be a type of tinok shenishba if he was taught things in an incorrect fashion. For that matter, the conservative person might not be a tinok shenishba.
The point here is not to judge any person – I was talking about which actions/ideologies are worse, not about the people. You have to distinguish between people and their actions (like, Im Yirtzeh Hashem, when you have kids, don’t tell your kid that he is bad; tell him that his behavior is bad).
Rav Moshe Feinstein specifically points out that even if the Conservative person is a Tinok Shenishba, he is still an apikorus. No one is blaming him – it’s not his fault- but l’maaseh he is still an apikorus.August 5, 2016 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #1164034
lilmod ulelamaid – what do you mean the OTD person was taught wrong?August 5, 2016 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #1164035
Sparkly: Why do you say that? Why would it be apikorsus?
DY: Laws, for instance. Or a historical account of something horrific that happened. It depends on the context. One might “struggle to accept” the fact that Dovid HaMelech’s ancestors were alone on a bed together at night before having been married, for instance. And in fact, all the meforshim on this subject clearly do struggle with it. You can substitute different words, though, if that makes you feel better.
lilmod ulelamaid: Isn’t it better to keep some mitzvos than no mitzvos? Don’t you think a person who keeps something is more likely to someday become frum than a person who keeps nothing? Do you realize that not all people who call themselves Conservative or Reform actually identify with the ideals of those movements, i.e. apikorsus?August 5, 2016 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #1164036
jf02, a person who fully and completely, with every chumra, keeps 612 mitzvos but one mitzvah he rejects, is an apikorus gamur and far worse off than another person who out of laziness or apathy keeps no mitzvos.August 5, 2016 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm #1164037
jewish feminist – their denying G-d.August 6, 2016 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1164038
JF2: It’s true that many or most people nowadays who call themselves Conservative or Reform do not necessarily believe in (or know) the ideology of those movements, and therefore the things I wrote might not apply to them. I was thinking of mentioning that, but didn’t since: a) my post was long enough b) it wasn’t really necessary since it doesn’t negate the point that I was making. I was talking about people who do believe in the conservative or reform ideologies.
In any event, the Rabbis themselves do believe in the ideology and when people identify with the movements, they are strengthening movements that are kefira and that is a serious problem, even if it is inadvertant.
If they want to keep some Mitzvos, that is great, and it is not necessary to belong to a conservative or reform synagogue in order to do so. There are plenty of people who keep some of the Mitzvos w/o identifying with conservative or reform.
In Eretz Yisrael, the conservative and reform movements are, Boruch Hashem, almost non-existent, and your average Secular Israeli Jew keeps many more Mitzvos than the average conservative or reform Jew in the US. And most importantly, they keep THE MOST IMPORTANT Mitzvah which is not being an apikorus. Better not to keep the Mitzvos than to deny the truth of any Mitzvah, which renders someone an apikorus, as Joseph pointed out. And the average Secular Jews keep many Mitzvos than the average American Jew.August 8, 2016 2:39 am at 2:39 am #1164039
lilmod ulelamaid – the reform and conservative people i know do believe in Hashem.August 8, 2016 3:46 am at 3:46 am #1164040
Sparkly- I wasn’t talking about belief in Hashem. I was talking about belief in the Mitzvos. As I and others keep repeating, someone who denies even a single Mitzvah or any of the other basic tenets of Judaism is an apikorus. Reform ideology is not to believe in Torah Min Hashamayim. I’m not sure what Conservative ideology is regarding Torah M’Sinai, but they certainly say that you don’t have to keep all the Mitzvos. There is a reason why the Gedolim consider Conservative and Reform ideologies to be off the map as opposed to Orthodox ideologies.
Again, there may be people who call themselves Conservative or Reform who aren’t really Conservative or Reform. I am not talking about them – I am talking about the ideology of Conservative and Reform.
Again, if someone wants to keep some Mitzvos and not all, they can be Orthodox and keep some Mitzvos; they don’t have to be Conservative or Reform. That is what the Chilonim and Mesoratim in Israel do (and I think this is the case in other countries as well).August 8, 2016 4:07 am at 4:07 am #1164041
lilmod ulelamaid – conservative and reform (the ones i know) dont keep shabbos and kosher but they do stuff for yom tov and go to their reform or conservative syangogue. have bar and bas mitzvahs. bas mitzvah are usually done at the wrong age. so on.August 8, 2016 4:27 am at 4:27 am #1164042
1) Joseph, when you find the person who keeps 612 (including the ones re sacrifices and slavery), let me know.
2) There are really very true adherents to conservative and reform “ideology.” The last generation had more “religious conservative” people, and sure, Boca Raton, Fl has a conservative community and even a conservative day school, as does NY, but these are the exceptions. NY has more jews than anywhere in the US, and Boca has more Jews per capita then NY (and pretty much anywhere besides Israel save for a few small towns with a higher percentage). Most of those who are part of these synagogues know almost nothing to deny.August 8, 2016 4:29 am at 4:29 am #1164043
Sparkly _ “lilmod ulelamaid – conservative and reform (the ones i know) dont keep shabbos and kosher but they do stuff for yom tov and go to their reform or conservative syangogue. have bar and bas mitzvahs. bas mitzvah are usually done at the wrong age. so on.”
Sparkly, what is your point? What does this have to do with anything I said?August 8, 2016 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #1164045
miamilawyer, I was making a larger point with that hypothetical. The Reform and Conservatives outright reject various mitzvos. That makes then apikorsim irregardless of how mitzvos they do keep.August 8, 2016 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #1164046
@joseph. My comment was also making a point (and a poor attempt at humor since I realized you did not mean it literally). My point is that people who know and reject are largely strawmen. Sure, there are people who know and outright reject, but these people are the very small minority. Most don’t know.August 8, 2016 3:24 pm at 3:24 pm #1164047
Miamilawyer – it is true that most people who call themselves Conservative and Reform probably do not really believe in Conservative or Reform philosophy, but then they are not really Conservative or Reform. The things that Joseph and myself were saying were about people who are Conservative or Reform, not those who call themselves Conservative or Reform.
In any case, even if they are not apikorsum, it is still a problem that they affiliate with a movement that is, and we certainly are not allowed to encourage them to do so. It is great that they do some Mitzvos, but it would be better if they did those Mitzvos w/o identifying as Conservative or Reform. The Chilonim in Israel keep many Mitzvos but don’t identify as conservative or reform. I am not judging the people – obviously, they don’t know better, and it is wonderful that they are trying to do what they can. I am just stating what objectively would be better and should be encouraged if possible. Certainly, as Orthodox Jews, we have to be very careful not to say or do anything that appears as though we are giving legitimacy to the conservative or reform movements, while at the same time respecting the individual people for trying to do what they can.August 8, 2016 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #1164048
Most Conservative and Reform laymen don’t know the Torah forbids homosexuality? Do most of the average laymen reject that mitzvah? (Irregardless whether they don’t violate it themselves; they reject it’s binding applicability. That makes them an apikorus. And that’s just one example.)August 8, 2016 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #1164049
Joseph – good point.August 9, 2016 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #1164050
lilmod ulelamaid: Encouraging not frum people to formally affiliate with the Conservative and Reform movements is not a problem that frum people have. Yes, it would be better if they didn’t have those affiliations, but some of them do and it’s certainly nothing to do with us. That doesn’t mean that the mitzvos that they DO observe are now worth nothing.
Joseph: Our Torah is not their Torah. The Torah that they have doesn’t forbid homosexual activity (not, as you said, homosexuality– not even our Torah forbids that).
Obviously the text is the same, but not the Torah she’baal peh. So they believe they ARE keeping the Torah.
Not saying it’s right. But that’s the reality.August 9, 2016 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #1164051
Mishkav zachar is in Torah shebiksav.August 9, 2016 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #1164052
jf02, seriously? How could you say something like what you just posted if you claim to be an Orthodox Jew? “Our Torah is not their Torah.” Come again? Our Torah is every Jew’s Torah, like it or not. And anyone who thinks, feels or says that “Our Torah is not their Torah” is an apikorus on that basis alone.
Secondly, and in addition to the above, no Jew denies that the Torah shebksav, not just the shebalpeh, literally and explicitly forbids homosexual relations. The Reform and Conservatives, including the majority of their everyday laymen, know the Torah forbids it but simply reject that explicit Torah commandment. That makes them apikorsum.August 9, 2016 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #1164053
JF2- Chalilah, no one said that their Mitzvos are worth nothing!!! I am the first person to say that every Mitzvah that every Jew does is worth an unbelievable unimaginable amount!!!!
All I said is that the Mitzvos of having the basic beliefs that every Jew is required to have are a thousand times more important!!! Therefore, it’s a thousand times more important to keep those Mitzvos, and it’s better to be a Jew who keeps the Mitzvos of having the right Emuna but doesn’t keep the practical Mitzvos than to be a Jew who keeps practical Mitzvos but doesn’t have the right Emunah.
Therefore, it is better to be a Chiloni Jew or an OTD Jew and “not keep anything” but have the right Emuna than to be a conservative or reform Jew.
The reason for that is that the Chiloni and OTD Jew mentioned above are keeping some Mitzvos – they are keeping the Mitzvos of not denying that Torah is M’Sinai and not denying that every Mitzvah is from Hashem. And those are the most important Mitzvos!!!!!
qualification: there may be people who call themselves conservative or reform but don’t have conservative or reform beliefs. In that case, they are not c or r and I am not referring to them necessarily. At the same time, the fact that they identify with C or R may still put them in that category to some extent.
Qualification 2: I am not judging the C and R people for being C or R. They are Tinok shenishba who are trying to do the best they can, but were unfortunately led astray by those who started the c and r movements. But the fact still remains that they are apikorsum al pi halacha, inadvertant as it may be (see Igros Moshe where he discusses this).
Qualification 3: There may be Chiloni or OTD Jews who have apikorsish beliefs as well. I was referring to those who don’t. At the same time, at least they don’t belong to a movement that advocates those beliefs. It is much worse to belong to a movement that advocates those beliefs.August 9, 2016 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #1164054
Jf2 – It seemed to me that some of the comments on this thread seemed to lend some support to the c and r movements. It may have been inadvertent, but we have to be exceedingly careful about making such comments especially in such a public forum.
Again, we always have to differentiate between the people and the beliefs, as well as between the people and their actions. The people are wonderful and it is great that they are doing what they can, but the movements are seriously problematic and it would be better if they didn’t exist. It would also be better if the people did not belong to these movements although on their part, they obviously don’t realize that, and they are simply trying to do the right thing.August 9, 2016 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1164055
JF2: Our Torah is not their Torah. The Torah that they have doesn’t forbid homosexual activity (not, as you said, homosexuality– not even our Torah forbids that).”
If it’s true, that’s exactly the point – that’s what makes them apikorsum – the fact that they have a different Torah (again, no one is blaming them)August 9, 2016 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #1164056
Joseph, you are being deliberately obtuse. lilmod ulelamaid is correct– the fact that they “have a different Torah” would be what makes them apikorsim.
Now, I’m not at all convinced that sincere Reform and Conservative Jews nowadays qualify for apikorsus at all. (Too many commenters here have been saying things like “well, we can’t judge them, and they may be tinok shenishba, but nevertheless, they’re apikorsim!” which seems very backwards to me– I don’t see how a person could be both).
But– if they are apikorsim at all– it is for the reason I describe, that they “have a different Torah,” and not for the reason you describe, that they know that the Torah forbids XYZ for all Jews and knowingly and deliberately do XYZ anyway. The essence of these movements is that they reinterpret the Torah. They don’t identify with the Torah that we have. They identify with the Torah that they have created. They aren’t naughty little boys who do something they know they aren’t supposed to. The problem is much deeper than that: they don’t acknowledge in the first place that what they are doing is something that is wrong. And how can they believe that? Because, again, they don’t have our Torah, they have a different Torah.
This is what makes the liberal movements so insidious. Because they normalize and legitimize lifestyles that are inherently incompatible with our mesorah. But at the same time, I’d much rather see Jews engage with Judaism, even in this way, than reject it altogether.August 9, 2016 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #1164057
lilmod ulelamaid, how is this:
“Chalilah, no one said that their Mitzvos are worth nothing!!! I am the first person to say that every Mitzvah that every Jew does is worth an unbelievable unimaginable amount!!!!”
compatible with this:
“Better not to keep the Mitzvos than to deny the truth of any Mitzvah, which renders someone an apikorus.”
It is not clear that belief in God and acceptance of ol malchus shamayim is a halachically binding mitzvah. So I don’t know where you are getting this idea from. To push it a bit further– why is it so bad to be an apikores? Is there a mitzvah to not be an apikores? Well, that depends on whether or not there’s a mitzvah to believe in God. Which is a machlokes. Back to square one.
“the Chiloni and OTD Jew mentioned above are keeping some Mitzvos– they are keeping the Mitzvos of not denying that Torah is M’Sinai and not denying that every Mitzvah is from Hashem. And those are the most important Mitzvos!!!!!”
Those aren’t mitzvos for sure. There isn’t a mitzvah to “not deny” something. But regardless, a secular Jew who keeps zero mitzvos but doesn’t affiliate with liberal movements of Judaism doesn’t necessarily believe in God and in Torah MiSinai, anyway. (In fact, I would hazard a guess that the majority of them do not hold these beliefs.) As you already acknowledged in Qualification 3.August 9, 2016 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #1164058
jewishfeminist02 – they shouldnt make up stuff for the torah. that does make someone an apikorses.August 9, 2016 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #1164059
I specifically made clear it isn’t the fact that they violate Torah laws, that they are aware are Torah prohibitions, that makes them apikorsum. Many people, out of weakness or otherwise, regularly violate Torah laws. They are not apikorsum as they do not deny the Torah prohibition’s binding nature, even when they’re violating it.
What makes them apikorsum is the fact that they know something is a Torah law and, yet, they declare that they reject the applicability of said Torah law. Even if they never violate said Torah law they are, nevertheless, apikorsum.August 9, 2016 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #1164060
JF- “(Too many commenters here have been saying things like “well, we can’t judge them, and they may be tinok shenishba, but nevertheless, they’re apikorsim!” which seems very backwards to me– I don’t see how a person could be both)”
Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igros Moshe says that you can be both. I don’t have a sefer on me now, but you can look it up. I think it’s in a Tshuva about saying Amen to the bracha of someone conservative or reform.
The reason why you have trouble seeing how someone can be an apikorus and a tinok shenishba is the same reason that you think it is better to be reform or conservative than unaffiliated.
The reason for both of these things is that you don’t realize that having Emuna is a Mitzva, and lack of Emuna is an Aveira. So while it’s true that it’s better to keep some Mitzvos than not to keep any, it is better to keep the Mitzvos of having the right Emuna than to disregard that Mitzva and keep others.
Also, you can keep the Mitzvos that C and R people keep without being c or r. That is what people in Israel do.
This also explains how it’s possible to be a tinok shenishba and an apikorus at the same time. This is because an apikorus is someone who is “oveir” on a particular Mitzvah (the Mitzvos of having Emuna). Just like someone can be a Tinok Shenishba and a Mechalel Shabbos at the same time, he can be a Tinok Shenishba and an apikorus at the same time.August 9, 2016 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #1164061
JF2- “Joseph, you are being deliberately obtuse”
That was uncalled for! And inaccurate. I think that Joseph was actually saying the same thing as me but in different words.August 9, 2016 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #1164062
Joseph: “I specifically made clear it isn’t the fact that they violate Torah laws, that they are aware are Torah prohibitions, that makes them apikorsum. Many people, out of weakness or otherwise, regularly violate Torah laws. They are not apikorsum as they do not deny the Torah prohibition’s binding nature, even when they’re violating it.
What makes them apikorsum is the fact that they know something is a Torah law and, yet, they declare that they reject the applicability of said Torah law. Even if they never violate said Torah law they are, nevertheless, apikorsum.”
Well-said!!August 9, 2016 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm #1164063
Except that according to them, it isn’t a Torah law at all in the first place.
Mods, is there a specific reason why my second comment is still awaiting moderation? I’d be happy to edit, if you explain what it is that needs editing.August 9, 2016 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm #1164064
In 1992, the Conservative Committee on Jewish Law and Standards affirmed the Levitical prohibitions on male homosexual conduct.
In 2006 the CJLS effectively overturned their previous affirmation on the Torah prohibition.
Did “their Torah” change between 1992 and 2006? Or, shall we say, the Torah didn’t change but the political winds did.August 9, 2016 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm #1164065
JF2 -It’s in the Torah Shebichtav, so they do know it.August 9, 2016 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #1164066
My Torah says Vaheavta Lereacha Kamocha sadly many only apply this to Jews exactly like them.August 10, 2016 1:20 am at 1:20 am #1164067August 10, 2016 4:59 am at 4:59 am #1164068
GOQ:” My Torah says Vaheavta Lereacha Kamocha sadly many only apply this to Jews exactly like them.”
That may be true, but it has no connection to the topic at hand.August 10, 2016 10:38 am at 10:38 am #1164069
It’s sad that you think not lilmod.
But if you like you can copy and paste in the reason why people go otd thread.August 10, 2016 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1164070
“Did ‘their Torah’ change between 1992 and 2006?”
Yes. That is exactly what happened. “Their Torah” can change at any time.
lilmod ulelamaid: Yes, I know that it’s in the written Torah, and yes, I know that they have access to the written text. You’re not understanding my point. They don’t accept the written Torah as an inherently binding legal text– their Torah she’baal peh can go anywhere, even in direct contravention of pshat. So to say, “But it’s right there! They KNOW it’s forbidden!” is misleading, because while they can see the same words that we see, they don’t operate on the same level of “it’s forbidden” that we do.August 10, 2016 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #1164071
“They don’t accept the written Torah as an inherently binding legal text”
And that is exactly what makes them apikorsum.August 10, 2016 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #1164072
“They don’t accept the written Torah as an inherently binding legal text”
And that is exactly what makes them apikorsum.
JF2: I think you need to look up the sources on the definition of apikorus, and then you will understand what Joseph and I are saying. Please see the above-mentioned Igros Moshe before you continue debating the point.
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