[Avodah] The Halakhic Status of an Epicurian

Kaganoff via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Jul 15 08:33:13 PDT 2015

During a recent discussion with a friend the following two questions came
up and I am curious what the fellows of Avodah think.

1)      Can one count someone who denies the historicity of *matan torah*
and *yetzias mitzrayim* but is other completely *shomer torah u-mitzvos*
for a *minyan*?

 There is an halakhic category of *mumar l’hachis* who cannot count for a
*minyan* according to many *poskim*. But that is on the assumption that
they are violating *halakhah*. If they are not violating halakhah, can they
be counted in a *minyan*?

2)      Does one fulfill their shofer blowing from hearing the shofar be
blown by someone denies the historicity of *matan torah* and *yetzias

We assume that *mitzvos tzerichos kavvanah*. So this individual intends to
fulfill the mitzvah of blowing the shofar on Rosh ha-Shanah. However, his
conception of the nature of *mitzvos* and commandedness is extremely

Personally, I am inclined to include this individual in a minyan and assume
that one fulfills the mitzvah of shofar with his blowing.

But my conception of halakha flows from R. Dr. Walter Wurzburger’s *zy”a*
belief that halakhah is a floor and not a ceiling. In other words, we do
not make the bar for basic fulfillment of halakhah obligations higher if
one could avoid it.

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