[Avodah] The Halakhic Status of an Epicurian

Lisa Liel via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Jul 15 12:49:50 PDT 2015

On 7/15/2015 10:33 AM, Kaganoff via Avodah wrote:
>     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/?

I think there's a difference between someone who denies Matan Torah and
someone who expresses doubts. The former, I'd treat no differently than
someone who denies God, because for the purposes of Judaism, they're
not separable.

We asked our mesader kiddushin (years ago) what we should do about those
family members who didn't believe in God. He said that if they'd openly
denied God's existence, we could not give them sheva brachot, because
we couldn't be yotzei on a bracha by someone who doesn't believe in God.
He didn't say anything at all about observance.

A lot of people focus on Rambam's ikkarim, and whether or not we're
bound by them, but the concept of being kofer ba-ikkar predates Rambam by
centuries. The existence of God and the historical fact of Matan Torah
are, by any reasonable assessment, the most basic ikkarim of Judaism.
Absent either of these, what's left isn't Judaism.


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