15 September 2006

Shayla - (responsa)



I am terrible at transliteration. I could not come up with a better spelling for asking a shaileh - Sh'aylah, etc. But I think you know what I mean.


Jewish Skeptic raised an issue thats been bothering me for many years.

"It's as if you were asked to write the 'klaf' of a mezuzzah,t'filin or torah.No matter how perfect your k'sav is & how makpid you are,if you are an unbeliever they are pasul u'tsrichin gnizah,& you are deceiving the person who asked to you to write them.I see no difference between that & your case."


Months ago I asked Lakewood Yid "With my beliefs, do I, Baal Habos, count for a minyan?"

LY told me to ask a Sheila - so I did. Here's how it played it.

P.S. Rabbi R. is for Random, it's not a clue.



Ringggggggg.

"Hello?"

pause

"Hello? anybody there?"

"Hello. Reb R?"

"Yes, speaking."

"Shalom Aleichem, this is Baal Habos".

"AH, Tayere Baal Habos, what can I do for you? By the way that Kashia you asked yesterday, I found a Pnei Yehshua asked the same thing. It's a gevaldege Diuk and he gives a terutz but he really Bleibs Tsurrich Iyun. I'll explain it tonight, oh wait a minute, you said you have a chasuna tonight. What is with you? Lately you have Chasunas every night. Are you moonlighting as a waiter or something?" Anyhow, I'll explain it tomorrow night. So again, what can I do for you? "

(Baal Habos, hesitating) Er. Hem.

Rav: "If it's a mareh, you know the routine; you can just leave it in my mailbox."

"No"

"So?"

"err. hem"

"Come, Come, I've heard it all before. Nothing to be embarrased about"

"Well, you see"

"Yes?"

"I'm really calling for someone else."

"I see. But very often a P'sak is personalized and may not apply" .

"Yes Yes"

"So?"

"Well, here's the story. What if someone doesn't believe?"

Shocked - "What do you mean? Believe what?"

"What if someone doesn't believe in the whole thing? You know, Toras Moshe. The question is does a person like that count for minyan?

S-I-L-E-N-C-E

"hello?"

"Baal Habos, I'm very upset, I'm always very careful. how did you figure out I'm having doubts?"



Anyhow, all kidding aside, if there are only ten present, it does bother me very much. And even more so, if I'm asked to daven "far dem amud"; Sometimes there's no getting out of it.

I have no answer. In reality, I know it doesn't make a difference.

But there is a degree of Geneivas Daas - deception. And I feel badly for that.

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    73 Comments:

    At September 15, 2006 3:37 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    I don't understand. Why are you confusing intent with belief?

     
    At September 15, 2006 3:43 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    IC, I'm not sure what you mean

     
    At September 15, 2006 3:55 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    You keep saying that you have to believe otherwise these things don't work.

    But as far as I know, its not an issue of belief, its an issue of intention.

    If a sofer has 100% emunah peshutah (interesting term you guys use) but doesn't have the proper intent while writing the scroll, the scroll is not valid. The intent has to be that this scroll is being written for the sake of the mitzvah. Without that intent, the scroll is invalid no matter what you believe.

     
    At September 15, 2006 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    if a person does not believe and is asked to do something for others who do believe why should the non believer worry about Geneivas Daas isn't it irravlevent?
    let those who believe worry about the genevias dass or that your posul for a minyan your not the one going to hell they are.

     
    At September 15, 2006 4:57 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > You keep saying that you have to believe otherwise these things don't work.

    But as far as I know, its not an issue of belief, its an issue of intention.

    If a sofer has 100% emunah peshutah (interesting term you guys use) but doesn't have the proper intent while writing the scroll, the scroll is not valid. The intent has to be that this scroll is being written for the sake of the mitzvah. Without that intent, the scroll is invalid no matter what you believe.

    Well, Jewish Skeptic claims, and he's probably right, that a Sefer Torah that is written by a heretic is posul. So I believe he's saying, that as far as far as being an Aliya for the Neshama, my learning is worthless.

    I don't care about geneivas daas from a halachik perspective. I care about deception from an ethical perspective.

     
    At September 15, 2006 5:00 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    a minyan your not the one going to hell they are.

    Anon, No one's going to hell, certainly not over this; I don't care about geneivas daas from a halachik perspective. I care about deception from an ethical perspective.

    But, I have no choice, this is the society we live in.

     
    At September 15, 2006 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'll try to research this over shabbos.

    LY

     
    At September 15, 2006 5:38 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >that a Sefer Torah that is written by a heretic is posul.

    Do you have any sources that describe a heretic as a person who follows all of mitzvot but doesn't have the right "beliefs"? (outside of Rabam)

    I don't think I've ever encountered such a person in the literature.

     
    At September 15, 2006 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    if anyone says that since your not a believer your deciving others by learing mishnayes & davening with there minyan the deciving can only be based on an halachic prospective, how is it unethical from your side if you don't believe it's causing anyone to be machshil or making it posul?

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:02 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Anon, if I understand your question correctly, the deception is that the frum person thinks they're davening in a Kusher Minyan and in their reality they are not; especially if I'm the Sh"ts.

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    in there reality they are always davening in a kusher minyan, but in your reality there is no such a thing as a kusher minyan so whats unethical here? that they believe and you don't

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    your davening along with them doesn't make there reality that its a kusher minyan less of a reality, its all based on what they believe anyways

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I share your concerns as I imagine others in the same matzav do. I’ve been asked to daven in the dying shul I like to attend and on one occasion was asked to lead the learning of the mishnayos (Why me Lord?) in a bais avul. I do my best to beg off but when there is no one else I will accept.

    The worst case is a yahrzeiht. There are two tough issues. First as you point out should I be davening for the amud? I did daven for a couple years because I felt I owed it to my parent but finally switched to observing it anonymously. I simply go to another shul and say kaddish as a member of the minyan. The other issue obviously is the feeling of abandoning this basic responsibility to one’s parent.

    What has bothered me of late is the issue of my role in the family. Can I really be yotzeh members of my family for kiddush and hamotzi. Should they be hiding the wine (see “Three major Israeli Poskim argue that pasteurized wine is not considered Mevushal” at http://www.koltorah.org/ravj/15-28_Yayin_Mevushal_and_Non-Observant_Seder_Guests.htm)?

    Recently my wife, in one of her sweeps through the kitchen, seeing a milchig spoon on the fleshig side of the kitchen said to me “I can never really trust you can I?”. Now I recognize this as her normal kitchen police voice but it hit home. As an aside our new chumrah is no nuts allowed in Elul because ekoz = chait (to which I ask ekoz or egos?).

    Ploni Almonymous

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:43 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > in there reality they are always davening in a kusher minyan, but in your reality there is no such a thing as a kusher minyan so whats unethical here? that they believe and you don't .

    You could same the same for the my prior post with the mishnayos. But just about everyone agreed that I should learn the Mishnayos. The answer is simply, if you say something you should keep your word. You have to agree that we are being deceptive when we join a minyan. The question is who are we hurting? Maybe you're right. Nobody. So it's like a white lie. I don't know, it just bothers me.

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:50 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    "especially if I'm the Sh"ts."

    bhb
    very, very bad acronym!

    anyway, i have seen many people daven far dem umed who arent big tzaddikim. the oilam didnt seem to mind too much.

    also, you only need 6 people davening, and the other 4 can be complete am haaretz, like tinok shenishba.
    a famous blogger told me that every skeptic probably falls into the category of tinok shenishba. so I think you really dont have an issue.

    lubabitch defintely would count you for a minyan.
    i have seen many occasions, that people use non frum to join a minyan.

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:51 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >The worst case is a yahrzeiht.


    Ploni Almonymous, welcome. Great name! But I'll call you PA.

    Firstly, I;m glad I'm not alone in this moral/ethical concern.

    >There are two tough issues. First as you point out should I be davening for the amud? I did daven for a couple years because I felt I owed it to my parent but finally switched to observing it anonymously. I simply go to another shul and say kaddish as a member of the minyan.

    Nice solution, but I can't do that

    > The other issue obviously is the feeling of abandoning this basic responsibility to one’s parent.

    Sure, how can we not feel that way.


    > What has bothered me of late is the issue of my role in the family. Can I really be yotzeh members of my family for kiddush and hamotzi.

    Same issue. We can't get out of it.

    > Should they be hiding the wine .

    HMM. I'm not mechalel shabbos, so I don't think that's a concern.


    > Recently my wife, in one of her sweeps through the kitchen, seeing a milchig spoon on the fleshig side of the kitchen said to me “I can never really trust you can I?”. Now I recognize this as her normal kitchen police voice but it hit home.


    Sounds just like my wife. Funny.

    > As an aside our new chumrah is no nuts allowed in Elul because ekoz = chait (to which I ask ekoz or egos?).

    My wife knows I accept no new chumras.

    All I can say, is we're in a bind, but it is not of our own doing. One day, we may be called as Eidei Keddushin, think of that.

    All I can say is that's life.

    Maybe LY, will come back and say it's not really halachik concern? Daganev seems to think so.


    Good Shabbos.

     
    At September 15, 2006 6:53 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, we'll talk after Shabbos. I got to go to shul now, maybe even to daven far dem amud (oy Vey!!).

     
    At September 16, 2006 4:24 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    BH, (it could stand for 'boruch hashem...)
    First let me say that you were correct in saying that I meant that you shouldn't agree to it in the first place because that's deceiving the person. However,once you agreed, you should keep it.A promise is a promise,if only to assuage your guilt feeings & no harm is done by that.
    The relevant halochos are as follows: Rambam,hilchos mezuzzah,t'filin v'torah, 1:13
    יג. ספר תורה תפילין ומזוזות שכתבן אפיקורוס ישרפו כתבן כותי או ישראל מומר או מוסר ביד אנס או עבד או אשה או קטן הרי אלו פסולין ויגנזו שנאמר וקשרתם וכתבתם כל שמוזהר על הקשירה ומאמין בה הוא שכותב נמצאו ביד אפיקורוס ואינו יודע מי כתבן יגנזו נמצאו ביד כותי כשרים ואין לוקחין ספרים תפילין ומזוזות מן הכותים ביותר על דמיהם שלא להרגיל אותן לגונבן ולגוזלן:
    Who is an Apikores? The Rambam states in hilchos t'shuvah 3:8

    ח. שלשה הן הנקראים אפיקורסין:
    האומר שאין שם נבואה כלל ואין שם מדע שמגיע מהבורא ללב בני האדם והמכחיש נבואתו של משה רבינו והאומר שאין הבורא יודע מעשה בני האדם כל אחד משלשה אלו הן אפיקורוסים שלשה הן הכופרים בתורה:
    האומר שאין התורה מעם ה' אפילו פסוק אחד אפילו תיבה אחת אם אמר משה אמרו מפי עצמו הרי זה כופר בתורה וכן הכופר בפרושה והוא תורה שבעל פה והמכחיש מגידיה כגון צדוק ובייתוס והאומר שהבורא החליף מצוה זו במצוה אחרת וכבר בטלה תורה זו אע"פ שהיא היתה מעם ה' כגון ההגרים כל אחד משלשה אלו כופר בתורה:
    The above is very clear.He makes no distinction between an Apikores who is shomer mitsvot & one is who is not. After all,the first Christians were shomrei mitsvot (anyone who has read the New Testament & early history of Christianity knows that),yet a sefer written by them would be posul as can be seen by reading carefully the last paragraph of the Rambam I quoted.& the Chazal instituted the b'rochoh 'al haminim,including minim shomrei mitsvot. This BTW,has nothing to do with tinok sh'nisboh,of which I will write in a moment.

    >" Do you have any sources that describe a heretic as a person who follows all of mitzvot but doesn't have the right "beliefs"? (outside of Rabam)

    I don't think I've ever encountered such a person in the literature."

    Well,I am not familiar with any source that disagrees with the Rambam. My understanding is that the halochoh is always according to Rambam;unless there is a great Rishon or Acharon who paskins otherwise.He must be of the stature of a R.Yoseph Karo,Rama,or of similar standing,& not any Tom,Dick & Harry posek.If anyone knows of such poskim who disagree with the Rambam on the above,I would appreciate if he names them plus mareh mokom.

     
    At September 16, 2006 4:29 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    continued:

    >""especially if I'm the Sh"ts."

    bhb
    very, very bad acronym!

    anyway, i have seen many people daven far dem umed who arent big tzaddikim. the oilam didnt seem to mind too much.

    also, you only need 6 people davening, and the other 4 can be complete am haaretz, like tinok shenishba.
    a famous blogger told me that every skeptic probably falls into the category of tinok shenishba. so I think you really dont have an issue.

    lubabitch defintely would count you for a minyan.
    i have seen many occasions, that people use non frum to join a minyan."

    First,Happy, I agree that the 'gershayim' (") looks strange in English,though it could be an interesting innovation. One could write it as *sh.ts.*,however,since in Hebrew 'shats' has become a word on its own & the full "sh'liach tsibur" is hardly used,I think it's best to write it as *shats*.The abbr. shortens it by only 1 letter(a).

    A famous blogger is not a famous Posek... so what is it supposed to mean?
    The Chazon Ish is the one who said that the secular Jews (especially in Israel) should be considered as 'tinokos shenishbu'.He had to say this because by his time the orthodox were a minority & he had to say it to be P.C. It's not what Chazal meant.The Rambams paskins that only l'gabei Karaites.It's in a way,b'les b'reroh,misapplying Chazal.It reminds me of Rambam's misuse of Chazal's "dibrah Torah b'lshon b'nei adam". Anyhow,it's not universally accepted..Go & ask around in Toldos Aharon in Jer.,in Meah sh'arim, amongst the Satmar...
    About Chabad,didn't horav Shach say thay are closest religion to yahadus?...
    But you BH (mayby I should just speak for myself,after all you are observant) & I, are not tinokos shenisbu.We come from tradional homes & familiar with the sources. So IMHO ,you can't be metsurof to a minyan.Theoretically you should say to say them:" raboisai, thank you for asking me & for the honour,but I will have you know THAT I AM AN APIKORES! I don't know if there is a God & if there is I don't think He is cognizant of me & certainly He can't hear my(our) prayers. I will have you know that I don't believe THAT ANY GOD GAVE US A TORAH! Now, if you insist ,I will gladly oblige & join you.But please know that you will not have a kosher minian & you WILL NOT BE MEKAYYEM T'FILLOH B'TSIBUR". Having said that ,you were yotse your chiyuv.Then they can decide how to proceed... I think God will grant you a sheinem chelek of olom habo,just for being that honest! I am sure of that... I am of course speaking from a strictly halachik point of view.That people are not that makpid,that I know.But then again,in many Orthodox shuls they are not makpid if you drive to shul on shabbos(as long as you park a fair distance away),& even get a fat aliyah,especially if you are rich....
    A final word. Those of you who read this will see the time on their monitor as being sent during shabbos(in the U.S.)..Lest there be amongst some of you, those who are so meshuge frum (I have met a few,but then why are you on the treife internet...) that it bothers them to read something that was sent on shabbos, dovor habo ba'aveiroh...let me assure them,that though I am not particularly observant,I would never be machshil them...chas vachaliloh! & this is sent motsoei shabbos, 11: 10 pm Israel time,long after havdoloh...& all is kosher v'yoshor!
    A gut woch!

     
    At September 16, 2006 9:28 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JS, maybe Devorim sheblaiv Ainan Devorim; if not all I can say is that's life. At least I'm not being maachil them tarfos.

     
    At September 16, 2006 9:35 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy,
    especially if I'm the Sh"ts."

    >anyway, i have seen many people daven far dem umed who arent big tzaddikim. the oilam didnt seem to mind too much.

    As JS says, it's not really a matter of mind. The question is halachackly do people such as we really count to be mitztaref to a minyan. And if were not, then we are deceiving others.

    > a famous blogger told me that every skeptic probably falls into the category of tinok shenishba. so I think you really dont have an issue.

    I would not buy that.

    > lubabitch defintely would count you for a minyan.
    i have seen many occasions, that people use non frum to join a minyan.
    Sure, if they have no choice.

     
    At September 16, 2006 10:10 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

    This is very interesting. I never thought about this... so much I dont know!

    I dont believe you are a non believer. You just question, its normal.

     
    At September 16, 2006 10:29 PM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    This sort of question makes me glad I'm "only" a woman. My husband and I take turns with kiddush and brachot on challah on Shabbat, but we're just as apikorishe as each other. For us it's culture more than anything else.

    Obviously you don't want to ask the shayla and I don't blame you. But maybe you can do some research into just how important the sha"tz is, if you don't already know. I mean, davening isn't the real deal anyway, is it? It's just replacement karbanot...? Although regardless I guess the gneivat daat remains.

    I know someone who could ask the shayla. Let me see if I can talk him into it.

     
    At September 16, 2006 10:46 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    FG, NO, not at all. It's way past doubt.

     
    At September 16, 2006 10:50 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    BJ, it would be interesting, not that it would change anything. LY said he'd research it as well. Jewish Skeptic builds a case for why we we don't count as a minyan, Daganev thinks we do.

     
    At September 16, 2006 11:01 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    I asked around this shabbos. Everyone agreed that hallacha does not care whats "in your heart" as far as how the community interacts with you.

    Its stated many places that these are things that only Gd knows. Everything dealing with a person's heart is just Musar and hashkafa.

    However, if you are going around your community proclaiming certain ideas and trying to have other poeple follow these "new ideas" without any concern for how it will affect the following of Halacha, that is a different story. And could easily be reason for not being allowed to be made to make a minyan etc. But its not because of whats "in your heart" its because of what you are doing to the community and your actions.

     
    At September 16, 2006 11:12 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    hey bhb
    what would you do if they asked you to daven slichos tonight?

     
    At September 17, 2006 12:43 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    I think IC might be right, Devarim Shebilave. After all you always hear the term Mechalel Shabbos Bfarhesia, a public desecrator is possul. Slichos is not a problem, you're not really motsi anyone anything

     
    At September 17, 2006 1:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    BHB

    >My wife knows I accept no new chumras.

    Well we're just your normal FS couple. She can't live without her chumrah of the month. The e-coli scare with the veggies in the bag will set her back a little.

    >All I can say, is we're in a bind, but it is not of our own doing. One day, we may be called as Eidei Keddushin, think of that.

    Funny I just thought of the same thing over shabbos with the following scenario. You're at a friends wedding and one of the edim is stuck in traffic. Your friend seeks you out and asks you to fill in. What to do you do?

    Also from this week's parsha an intersting posuk
    הַנִּסְתָּרֹת--לַיה"ה, אֱלֹהֵינוּ; וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ
    וּלְבָנֵינוּ, עַד-עוֹלָם--לַעֲשׂוֹת, אֶת-כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה
    הַזֹּאת.
    and the Rashi on it says "And if you say: What are we able to do?
    You punish the many for the thoughts of an individual.

    Ploni Almonymous

     
    At September 17, 2006 2:14 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    PA, whats FS? Frum/Skeptic? BTW, I should add my wife also is not into chumras at all, she does what needs to be done to be Yotse. I guess I'm fortunate.

    I checked the Rashi out a little further and I think it's saying the Rabbim will NOT be punished for the thoughts of an individual, thats for God to take care of as lng as the rabbim handles public misdeeds. Fire & brimstone!

     
    At September 17, 2006 3:18 AM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    I got up this morning hoping to find some relevant learned responses to the Rambam,etc.I quoted.
    All I hear is some worn out platitudes of 'dvorim sh'balev'.
    I see that I wasted my time in writing it all out.

     
    At September 17, 2006 8:35 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Sorry, buut it wasn't a waste. I read your response, but I don't have the knowledge to debate with the that. Maybe LY will come up with something.

     
    At September 17, 2006 9:11 AM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    JS: Ditto, it wasn't a waste.

    But can a law about writing a sefer Torah be extrapolated to tefila or the custom (?) of learning mishnayot for a shloshim?

     
    At September 17, 2006 12:12 PM, Blogger lakewoodyid said...

    OK, very tough question.

    Lets start with the Mishna Berura 55:47

    V'chol Mi She'hu Kofer B'Torah She'baal Peh, Ein Mitz'taref L'chol Dovor She'b'kedusha.

    If a Kofer on Torah She'baal Peh is not Mitz'taref, Kal Vo'chomer someone who is Kofer in Torah She'b'ksav, and Kal Vochomer someone who is Kofer in God.

    The question is what exactly qualifies someone to labeled a Kofer.

    We know that Mechalel Shabbos in Puplic and Mumar L'avoda Zora are like Goyim and not M'tzarif to anything. The above is even if they are Mumar L'ti'avon - they are doing it for their pleasure.

    Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 119:7 says that SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN DIVREI CHAZAL HAS THE SAME STATUS AS MECHALEL SHABBOS AND MUMAR L'AVODA ZORA!!!!

    However, someone who is Mumar to one Aveirah (other than Chilul Shabbos and Avoda Zora) depends. If he is Mumar L'hach'iss - he purposely transgresses, then he is not Mitz'taref. If he is L'ti'avon, then he is Mitz'taref.

    In the case of BHB, we have the following points to consider.

    1) Not just that he isn't B'far'hessia, he is completely anonymous - even his wife doesn't know. Anonymous blogging doesn't make it B'far'hessia. We don't have a clue who you are.

    Is someone a Kofer just because he has some inner thoughts? Or is he only a Kofer if he expresses them? - meaning, since he is embarresed to go public, is he a true kofer? or just someone with doubts?

    2) I believe that BHB is neither a Mumar L'ti'avon, or a Mumar L'hach'iss. He doesn't derive pleasure from his kefira (he still keeps halacha), or does it rebeliously.

    I believe he is a Kofer A'nus. He is plagued by the questions presented by science etc, and cannot accept the answers provided. He even once challenged me that if I can provide him with a convincing argument for the revelation at Sinai, he would accept. His agenda is not - that everything is un-true. He wishes it were. But he finds the arguments against, stronger than the arguments for.

    I'm not a posek, but I believe that 1) and 2) together might provide ground to still be considered Metzu'raf L'minyan.

     
    At September 17, 2006 12:13 PM, Blogger lakewoodyid said...

    OK, very tough question.

    Lets start with the Mishna Berura 55:47

    V'chol Mi She'hu Kofer B'Torah She'baal Peh, Ein Mitz'taref L'chol Dovor She'b'kedusha.

    If a Kofer on Torah She'baal Peh is not Mitz'taref, Kal Vo'chomer someone who is Kofer in Torah She'b'ksav, and Kal Vochomer someone who is Kofer in God.

    The question is what exactly qualifies someone to labeled a Kofer.

    We know that Mechalel Shabbos in Puplic and Mumar L'avoda Zora are like Goyim and not M'tzarif to anything. The above is even if they are Mumar L'ti'avon - they are doing it for their pleasure.

    Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 119:7 says that SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN DIVREI CHAZAL HAS THE SAME STATUS AS MECHALEL SHABBOS AND MUMAR L'AVODA ZORA!!!!

    However, someone who is Mumar to one Aveirah (other than Chilul Shabbos and Avoda Zora) depends. If he is Mumar L'hach'iss - he purposely transgresses, then he is not Mitz'taref. If he is L'ti'avon, then he is Mitz'taref.

    In the case of BHB, we have the following points to consider.

    1) Not just that he isn't B'far'hessia, he is completely anonymous - even his wife doesn't know. Anonymous blogging doesn't make it B'far'hessia. We don't have a clue who you are.

    Is someone a Kofer just because he has some inner thoughts? Or is he only a Kofer if he expresses them? - meaning, since he is embarresed to go public, is he a true kofer? or just someone with doubts?

    2) I believe that BHB is neither a Mumar L'ti'avon, or a Mumar L'hach'iss. He doesn't derive pleasure from his kefira (he still keeps halacha), or does it rebeliously.

    I believe he is a Kofer A'nus. He is plagued by the questions presented by science etc, and cannot accept the answers provided. He even once challenged me that if I can provide him with a convincing argument for the revelation at Sinai, he would accept. His agenda is not - that everything is un-true. He wishes it were. But he finds the arguments against, stronger than the arguments for.

    I'm not a posek, but I believe that 1) and 2) together might provide ground to still be considered Metzu'raf L'minyan.

     
    At September 17, 2006 12:37 PM, Blogger B. Spinoza said...

    As you correctly said, this is not a halachick question, this is an ethical question. Even if the halacha was clear that you can't join the minyan, I would still say that ethically it is ok. Here's my reason:

    if a robber comes up to you on shabbos and asks you for money. Is it ok to tell him that you dont carry money because it's shabbos (even if you have money on you hidden)? The answer, I think, is yes. The reason being is that it's not his money and he has no right to it so lying is not harming him, since he was never entitled to the money anyway.

    Likewise, in this situation, the community is not entitled to know your personal religious beliefs. They belong to you and nobody else. So nobody is really getting harmed, and therfore it's ok not to reveal the truth.

    Also do you go to an MO minyan? If so then it's certainly ok. Half of them are probably agree with you anyways :)

     
    At September 17, 2006 2:15 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Learning Sukkah in Daf Yomi, someone mentioned a story about finding a resteruant that had a treif Sukkah.

    The rabbi said that you do not stand up in the public and tell everyone to stop eating.

    Think about it.

     
    At September 17, 2006 5:38 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    First let me say I am impressed with LY researched & considered response.
    I would like to make the following points.

    >"1) Not just that he isn't B'far'hessia, he is completely anonymous - even his wife doesn't know. Anonymous blogging doesn't make it B'far'hessia. We don't have a clue who you are."

    First,I am not sure I agree with you in that.You would be right if parhesia meant BY 10 people WHO HAD KNOWN HIM before but,that's not my understanding of the term(I'll stand corrected if you bring me sources to the contrary).
    Let's say a person we haven't seen before comes & is mechallel shabbos in public,I think that halachikly,he would be oiver on chillul shabbos, even though no one knows him from Adam.
    Furthermore,using a pseudonym is not real anonymity.If BH used his real name,to me he would still be anonymous.However,he is now known in the blog world as BH.I consider it B'FARHESIA. How many bochurim know the real name of the P'nei Yehoshya'? But he is not anonymous. & this B.H is PUBLICIZING his k'firah throughout the world.THERE IS NO GREATER PARHESIA THAN THIS! (sorry,BH,no offense meant).


    2.I believe he is a Kofer A'nus. He is plagued by the questions presented by science etc, and cannot accept the answers provided. He even once challenged me that if I can provide him with a convincing argument for the revelation at Sinai, he would accept. His agenda is not - that everything is un-true. He wishes it were. But he finds the arguments against, stronger than the arguments for.

    I don't understand what you mean by *kofer anus*. If you mean by it that one is considerd a kofer onus because of circumstance or he was brought up in such a way,(which doesn't apply to BH).Or like Saadyah Gaon writes in his Emunos v'deios,that one of the reasons why one becomes a kofer is either he once heard k'firah from someone or read it in a book. Well, if that's what you mean, then of course you are right. BUT THEN THERE ARE REAL KOFRIM,NOT NOW OR EVER HAVE BEEN! Because everyone gets his beliefs ,whatever they maybe ,through such ways(but the more independent & intelligent ones ponder on them & come to their own conclusions). & if you answer me *ein hochi nami*,then I will ask you who are than the kofrim that the talmud discusses & the Rambam paskins ?

    & yes,if you would bring me a convincing argument for the revelation at Sinai,I too would certainly be convinced & become frum.So would all skeptics!

    No one is holding a gun to BH head & forcing him to say divrei k'firah B'FARHESYAH(sic).
    Now if BH were to say,I am really a maamin ,but I am just thinking out loud about certain doubts that plague me.Than all this discussion is pointless. But of what I read by him,he says he has no doubts.HE DOESN'T BELIEVE!

    I think there is an important point being missed. IF THE PEOPLE KNEW HIS BELIEVES WOULD THEY ASK HIM TO MITSTAREF TO A MINYAN?
    Answer me this.IF BH WERE A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN COULD HE STILL BE MITSTAREF TO A MINYAN? I see no difference between being a Christian & let's say an Atheist,halachikly.& the Christian at least believes im some kind of God...
    That the people don't know, thats because they are being deceived by him.He is hiding that from them.He should let them know if just for "lifnei iver lo sitten michshol".
    So IMHO,according to Rambam & the Mishnah B'rurah you quoted ,BH has no halachik(& certainly not ethical) to be mitstaref to a minyan (i.e.without him there would be no minyan

     
    At September 17, 2006 6:32 PM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    LY and JS: interesting.

    I don't think BHB is doing anything b'farhesya. I don't think blogging counts.

    >& yes,if you would bring me a convincing argument for the revelation at Sinai,I too would certainly be convinced & become frum.So would all skeptics!

    I disagree with this. Some skeptics would take more than a convincing argument. Some of us would take less! I'd settle for plausibility myself.

    >No one is holding a gun to BH head & forcing him to say divrei k'firah B'FARHESYAH(sic).

    I don't believe this is the definition of oness. In my understanding (which of course could be wrong) oness would be the equivalent of someone taking your hand and using it to turn on a light on Shabbat. This is more of a forced thing than the gun to the head. With the gun to the head, theoretically you can still refuse to do what they want you to do.

    So actually I think LY is correct in his assessment.

     
    At September 18, 2006 12:55 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >BUT THEN THERE ARE REAL KOFRIM,NOT NOW OR EVER HAVE BEEN!

    Acher is a real kofer. Very very very few people in the world would be considered to be like Acher.

    Acher basically said, I believe in Judaism, its all correct, however none of it applies to me. And if it does apply to me, I will never have a place in Olam Habbah, so nothing matters.

     
    At September 18, 2006 10:04 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Lakewood Yid and Jewish Skeptic, I guess the difficulty here is this concept of anonymous Kofer never presented itself before. It's the anonimity of the Internet that revealed this hidden animal.

    JS, I disagree. I can't see how you say I'm B'farhessia. As BJ says, blogging is not chillul shabbos. If R' Yohusha Falk would appear in a strange shul and not identify himself, he would not have gotten Shlishi as you may well imagine.

    The question may also be, is to *what* does B'farhessia apply? Chillul Shabbos? In which case it's certainly not the issue. To come to a true PSak, which I'm not qualified, one would need to know the origin and theory of the halachos involved. Might it be some sort of Knas to keep people in line? LY mentioned the concept of Kofer Anus; it has a nice ring to it, but that's not being intellectually honest. No-one is holding a gun to my head. Furthermore, it might be saying is there's no Bechira (maybe there isn't, but that is untenable to LY).

    I must admit, it goes way beyond superficial doubt yet I don't *want* to say I don't believe. Let me phrase it like this. TMS might be true, we have no firm disproof because the Mesorah had 2000 years to redefine itself and build in all sorts of protections, like Ain Mukdam Umeuchar and all sorts of dreidlach. But it's a very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very
    very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very

    long shot.

    I don't give TMS and miraculous Krias Yam Suf much better odds over a virgin birth.


    So LY, it's a good try but by your own admission, you are not a Posek. Who knows? Maybe JS is. He even ends his comment with the appropriate L'fi Aniyas Daati.

    IC, Acher may just be a different type of Kofer.

    I think B. Spinoza is the closest to what I have in mind. (B, welcome, I'm humbled to have you weigh in). He realizes that to me personally, I don't feel it's a halachik issue (which is odd because I try to follow Halacha). And he also recognizes the absurdity of exposing myself for an ideal that is really fictional.

     
    At September 18, 2006 10:48 AM, Blogger B. Spinoza said...

    Thanks for your welcome.

    On a historic note, I will say that Spinoza said Kaddish for his father before he was kicked out of the community.

    The Rabbis of his community offered to pay Spinoza to keep his philosophy to himself, but he refused. It was only after he declined their offer did they procede to put him in cherim. So they had no problem with his Kefira that was in his mind. They just had a problem with his openess and the fact that he was spreading it.

    regarding halcaha,

    The thing to keep in mind is that you aren't trying to make people doubt. You are just expressing your doubts to anyone who cares to listen. If you were like that Daat Emet guy who is on a crusade to make people doubt then it would be a completely different issue. That guy probably really qualifies as a true blue heretic l'halacha. You on the other hand, are just a guy with doubts.

    It also depends on which community you live in. Each community has different standards. If you live in an MO community, then you would probably not looked at badly at all. It reminds me of last Rosh Hashana, I daven in an MO minyan for Rosh Hashana, the guy sitting next to me was reading the book 'Doubt' during davening. On the other hand if you're in lakewood, they have much stricter standards, obviously

     
    At September 18, 2006 11:11 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    B,

    > It also depends on which community you live in. Each community has different standards. If you live in an MO community, then you would probably not looked at badly at all


    Oops, I forgot to mention that. I live and daven, in what you might call a "Lakewood feeder community". So from a hashkaffa perspective, I am personna non gratta.

     
    At September 18, 2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    B, "Doubt" LOL! , On Y"K, strewn on the tables is 43 different types of pamphlets, all versions and permutations of Al Chait.

     
    At September 18, 2006 12:22 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >TMS might be true, we have no firm disproof because the Mesorah had 2000 years to redefine itself and build in all sorts of protections, like Ain Mukdam Umeuchar and all sorts of dreidlach

    Do you honestly believed that over the 2000 years of "redefining" itself it was able to predict every single question that would arise in the future?

    Its one thing to say, "Judaism redefined itself when after the Gay rights activisits became popular, somebody wrote a commentary on the chumash that said that a man sleeping with a man is just a metaphor" (i.e a reform chumash I read)

    Its a whole other ball game to say, "Judaism redefined istself by writing a commentary about the status of women, 500 years before there was a woman's rights movement"(i.e. The ramifications of Rashi saying that the closer a thing was created to Shabbos in the creation story, the hollier it is.)

     
    At September 18, 2006 12:27 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    >"JS, I disagree. I can't see how you say I'm B'farhessia. As BJ says, blogging is not chillul shabbos. If R' Yohusha Falk would appear in a strange shul and not identify himself, he would not have gotten Shlishi as you may well imagine."

    But if R.Falk were to be mechallel shabbos incognito in public,he would be considered as mechallel sh.befarhesya & if there was a Sanhedrin he would be stoned(after hasro'oh).
    Likewise,if this great rabbi would preach kfirah,incognito,such that(after hasro'oh)he deserves death,according to the Rambam ,he would be put to death(uviarto hora mikirbecho)

    Preaching publicly k'firah is much worse than being mechallel shabbos,according to my understanding of the Rambam.One could argue that no 'asiyoh-physical act' is involved.But no asiyoh is involved in cursing parents or cursing God, yet both of them are punishable by death.
    I consider blogging incognito & thereby spreading divrei k'fira,as b'farhesya,the same as the imaginary ex.I gave above with the Rabbi doing it likewise incognito.

    But after reading carefully your last post,I have come to the conclusion,along with B.S. that you are just a guy who has doubts,the severity -depending on your moods .Not a real kofer.
    Therefore I retract my p'sak(LOL)& you are allowed to be mitstaref to a minyan!
    UVO L'TSIYON GOEL V'SHOLOM AL YISROEL...

     
    At September 18, 2006 1:05 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > Do you honestly believed that over the 2000 years of "redefining" itself it was able to predict every single question that would arise in the future?

    You mean like Allegorical Bereishis? And starting to accomdate Evolution and ancient earth? And even 17th century Kabbala?


    > Its a whole other ball game to say, "Judaism redefined istself by writing a commentary about the status of women, 500 years before there was a woman's rights movement"(i.e. The ramifications of Rashi saying that the closer a thing was created to Shabbos in the creation story, the hollier it is.)


    Some concepts are so elastic, it will allow for an infinite number of loopholes and endless expression into new concepts. Like what will happen when Moshiach is not here in three hundred years. (Don't hold your breath).

     
    At September 18, 2006 1:23 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JS, but what does R' Falk publicly being Mechallel Shabbos ort espousing Kefira have to do with the status of an an unknow Pnei Yehoshua? Maybe this would be the acid test? If a Rav is found to have private journals espousing Kefira would he be A Zaken Mamre?

    > But after reading carefully your last post,I have come to the conclusion,along with B.S. that you are just a guy who has doubts,the severity -depending on your moods. Not a real kofer.

    And you say my SH"TS anacronym was bad.

    Since my moment of apostacy 7 or 8 years ago, I had many changes of mood but only 2 change of beliefs (one each on 2 different subjects); that will be a future post.


    > Therefore I retract my p'sak(LOL)& you are allowed to be mitstaref to a minyan!


    Oh great! Now I can sleep in shul on Yom Kippur errr, I mean now I can sleep at night.


    Actually, are/were you some sort of posek? Just like some poskim, you change their psak and attribute it to new information ;) (Actually, I once heard of a posek who was blunt and when questioned by someone, he responded "I changed my mind", if you're interested and Email me, I'll send you some details.)

    > UVO L'TSIYON GOEL

    Amein (but don't hold your breath)

     
    At September 18, 2006 2:09 PM, Anonymous J said...

    >"If a Rav is found to have private journals espousing Kefira would he be A Zaken Mamre?"

    No,because he didn't intentionally publicize them.
    I think he would be if he intentionally put them on the internet...

     
    At September 18, 2006 2:10 PM, Anonymous Jewish skeptic said...

    The above comment was by me.

     
    At September 18, 2006 2:24 PM, Blogger Moshe Kappoya said...

    BHB,
    As I mentioned in another post, you can not pasel yourself. So until two witnesess testify to your kefira, you are a bona-fide member of the Jewish community. When you come to my shul I will make sure that you are oylah shishe and are the shatz (better than sh"ts LOL) for Musof.

    Your misgivings are not halachic but only your own guilt. I guess there is hope for you yet.

     
    At September 18, 2006 2:35 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > When you come to my shul I will make sure that you are oylah shishe and are the shatz (better than sh"ts LOL) for Musof.

    What you mean Shishe, in my shul I get Maftir ;)

     
    At September 18, 2006 6:14 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >You mean like Allegorical Bereishis? And starting to accomdate Evolution and ancient earth? And even 17th century Kabbala?

    You are looking at all these things so backwards!

    Things written in the 17th century, became answers to people's questions in the 20th century. That which was written in the 10th century were answers to the questions of the 17th century etc etc.

    The Vilna Goan in the year 1740 (5500) created communities in Israel to prepare for a 500 year plan. Interestingly we can see if his plan worked or not since phase one ended in 1990. Would be interesting to see what happened then.

     
    At September 18, 2006 10:28 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    Baal,

    I know I'm coming in late, but I'm going to mention that I've thought along the same exact thoughts. My conclusion was that exposing myself to anyone and everyone would harm me (and other's I care about) much more than being silent would harm them.

    Especially since I don't believe that my presence hurts them in any spiritual way. And even if I couldn't be yotzei for someone else, it would be pretty unfair of God (assuming he cares, yadda yadda) to punish person x for my lack of forthrightness.

    Generally I try to not get myself into that kind of position, but it does happen from time to time.

    It also bothers me on a larger integrity level on how I can ostensibly ally myself with Orthodoxy but find that I cannot ever lead Orthodoxy, even in theory. In my own business, I sometimes think that if I cannot find the will to lead others in the cause which I am involved in, I really have no business being involved in it in the first place.

    Sometimes I can convince myself that I am following a form of Orthodoxy. (It is a stretch.) Torah U'maddah is a good motto, I just take a lot of Maddah and get my inspiration from Torah. My balance is somewhat different than YU's, but I figure that I'm taking Modern Orthodoxy + intellectual integrity to it's natural conclusion. Did you know that R' Mordechai Kaplan was once MO?

     
    At September 18, 2006 11:37 PM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    > Torah U'maddah is a good motto, I just take a lot of Maddah and get my inspiration from Torah. My balance is somewhat different than YU's, but I figure that I'm taking Modern Orthodoxy + intellectual integrity to it's natural conclusion.

    I like that.

     
    At September 19, 2006 9:14 AM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    According to R. Moshe Dessauer its irrelevent what you believe, so long as you perform mitzvos.

     
    At September 19, 2006 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    >According to R. Moshe Dessauer its irrelevent what you believe, so long as you perform mitzvos.

    According to the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brura I quoted above, it is very relevant what you believe.

    BHB, I spoke with an Adom Choshuv, he said that someone who suffers from "Bilbul Ha'daas" is not neccesarily a Kofer.

    As long as you were a commenter, I don't recall you calling yourself a Kofer. Its only since you started a blog, where you're enjoying this "macho" feeling of "Hey, I'm a Kofer!"

    LY

     
    At September 19, 2006 10:50 AM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    Its a machlokes achronim.

     
    At September 19, 2006 11:02 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    IC, I guess we see history differently.

    Orthop, never too late to get into the ball game. At this stage of my life, I'm not trying to be a leader in anything. I think we try very hard to rationize and think we somehow fit into the fit into the Halachik mold. Saying things like God won't hold it againt them is like Moshe Finkel saying God wold hold Treif against MOnsey. The point is he misled them. Are we doing the same? They thought they ate Kosher yet ate Treif as opposed to they thought they davened with a minyan but did not.

    Teiku.

     
    At September 19, 2006 11:09 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    MFM, LOL, almost everything is a machlokes. Well here's what I'm gonna do. In my Orthprax, I always go with the most lenient shita. So I'm sold. It means you eased my conscience, for now. Do you have Mareh Mekomos?

    LY,

    >As long as you were a commenter, I don't recall you calling yourself a Kofer. Its only since you started a blog, where you're enjoying this "macho" feeling of "Hey, I'm a Kofer!"



    So which is the true me? Or maybe I'm changing?

     
    At September 19, 2006 11:30 AM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    BHB, can I email you? What's your address? You can mail me if you don't want to post it. It's on my blog.

     
    At September 19, 2006 12:30 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    MFB, it's Baalhabos@GMAIL.COM

     
    At September 19, 2006 12:31 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Sorry, I mean MFM , I know people jate it when their name is mis-spelled.

     
    At September 19, 2006 1:39 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    Baal,

    "At this stage of my life, I'm not trying to be a leader in anything."

    I don't think I explained myself correctly. In my mind, to be a member in good standing in an organization means that you agree with the directing statements of the organization and could potentially be a leader of others in good faith by those statements.

    It isn't a measure of skill level, but of philosophical integrity. If I wouldn't be comfortable leading people in this movement, how is it right that I comfort myself to follow this movement?

    "The point is he misled them. Are we doing the same?"

    Not exactly. I present myself as an observant Jew - which I am. It's not my fault that people think being shomer shabbos is a valid measure to find a person's hashkafik ideas. People mislead themselves with misplaced assumptions.

    I'm not really hiding myself either. I don't go screaming from the building's roof, but if I know you and we sat down and talked about it I would tell you what I think. As time goes on more and more of my friends and acquaintances learn my thoughts.

    Much of the time I find a kindred spirit, others I find someone who sees my way of thinking as fascinating if not convincing, and yet others just don't seem to care all that much. I have had a few negative reactions, but nothing that I couldn't handle.

     
    At September 19, 2006 2:25 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    OrthoP,
    When you look at it from that perspective of leadership, I'm very glad that my parenting days are over. I just had this conversation (maybe with Happy), I can't imagine sitting down and teaching my child chumash in a manner that would be appropriate for our community.

    Of course, I don't compare us to the Shevach butcher, but it *is* deception, just of a much lesser degree.

    I have tried to hint to some but I am always mis-understood and no-one ever takes the bait. I think I am alone in my social circle. Que Sera Sera.

     
    At September 19, 2006 2:37 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

    "I have tried to hint to some but I am always mis-understood and no-one ever takes the bait. I think I am alone in my social circle."

    It also helped that my blog is not as secretive as I could have made it. A few people have figured out who I was from my blogging.

    Lemme ask you something, do you recall anybody ever offering you a hint, perhaps? That first hint _is_ going to be ambiguous, after all.

     
    At September 19, 2006 4:04 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >According to the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brura I quoted above, it is very relevant what you believe.

    BHB, I spoke with an Adom Choshuv, he said that someone who suffers from "Bilbul Ha'daas" is not neccesarily a Kofer.

    As long as you were a commenter, I don't recall you calling yourself a Kofer. Its only since you started a blog, where you're enjoying this "macho" feeling of "Hey, I'm a Kofer!"

    LY

    Everything you describe was a matter of Actions and Kavana, not Emunah.

     
    At September 19, 2006 4:43 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > Lemme ask you something, do you recall anybody ever offering you a hint, perhaps?

    Yes, but I was wrong. I recently tried to engage that same individual about a topic that my Rav was discussing (Daas Torah) and I was way off base. He looked at me like I was from Mars.

     
    At September 19, 2006 9:37 PM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    > I'm very glad that my parenting days are over

    Parenting days are never over! ;)
    At least that's what everyone was saying while I was pregnant.

    Maybe we need to develop a code for skeptics, so that we can find each other.

    Almost like how gay people find each other (with dress code etc).

    OK, maybe not...

     
    At September 19, 2006 11:13 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    BJ, you're absolutely right. But, it's not the same kind of parenting.


    I like that idea - Skepdar. Gay people have Gaydar, some gadget, which buzzes when in proximity to another like minded individual, or so I've heard.

     
    At September 20, 2006 1:22 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    I used to call myself a skeptic. Then I found out that "skeptic" really means doubter/scoffer of religion, proponent of mass culture.

    Instead of meaning one who questions everything.

     
    At September 21, 2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    the folowing discution is very relevent here
    http://hydepark.hevre.co.il/topic.asp?topic_id=1859360

     
    At September 22, 2006 9:28 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    anon, I checked that out and it was only in Hebrew, too difficult for me to wade thru that.

    BHB

     

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