Thursday, November 18, 2010

One who makes a sincere mistaken interpretations of Torah - is not a heretic

Radvaz (4:187): A reason for not punishing preachers who distort the meaning of verses or medrashim is that their mistaken interpretations are the result of their faulty study of the texts. They are no worse than those who err concerning one of the fundamental principles of faith because of their misunderstanding of texts and yet are not considered heretics. For example, we find that the great man Hillel II erred in one of the principles of faith when he said Moshiach was not coming because of the events in the time of Chezkiyahu. Nevertheless, this error did not make him a heretic — G﷓d forbid. If he had been a heretic, how could the Talmud quote him? It is clear that since his improper statement was the result of sincere study, it was considered as inadvertent and thus he was not a heretic.

4 comments :

  1. The talmud "quotes" Titus and other wicked people. The Talmud quotes non-Jews. How does quoting a person automatically make that person righteous?

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  2. The point is that the Talmud doesn't reject the quotes of Hillel II who is teaching a (perhaps rejected) Torah concept. Titus' quotes aren't framed as Torah therefore it is quite different.

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  3. Chaim Berlin = My Way or the HighwayNovember 18, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    The UOJ blog excerpts a court filing of Chaim Berlin selling an expensive piece of property in Manhattan & speculates if it might be to finance the lawsuit against bloggers. Non-profit organizations are required to file with the court & State AG before any real estate transaction.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is clear that since his improper statement was the result of sincere study, it was considered as inadvertent and thus he was not a heretic.

    The Rambam's dissenting opinion should also be noted. See Hil. Teshuva 3:7 (in opposition to the Raavad) and More Nevuchim 1:36 (where he observes that every idolater in history has honestly felt he was correct, yet the Torah certainly disqualifies him)

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