Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tinok shenishba


 Maimonides speaks out strongly against those who deny the validity of the Oral Torah, including the Mishnah and the Talmud, labeling them as heretics.[4] This would include Karaite Jews. He claims they deserve neither witnesses, warning, nor judges to be punished according to Jewish law. Rather, anyone who removes them from existence merits great reward as one who removed an obstacle from the proper course of Jewish belief and practice.

However, Maimonides expresses concern for the offspring of such individuals, and excludes them from those who deserve such punishment because they participated unwittingly in their denial of the Oral Law. While they are indeed sinners, he declares them unintentional participants in their lack of adherence to Jewish law and belief, similar to the case of a tinok shenishba.[5] Rather than be pushed away, such individuals are to be drawn into the Jewish community and taught the proper way so they can become observant, frum members of community.

The notion that unaffiliated and unobservant Jews are unwitting sinners who should be taught the Jewish laws and customs and welcomed into the Torah community is the basis for the many outreach organizations (Kiruv) that exist in the modern era, including Chabad, Aish Hatorah, Ohr Somayach and Gateways.

1 comment :

  1. Except today most people who dismiss the Oral Law as something "the rabbis" wrote do so out of ignorance. They can't read Hebrew, let alone tell you which side Rashi is on. They just don't know enough to be apikorsim.


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