Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  A
E-mail:  not available
Date:  12/21/2003 1:52:00 AM
Subject:  Re: Mythology
"Message: Is it ok to learn mythology in college
(it's taught in the Lit class which is a required course)

Reply: If it is in any way related to Avodah Zara (Idol Worship), it is not allowed. File a written complaint (certified mail, return receipt requested) with your college that this is against your religion. They'll take care of it real fast.
I can't say the same about the Frum schools that teach this stuff. Unfortunately it is very common.
AA "

It is a frum college. (The professor said it is no problem because nowadays there is no yetzer hora for avoda zara .....)
Reply:  Tell him that in the Rambam's days there was no Yetzer either, but it still says clearly in the Rambam that it is not allowed. (Rambam Hilchot Avodat Kochavim Perek 2 Halachah 3)
Here we go again! People using their own Sevarot (reasons) to determine Laws, without the proper amount of learning, or the proper license.

Let me quote you some of that Rambam, for the sake of clarifying much of the confusion in the people today.
(Loose translation)....
Rambam A"Z 2:2
"Many books were written by idol worshippers about their worship, ... God commanded us not to read those books at all, and even to look at the Avoda Zara (idol) is forbidden, as it says, "do not turn to the idols." And in this area it says "you should not look into their gods," to see how they are worshipped. ...Even though you are not planning to worship it, because this causes one to follow after them and to do as they do, as it says, "and I will do the same, too."
And all these restrictive laws are of one concept, and that is to keep away from idol worship....
..and it is not only to idol worship that we must not turn our thoughts, but rather any thoughts that might cause us to possibly uproot a concept of the Torah, we must not allow ourselves to think them, and we should avoid contemplation completely on those topics, because our intelligence is meek, and not everyone can comprehend the truth to it's full clarity. And if people were to follow their own thoughts and opinions, the world would be destroyed by their minimal intelligence. For example, at times one might follow idol worship, and at other times one might think into the existence of God, is there a god, or maybe not. What is above, what is below, what happened before the world, and what will happen after. And at times one might think into the prophecies, thinking maybe they're true, or maybe not. And sometimes about the Torah itself, was it from God, or maybe not. But he/she does not have the understanding of the proper thought processes and logic necessary to determine the solid and clear truth to it's entirety. And from this he automatically veers off somewhat or fully to Apikorsut (non-belief in God). And on this the Torah commands us, "and do not follow your heart and your eyes..." meaning don't each of you follow your own limited intelligence, and don't think in your mind that your thoughts will be capable of determining the truth. So say our Rabbis, "and do not turn after your heart", that refers to Minut (non-belief in God);....and this sin, although it causes one not to be brought to heaven, it still does not require the Rabbinical courts to give him/her lashes."
".....an Apikores (non-believer) who is Jewish, is not considered a Jew for any purpose. And we do not accept their repentance forever, as it says, "and all their followers shall not return, and they shall not attain the way of the true life." And those Apikorsim, are the people that search through those thought processes with their foolish ideas, as we mentioned earlier, until they begin not to follow certain parts of our Torah, with an arrogant confidence, saying that it is not a sin. And it is forbidden to speak to them or to answer them any answer at all, as it says, "and do not come close to the door of her home..." the "her" is referring to Minut/Apikorsut, which are both the same. And the thoughts of an Apikores is to Avoda Zara (idol worship, or any worship other than to our God, required and requested by our God)."

The Kesef Mishnah brings certain opinions and scenarios where we do accept Apikorsim to allow them to repent, but they cannot physically repent and live. Rav Chisdah used to accept them to repent, and would have the people prepare the Tachrichim (burial garments) for them, as he was confident that if they truly repent they would certainly die. This is clearly a very deep concept. He says further, that when it says not to answer a fool, it refers to a Jewish Apikores, who is worse than a non-Jewish one.

On this note, I would like to address some very disturbing issues. Those Apikorsim in our generation that say that Zohar is not legitimate, and that Kabbalah does not exist, this is exactly what the Rambam is referring to. Don't talk to them, and certainly they cannot and will not repent. Ironically, their entire basis to their stupidity is what they repeat in the name of the Rambam. They use the Rambam for the purposes that suit them, and ignore the other things he says.
Similarly, the movement within the Lubavitch communities that are parading around suggesting that their late Rebbi, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneurson, is the Messiah, they are in the same boat. They act as if choosing the Messiah is a democratic process, and are obsessed with this craziness, to levels close to idol worship. Their study in Jewish Law is almost completely limited to following the Rambam, yet they clearly ignore or ignorant of the Rambam in other areas. Specifically, the Rambam says (Hilchot Melachim 11:3) that in the time of Bar Kochbah, who was a false messiah, many Rabbis believed that he was the real Messiah; this included Rabbi Akiva. Once Bar Kochba died, it was obvious that he was not the Messiah. A dead Messiah is not much of a Messiah.
Don't talk to these people don't send your children to places where these people teach. Don't read books written or translated by any of these Apikorsim. It is very dangerous! There was a former student in my father's Kollel (post graduate Rabbinic College) that does not believe in Zohar and Kabbalah, and he was determined by his Rebbi, my father to be considered an Apikores. Additionally, my father sent me to see Rav Shlomo Zalman Ourbach A"H in Jerusalem, to ask him for his Psak (Rabbinical decision), to confirm his own Psak. After relating the details and talking to him for over twenty minutes, I said, "Ok. Now I need a Psak to go back to my father with." The issue was that since my father was his Rebbi Muvhak (all his main Halachic knowledge came from my father), and he was very close to my father, if my father were to be Merachek him, to chase him away, he could be destroying the man's life. This was a question of possible life and death, Diney Nefashot. After a few minutes of silence and contemplation, which felt like two hours, Rabbi S.Z. said "Terachek Otoh, Umah Sheyihyeh Yiyeh!" Distance him, send him away as we do with an Apikores, and whatever happens shall happen. Clearly he determined that this student was a full 100% Apikores, and we should keep away from him, and God Forbid not ever read anything he writes, or listen to anything he says. It turns out that this student's name is Hillel Danziger, who is a major translator, author, and editor for Artscroll, with his teachings in almost every home in the English-speaking religious Jewish world. As Shmuel Hanavie told the people (Samuel A 7:3), "If with all your heart you are repentant and returning to God, remove all the foreign Gods from within you, and redirect your heart to God, and serve him alone, and he will save you from the hands of the Plishtim." (loose translation)
I am going around my house as soon as I finish typing this, to remove all possible books of Apikorsut, including translation that could have been written by him, or by others like him. May God forgive me and all of you observant Jews, for having these books of Apikorsut in our homes, and I beg of all of you to remove all of these books from your homes. As the Rambam clearly warns, these books are very dangerous to our souls.

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