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Author:  Anonymous
E-mail:  not available
Date:  6/28/2004 1:11:00 PM
Subject:  Heresy Response
Message:  With regard to "Jeff"'s response to my original post about Yeshivat Chovevei Torah....

I think what he wrote was a little misleading. Students at YCT are not simply "holding like Ralbag against Rambam." Graduates of this institution have openly, without compunction, expressed the view that it is legitimate to believe that God has a body, human emotions and other anthropomorphic characteristics. They have stated that Marc Shapiro "proved" that this is an acceptable perspective in Judaism. With all due respect, for all their unusual opinions, this is a far cry from anything Ralbag or Albo or even the Ramban, Abarbanel, Gra, or Maharal would ever have written.

Additionally, YCT students, faculty and graduates study and teach biblical criticism, in some cases even sharing these ideas with the "hamon am", the general public.

Some have expressed interest in officiating at gay and lesbian civil unions.

Many are former students at the Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative) and they have not necessarily disavowed their earlier convictions.

Finally, some wives of the Yeshiva students have publicly (and I know this first hand) confessed that they do not observe the laws of family purity. Their husbands are well aware of this.

Understandably, all of these are major problems.

Sorry, "Jeff", but learning Or Yitschak will not help. Neither will learning all of the other traditional sefarim that the students in Chovevei Torah have been poring over. I am sure Acher, Achitophel and many other Apikursim discussed points that are touched upon in Or Yitschak, but their basic emunah was lacking so they failed in this world and lost their chelek in Olam Haba in the process.

As the Rambam states and R. Abadi has reiterated, studying the fundamentals of our religion was meant to be reserved for unique individuals who, in Rambam's words, have already "filled their stomachs with bread and meat" - i.e., knowledge of the entire Torah. Entering into the investigation of these topics prematurely is dangerous, as Rambam emphasizes in Hilchoth Avodah Zarah and Ramban mentions in his introduction to the perush on the Torah.

I think we could all use a dose of humility. Contrary to the popular belief in our "modern" society, not everyone is qualified to have an opinion on everything. This is why the Rambam formulated the ikarim.

We must, as R. Abadi said, recognize that we don't necessarily have the tools for such an inquiry at this juncture.
Reply:  If this is true, then we do have a problem. I predict that this will be denied vehemently. If their is some who do not go to the Mikveh, I sympathize with them and can help them. I know the problem.
They are scared of the "Mikvah ladies from hell." Not all of them, but we have a nice bunch of those.

The solution is to confirm that your private pool, or local health club/hotel pool is acceptable as a Mikveh. Then go in with your bathing suit and the husband can be the Mikveh man. I will be presenting more details of this concept, but in the interim, whoever wants help with this, can email me personally and I can usually confirm it after a few simple questions.

I do hope that what you suggest about above group is untrue. And I suspect that there are several different mindsets there, and we cannot generalize. Or maybe not...

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