Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Fundamentals of Faith


"Investigating the fundamentals of Judaism is dangerous. Even if religious viewpoints agree on general themes like the existence of Gd and the phenomenon of reward and punishment, they still differ on specific points…

"It is appropriate to say that…every Jew must believe that everything stated in the Torah is wholly true. Someone who denies a statement which is from the Torah, knowing that it is the Torah’s statement, is called a “Kofer.”…

"But someone who holds to Moses’s Torah and believes its fundamentals, and then is fooled in his examination when he approaches the Torah by examining the verses and using his own mental faculties, such that he says one of the fundamental principles is different…he is not a “Kofer.” He is included among the pious sages of the Jews, even though he errs in his examination. He sins accidentally, and he must atone for it."

(Rav Yosef Albo, Sefer ha'Ikkarim 1:1, 1:2)

Have a great day,


  1. I’m a little confused. If I refuse to boil a kid in its mother’s milk, but do enjoy chicken parmesan (made with Empire chicken and Miller’s cheese, for the sake of argument), am I a “Kofer” (Does that mean “non-believer or heretic”)? Or am I among the pious sages, but still need to repent for my apparently incorrect interpretation of verses in the Torah?

  2. Anonymous-
    I assume that would depend on the rationale given for eating the chicken parmesan, no? (And "kofer" is Hebrew for "denier".)