Archive for 'Maimonidean Wisdom'

Maimonides’ Exposition on the Road Less Traveled

Commenting on the verse, “Now, when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the Philistines’ land, though this was the nearest; for he thought, should the people see that they would have to fight, they might change their minds and return to Egypt” (Exod. 13:17).

This passage has always bothered me. The rational given by the biblical narrator  is irrelevant. Had God led the Israelites directly to the Promised Land, there would never have been ...

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The Theology of the Carrot and the Stick

Step aside Pat Robertson! You are not alone. You have Jewish friends who think just like you do! Rabbi Avi Shafran, no stranger to controversy, blames the Haitian earthquake on Eli Valley’s comic  that appeared in the Forward newspaper.[1] Writing for the Aggudat Israel, America’s premiere Haredi organization, Rabbi Shafran comments about the Japanese earthquake that leveled Tokyo and its suburbs on September 1, 1923. This earthquake killed over 100,000 people. So famous was this disaster, news about its destruction ...

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Is God punishing the Hatians for its sins?

Is nature or God punishing the Haitians for its national sins? It all depends who one asks. Pat Robertson blames the Haiti earthquake on a pact the Haitians made with the devil sometime in the early 19th century:

Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian who once suggested God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina, says a “pact to the devil” brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Robertson said on his “700 Club,” and that “They got together and swore a pact ...

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Did Maimonides really believe in a physical resurrection or not?

Maimonides’ position on the soul is very complex and this subject remains of the more controversial topics of Jewish intellectual history. Certainly in his commentary to the Mishnah, Maimonides includes the belief in bodily resurrection among the basic tenants of faith listed in his famous Thirteen Articles of Belief.

However, in Maimonides’ most mature work, the philosophical tract known as “The Guide to the Perplexed,” the great philosopher stresses the belief in the soul’s immortality and says nothing about physical resurrection.

One ...

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Maimonides’ famous Responsa on “Converting for the sake of marriage”

Maimonides once wrote in his Responsa about a certain Jewish man who was living with a non-Jewish maid-servant. The man was suspected of having a sexual liaison with this woman.  The Beit Din found out about this–what was the man to do? Remove the woman from his house?

In response to this question, the Rambam stated that technically according to the law, the woman should be forced out–period. After it learned of his wrongdoings, the ...

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