Archive for 'Maimonidean Wisdom'

Maimonides’ Practical Advice: On Feigning Apostasy . . .

Maimonides’ famous Iggerot Hashmad (“A  Letter Concerning Apostasy”) was written in the year 1160 during a time when Almohades Muslims were forcing people everywhere to recite the Muslim Creed. Failure to comply meant execution.

One rabbinical scholar in Fez, Morocco exclaimed that any Jew who publicly uttered the Moslim confession–regardless whether they in truth practiced Judaism incognito—could no longer be considered a Jew. Outraged by this rabbi’s insensitive rabbinical response, Maimonides wrote a letter, where he demonstrates how this Moroccan rabbi  ...

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Why is Abel’s sacrifice accepted, while Cain’s is rejected?

4:4 וְהֶבֶל הֵבִיא גַם־הוּא מִבְּכֹרוֹת צֹאנוֹ וּמֵחֶלְבֵהֶן  – and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions—In contrast to the Scripture’s silence with regard to Cain’s sacrifice, considerable detail is lavished on the quality of Abel’s offering. First of all, he offered his “firstlings,” which the Torah would later view comes from the best of one’s flock. Second, he offered the animals’ fattest parts, i.e., he sacrificed his choicest animals.

Note that Abel does not ...

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