My fiend the philosophy professor Dr. Raphi Jospe who was also one of the editors of the Jewish Encyclopedia sent me the following and said I can pass it along.
See what happens when American legislators don’t study medieval Jewish philosophy. In the news:
An Ohio state representative says he won’t wear a mask because it dishonors God. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face coverings for helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“This is the greatest nation on earth founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. One of those principles is that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen the most by our face. I will not wear a mask,” Rep. Nino Vitale, a Republican, wrote on Facebook. “That’s the image of God right there, and I want to see it in my brothers and sisters.”
(https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ohio-lawmaker-refuses-to-wear-mask-because-he-says-it-dishonors-god/ar-BB13GES1?ocid=spartandhp) 6 May 2020
This guy ought to read Guide of the Perplexed 1:1, that “the term image (ẓelem) is applied to the natural form . . . It is the true reality of the thing. . . . That which was meant in the scriptural dictum ‘let us make man in our image’ was the specific form, which is intellectual apprehension, not the shape and configuration” (Shlomo Pines translation).
Rep. Vitale apparently also forgot to look at one of the 23 marble relief portraits over the gallery doors of the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol depicting historical figures noted for their work establishing the principles that underlie American law.
But I suppose it’s appropriate to make that error on “Facebook” and it seems that instead of studying Rambam Mr. Vitale took a course in art history and was confused by Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” [where the artist painted a picture of God].
I do not comprehend what Phi Silver wrote about Ben Gurion and Richard Dawkin. I have no idea what he wanted to say in relation to this post about Maimonides. I can only guess that he wanted to share some view. Here is another David Ben-Gurion quote:
“This is our native land; it is not as birds of passage that we return to it. But it is situated in an area engulfed by Arabic-speaking people, mainly followers of Islam. Now, if ever, we must do more than make peace with them; we must achieve collaboration and alliance on equal terms.”
“To me it is clear that God was ‘created’ in the image of man as the latter’s explanation to himself of the mystery of his own earthly presence. More of that in another chapter.
The Bible, taking man as deriving from God, defines Adam as God’s surrogate on earth. God surpasses man and the latter cannot even conceive Him as a whole. Yet, we are told, God is the embodiment of love, justice, mercy. When Torah speaks of man being in His image it means he must strive to possess these qualities”.
RECOLLECTIONS David Ben-Gurion
Edited by Thomas R. Bransten
RICHARD DAWKINS SAID:
“The God of the Old Testament/is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
WHAT RICHARD DAWKINS NOW HAS TO SAY IS:
“The Jew of Zionist Israeli is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
“THE BIBLE IS OUR MANDATE.” David Ben Gurion
“We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid Galilee of its Arab population.”
— David Ben-Gurion (Founding Father of the State of Israel and First Israeli Prime Minister), from Ben-Gurion, a Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar (May 1948)
Very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to send this.
Of course, Richard Dawkins is wrong. Rabbi Sacks proved that in a debate he had with him. G-d, at least according to the Jewish tradition is a loving benevolent Being. The Bible clearly demonstrates this. Rambam wrote that G-d is good.
Mr. Vitale is clearly ignorant. He is bowing to the dicta of Trump but chooses to say that he does so in the name of religion. That makes what he does acceptable in both politics and religion.
I would posit that Michael Angelo painted a picture of what he described as God. But we humans have no understanding of God and his image. Moshe Rabbenu asked Hashem, “Hereini es Kevodecha”. That was after the Maaseh Haegel, and since he won his argument with Hashem so that Hshem did not destroy Bnei Yisroel and make him into the leader of a different nation, he askes Hashem to allow him to become a partner. hashem puts Moshe in his place and from that time on, Moshe Rabbenu is called “Ish” Moshe and becomes of Anuv as we know him.
I even heard from a rabbi that there are several statues of Rambam in Washington, D.C.