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.”

( 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].