5 10, 2019

Ancient rabbis disagreed on how to interpret the Torah

By |2019-10-05T22:11:10-07:00October 5th, 2019|Philosophy, Thoughts|

  Two Talmudic sages lived around 130 CE and disagreed on how to interpret the Bible. Rabbi Akiva won out, and Rashi, Nachmanides, and most ancient Bible commentators as well as most Midrashim follow his view. Others, such as Rashi’s grandson Rashbam, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Maimonides interpret the Torah as Rabbi Ishmael.   Rabbi [...]

24 09, 2019

A new book on Jewish philosophy

By |2019-09-24T21:13:30-07:00September 24th, 2019|Philosophy|

“Judaism Reclaimed: Philosophy and Theology in the Torah,” by Shmuel Phillips, a rabbi and lawyer with a law degree from the University of London, is a book filled with interesting information inspired by his understanding of the views of Maimonides and Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. The book has thoughtful articles often prompted by all of [...]

22 05, 2012

People should be reasonable, not moral

By |2012-05-22T04:43:18-07:00May 22nd, 2012|Philosophy, Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                                                By Israel Drazin   In my discussion on “Are intelligent people moral,” I wrote that Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) taught in his Guide of the Perplexed 1:2 that people should work to develop their thinking and understanding by studying the sciences and logic, and make life decisions based on what they learnt, on [...]

20 05, 2012

An explanation of the biblical Book of Job

By |2012-10-22T13:14:47-07:00May 20th, 2012|Philosophy, Thoughts|

    The book Job is composed of three parts: a prologue, an epilogue, and the main body of the tale. Many scholars are convinced that the prologue and epilogue are later additions to the original, the body of the tale; it is different in tone and portrays God in a radically distinctive manner. These [...]

21 02, 2011

Who is Gersonides?

By |2011-03-15T09:22:31-07:00February 21st, 2011|Book Reviews, Philosophy, Thoughts|

Torah in the Observatory: Gersonides, Maimonides, Song of Songs                                         By Menachem Kellner Academic Studies Press, 2010, 374 pages   Reviewed by Israel Drazin   Menachem Kellner is one of the most knowledgeable scholars of Maimonides and Gersonides, the author of many books and articles about them and philosophy generally, and his new book is a [...]

18 02, 2011

Maimonides vs. Rashi – Maimonides wins

By |2011-03-15T09:23:24-07:00February 18th, 2011|Book Reviews, Philosophy, Thoughts|

Between Rashi and Maimonides Themes in Medieval Jewish Thought, Literature and Exeg Edited by E. Kanarfogel and M. Sokolow Ktav Publishing House, 2010, 341 pages   Reviewed by Israel Drazin   This is a collection of fifteen scholarly articles discussing the two great sages Rashi (1040-1105) and Maimonides (1138-1204) who lived almost exactly a century [...]

18 02, 2011

Maimonides teaches that intellectuals should not be moral

By |2012-05-03T10:33:05-07:00February 18th, 2011|Philosophy, Thoughts|

An Intelligent Person is not Moral                                                                                                       By Israel Drazin       Morals are rules of proper conduct, what is good and what is bad. They inform people how to live a proper and safe life. Moral deeds seem to be what all people should do. But is this true?       Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) seems [...]

8 02, 2011

Maimonides’ descendants rejected his philosophy

By |2012-05-03T10:36:10-07:00February 8th, 2011|Book Reviews, Jewish Books, Philosophy, Thoughts|

  The Treaties of the Pool By Obadyah son of Abraham son of Maimonides Translated with commentary by Paul Felton The Octagon Press, 1981, 146 pages   Maimonides (1138-1204), was the rationalist par excellence, the greatest Jewish thinker. Yet neither his son Abraham nor grandson Obadyah, who wrote this book, nor any of his descendants, [...]

31 01, 2011

My Favorite Review

By |2011-02-10T08:45:30-07:00January 31st, 2011|Book Reviews, Jewish Books, Philosophy|

Readers of Gil Yehuda's review of my book Maimonides: Reason Above All will understand why I like it better than all the other reviews about my writings.   I enjoying Dr. Israel Drazin’s book, Maimonides: Reason Above All, and I wanted to share this review.  First I’ll summarize the structure and content of the book.  Then I’ll [...]

16 01, 2011

Does the Soul Survive the Body’s Death?

By |2011-03-15T09:34:44-07:00January 16th, 2011|Philosophy, Thoughts|

The Concept of the Soul and the After-Life                                       By                            Israel Drazin   Many people are afraid of death. Although there is no indication, not even a hint, in the Hebrew Bible about a soul, life after death, and an abode for people in a place called heaven, they convince themselves that [...]

6 01, 2011

Why Bad Occurs to Good People

By |2011-03-15T09:49:52-07:00January 6th, 2011|Book Reviews, Jewish Books, Philosophy, Thoughts|

Where’s My Miracle Exploring Jewish Traditions for Dealing with Tragedy By Morey Schwartz Gefen Publishing House, 2010, 191 pages   Reviewed by Israel Drazin   Schwartz examines the many answers that Jewish sages offered to the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” He writes in easily understandable English with full, but [...]

27 12, 2010

Conversations about Maimonides

By |2011-03-15T10:09:39-07:00December 27th, 2010|Philosophy, Thoughts|

Conversations about Maimonides With Israel Drazin In view of the anniversary of Moses Maimonides’ death on December 27, 2010 – he died in 1204, 806 years ago – a reader of Dr. Israel Drazin’s four books on Maimonides asked him the following questions. Question: People say about Maimonides that “from Moses to Moses there was none [...]