15 12, 2019

The Chanukah story does not criticize the Greeks

By |2019-12-15T09:31:29-07:00December 15th, 2019|Thoughts|

Many people are mistakenly convinced that the Jewish holiday of Chanukah celebrates the victory of the Jewish religion over Hellenism and that the enemy was Greece. Neither supposed fact is true. The Jews in Judea, Egypt and other countries of the diaspora had a longstanding favorable relationship with the Greeks and Hellenism well before and [...]

12 11, 2017

Did we sin?

By |2017-11-12T06:48:20-07:00November 12th, 2017|Thoughts|

  I bought a statue of the famed philosopher Aristotle. It is covered in heavy bronze. It is 14.25 inches tall. It looks great. I placed it next to the Maimonides books that I wrote because Aristotle (384-322 BCE) and Maimonides (1138-1204 CE) are my favorite philosophers. Both are rationalists. Socrates taught Plato, Plato taught [...]

22 01, 2017

Maimonides took most of his ideas from Aristotle

By |2017-01-22T05:27:01-07:00January 22nd, 2017|Thoughts|

The following is the second chapter from my third book on Maimonides called "Maimonides: Reason Above All." I gave my book this name because both he and Aristotle were convinced that the most important part of humans is their ability to reason, something most humans do not do.               [...]

1 06, 2014

Beha’alotcha – Maimonides vs. Aristotle on the Golden Mean

By |2014-06-01T06:54:24-07:00June 1st, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                            Beha’alotcha                                                           Maimonides vs. Aristotle on the Golden Mean[1]   Numbers 12:3 informs us that “the man Moses was very humble, more than any person on the face of the earth.” Midrash Sifrei elaborates: although Moses’s humility did not hinder him from confronting Pharaoh and demanding the release of the Israelites from the [...]

2 03, 2014

Plato’s Seventh Letter

By |2014-03-02T08:44:39-07:00March 2nd, 2014|Thoughts|

  The Seventh Letter By Plato Forgotten Books, 2008, 38 pages ISBN 978-1606200131 Cost: $5.59   Scholars disagreed whether Plato wrote this short book, but the consensus today is that he or one of his close students did write this very revealing book. Plato (428/427-348/347 BCE) was one of the world’s greatest philosophers. He was [...]

11 10, 2013

Philosophers reject the concept of grace

By |2013-10-11T07:05:45-07:00October 11th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                   By Israel Drazin     Philosophers and thinkers generally reject many religious concepts. There is no religious concept more anathema to them than grace. Grace is commonly understood as God’s free unearned love given generously by a loving deity. It is unearned for there is nothing that people can do to merit God’s [...]

15 08, 2013

Aristotle and the soul

By |2013-08-15T22:49:02-07:00August 15th, 2013|Thoughts|

                       By Israel Drazin     The popular concept today is that there is a “soul,” a person’s personality that is separate from the body, survives the body’s death, and lives on for eternity. While accepted as axiomatic by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, is not in the Hebrew Bible. The idea was taken from ancient pagan [...]

28 05, 2012

Religion or Science? And Can we be Rational?

By |2012-05-28T06:02:48-07:00May 28th, 2012|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                             By Israel Drazin   A very knowledgeable reader of my writings wrote to me asking two questions. The first was: do I think religious people should study philosophy or science? The question was prompted by my use of the word philosophy frequently.   I understand that the great Greek and Jewish philosophers Aristotle [...]

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 [...]

7 11, 2011

What is the Soul?

By |2011-11-07T06:49:06-07:00November 7th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   I don’t think that people need to believe that a soul exists.   The currently-used Hebrew word for soul is nefesh. Nefesh is in the Torah, but it does not mean soul in Scripture. It means “a person” or “life force.” Thus when Leviticus 2:1 speaks of a nefesh bringing an [...]

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