6 02, 2017

Were the Ten Plagues Miracles?

By |2017-02-06T06:48:47-07:00February 6th, 2017|Thoughts|

                The following essay is chapter 24 in my third book on Maimonides: Maimonides, Reason Above All.                                                               [...]

29 01, 2017

Who was Maimonides’ son?

By |2017-01-29T06:25:41-07:00January 29th, 2017|Thoughts|

                                           The following essay is chapter 5 in my book Maimonides: Reason Above All                                           [...]

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.               [...]

6 11, 2016

The truth about messiahs

By |2016-11-06T07:16:12-07:00November 6th, 2016|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                                                                The truth about Messiahs   There are many books about the messiah. Some claim that we can expect a miraculous appearance of the messiah. Some, such as Patai’s and Rabow’s books tell about the dozens of false messiahs that appeared in the past and continue to appear today. Still others, such as Maimonides’s [...]

19 06, 2016

Rabbi Soloveitchik’s misunderstanding of Maimonides (?)

By |2016-06-19T06:26:59-07:00June 19th, 2016|Book Reviews|

Maimonides Between Philosophy and Halakhah Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s lectures on the Guide of the Perplexed Edited with an introduction by Lawrence J. Kaplan Forward by Dove Schwartz Ktav Publishing and Urim Publications, 2016, 256 pages   This book is interesting because it shows the basic ideas of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s thinking, but readers should not [...]

25 05, 2016

Baruch Spinoza Borrowed His Basic Philosophy from ibn Ezra and Maimonides

By |2016-05-25T11:28:16-07:00May 25th, 2016|Thoughts|

                  Baruch Spinoza Borrowed His Basic Philosophy from ibn Ezra and Maimonides   Non-Jews consider Baruch (or Benedict) de Spinoza an esteemed philosopher. Many feel that he breathed fresh air into philosophy and helped launch the open-minded enlightenment in the seventeenth century. Rebecca Goldstein, in her 2006 [...]

3 04, 2016

Who was Maimonides’ son?

By |2016-04-03T05:03:42-07:00April 3rd, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                                    Abraham, Son of Maimonides                                   [...]

6 03, 2016

Did the Sun Stand Still for Joshua at Gibeon?

By |2016-03-06T06:28:58-07:00March 6th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                     Did the Sun Stand Still for Joshua at Gibeon?   Joshua 10 narrates an astounding story. Joshua, Moses’ successor. and the Israelite forces fought against five southern Canaanite kingdoms and defeated them. Then Joshua sang a song praising God for causing the sun to stand still over the city of Gibeon and extending [...]

5 02, 2016

Maimonides and modern scientists on the miraculous parting of waters

By |2016-02-05T07:16:35-07:00February 5th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                            Maimonides and modern scientists on the miraculous parting of waters             Maimonides was convinced that God does not perform miracle. In his Guide of the Perplexed 2:48, he wrote that whenever the Bible reports that God caused a phenomenon to happen, it should be understood that the event was a natural occurrence. He explains [...]

20 01, 2016

There are not 613 Biblical Commands

By |2016-01-29T05:45:47-07:00January 20th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                           There are not 613 Biblical Commands   There is a concept that there are 613 biblical commands. However, a careful examination reveals that there is no biblical teaching that there are 613 commands, and there are far less than 613 biblical commands.   Rabbi Simlai’s Sermon The first report that the Torah [...]

18 01, 2016

Must a Jew Comply with a Rabbinical Decision He Knows to Be Wrong?

By |2016-01-18T05:50:15-07:00January 18th, 2016|Thoughts|

Must a Jew Comply with a Rabbinical Decision He Knows to Be Wrong?   Rabbi Solomon Yitzchaqi (1040–1105), better known as Rashi, the acronym of his name, makes a rather remarkable and, in the mind of many, counterintuitive statement in his commentary to Deuteronomy 17:11. In the commentary, he states that a Jew is not [...]

13 01, 2016

Hasdai Crescas: Jewish Philosophy Unintentionally Including Christian Beliefs

By |2016-01-13T09:50:18-07:00January 13th, 2016|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                   Hasdai Crescas: Jewish Philosophy Unintentionally Including Christian Beliefs One of the most tragic occurrences in Judaism’s long history is the frequent absorption of alien, often heathen and Christian notions.[1] This occurred not only amongst the uneducated masses; rabbis fell prey to this phenomenon as well, simply because they did not know Jewish history [...]

11 01, 2016

The non-biblical notion of holiness

By |2016-01-11T08:47:51-07:00January 11th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                                  The non-biblical notion of holiness   The concept of “holiness,” meaning that something or someone is sacred does not exist in the Bible. The biblical Hebrew word kedushah, which is usually translated today as “holiness” means “separate.” When the Bible asserts that God is holy it signifies that God is totally separate [...]

6 01, 2016

The origin of the strange concept called sin

By |2016-01-06T06:46:15-07:00January 6th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                                               The Origin of Sin                                     There is no concept of “sin” in the Hebrew Bible as a distorting stain upon the soul that requires a kind of supernatural atonement or cleansing process, as the concept is understood today. To the contrary, wrong behavior is seen in scripture in a rational, natural way. [...]

3 01, 2016

The Rejection of Maimonides’ “Jewish Beliefs” by Recognized Jewish Scholars and Rabbis

By |2016-01-03T08:25:25-07:00January 3rd, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                                                The Rejection of Maimonides’ “Jewish Beliefs”                                               by Recognized Jewish Scholars and Rabbis   Studying Maimonidean thought means coming into contact with rational ideas that are not considered mainstream in Jewish philosophy. In his The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles Reappraised, Marc B. Shapiro examines the thirteen principles that Moses Maimonides [...]

27 12, 2015

What does Maimonides teach?

By |2015-12-27T06:15:53-07:00December 27th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                                                    What does Maimonides teach?   The great philosopher Maimonides is misunderstood by many people, most of whom need to see him saying what he never said.   Maimonides’ God Maimonides’ God is transcendental, meaning God is not involved in the daily activities of the world. God either created the world out of [...]

23 12, 2015

Is the Bible Really the Source of Philosophy?

By |2015-12-23T04:07:01-07:00December 23rd, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                     Is the Bible Really the Source of Philosophy?   One of the fundamental questions posed by Jewish philosophers has always been, ironically, whether Judaism has a philosophy at all and where that philosophy stems from. Many people consider Philo the first Jewish philosopher, claiming that he introduced Greek ideas into Jewish thought. Yet he [...]

13 12, 2015

Maimonides’ Great Secret

By |2015-12-13T05:56:34-07:00December 13th, 2015|Thoughts|

Maimonides’ Great Secret: A New Understanding of the Bible   One of the most overlooked revelations of Maimonides, one that profoundly affects how the Bible should be interpreted, is the clarification that he gives in his Guide of the Perplexed 2:48. This important insight is contained in the last chapter of the second of his [...]

25 11, 2015

Maimonides’ Concealed True Teachings: Prophecy and Angels

By |2015-11-25T05:48:49-07:00November 25th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                      Maimonides’ Concealed True Teachings: Prophecy and Angels   Even in his youth, philosophy was an integral part of Maimonides’ life (1138-1204). He wrote a volume on logic when he was still quite young – scholars are uncertain of the exact date, but suppose that he composed his first works in his early twenties. He [...]

13 09, 2015

Maimonides vs. Daf Yomi

By |2015-09-13T02:49:01-07:00September 13th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                                        Maimonides vs. Daf Yomi   There is a problem with those who study the Talmud (known colloquially as “learning the Talmud”). Most of these people do not really understand what is being read, why the Talmud states what it states, what are the different versions in other parts of the Talmud, in [...]

6 08, 2015

Maimonides, Abarbanel, and Cognitive Dissonance

By |2015-08-06T03:56:23-07:00August 6th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                               Maimonides, Abarbanel, and Cognitive Dissonance   Isaac Abarbanel, a highly intelligent fifteenth and sixteenth century Bible Commentator, used his introduction to the biblical book Amos to express his difference with Maimonides on the issue of prophecy. Abarbanel insisted that the view about prophecy held by most people, that prophecy is miraculous, is correct, [...]

2 08, 2015

The brilliant teachings of Maimonides

By |2015-08-02T06:37:34-07:00August 2nd, 2015|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                                                              Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed   One of the most significant and life changing books ever written is Moses Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed. Maimonides lived from 1138 to 1204. Many people consider him the most important person since Moses who handed Israel God’s revelation. Others are convinced that he is far better [...]

23 07, 2015

The Cherubim and Guide 3:32

By |2015-07-23T06:06:51-07:00July 23rd, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                                  The Cherubim and Guide 3:32   Last week I wrote about the Ark of the Covenant that had two angle-like figures on its top and two poles protruding at its bottom. I showed that the ark, its top, and bottom remarkably resembled the ark used by the Egyptians before the Torah was revealed. [...]