Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People

Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People

Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People

Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People

Synopsis

Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People explores Maimonides philosophical psychology, his ethics, his views on prophecy, providence, and immortality, his understanding of the place of gentiles in the Messianic area, his attitude toward proselytes, his answer to the question, Who is a Jew?, his conception of the nature of Torah, and his arguments concerning the nature of the Chosen People. With respect to each of these issues, Kellner shows that Maimonides adopted positions that reflected his emphasis on nurture over nature and his insistence that it is intellectual perfection and not ethnic affiliation which is crucial."

Excerpt

Some time ago I published an essay in which I set forth my understanding of Maimonides's vision of the messianic future, according to which, the distinction between Jew and Gentile will disappear by the time the messianic era reaches full maturity. I gave a copy of the essay to my learned neighbor, Mr. Asher Waggenberg. After reading the essay Mr. Waggenberg told me that although he did not contest any of the things I had to say, he still could not bring himself to believe that the position I imputed to Maimonides could really be his. I told him that in his honor I would write an essay in which I explained why the Rambam had to adopt the position I ascribed to him. This study is the result of that promise.

In this book, as in my earlier Maimonides on Human Perfection, I seek to present and analyze fairly and disinterestedly, certain themes in Maimonides's writings; I also seek to present and defend a particular interpretation of Maimonides. It was my intention to keep the two sufficiently separate so that even those who remain unconvinced by my interpretation can benefit from the exposition and analysis here presented; I hope that I have succeeded.

I have transliterated Hebrew and Arabic terms without diacritical marks; I did this not only because it was technically much simpler, but because those familiar with the languages . . .

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