- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Behrman House, Inc.; First Edition edition (1972)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0874412064
- ISBN-13: 978-0874412062
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Maimonides Reader (Library of Jewish Studies) First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Look no further. Twersky's "A Maimonides Reader" is all this, and in translations that surely echo the beauty and swift incisive thought of the Arabic originals. (Maimonides also wrote in Hebrew and Spanish but this selection is mostly from the Arabic spoken in his native Cordoba.) His birthplace and early residence now is a place of pilgrimage in the still-extant Juderia in Cordoba. It is not far from the Moorish Mesquita, a mosque where 40,000 could unroll their prayer-rugs, sadly later architectually raped by their Most Catholic et cetera by ripping out much of the interior to insert a sort of Gothic cathedral.
The only remaining synagogue in Cordoba is near the statue to Mainmonides and the architecture echoes his thought. Of utmost simplicity, like the columned Mesquita, there is nothing to distract thought, the worshippers concentrating wholly on the Lord.
To Maimonides, the perfect man loves the Lord with all his heart, mind, and soul. He is filled with love for the Lord, only of the Lord, thinking constantly, exclusively of the Lord, disdaining all else except as needed to avoid shameful economic dependence on others. Even then, the perfect man's limbs may move but his thoughts dwell entirely on his Lord.
Many of the excepts exhort us to strive for this perfection that we may share in the world to come. Maimonides brings subtle,close reasoning to such beliefs. Those familiar with Abelard's efforts to harmonize faith and reason or with the nature of proof and argument in these long-ago centuries will find Maimonides' arguments familiar. Proof comes from Biblical citations, the Bible being inerrant, as well as from the works of the sages: many citations and no apparent search for counter citations. He regards the Bible as poetic, rather than entirely literal, however, as in his teaching on the Song of Songs.
That's the way it was then as the accepted intellectual method, just as it was accepted to refer to young children, women, and imbeciles as those who are not to be exposed to the fine and subtle arguments because they are incapable of understanding. Thanks a lot, fellas, but at least you offered increasingly complex, rich, deep teachings so the children (male) could advance if they choose toward the perfect man.
My review should be, however, about Twersky's splendid reader, not about my take in 2012 of Maimonides. He was a giant for his time and ours, too, and this is a superb reader. An excellent value, leading one to buy and study copies of the full books of which these readings are excerpts. And if these are parts, what must the whole be like and how did one man, even in a long long life, have the power and strength to write so much and so wisely!
"Theology is the Menu; Religion is the Meal".- Martin Buber.
The Torah, both spoken and written describes all of the acts of Worshipping and living in a virtuous manner which a person should try to follow (religiously) as his path toward Righteousness. It is the way to achieve Health, Wealth and Happiness in this life.
What one believes, is less important than how one behaves. Virtue has its own rewards! Read the Book!
We passed them on to a dear friend. I believe the final resting place for many to enjoy will be
donated to the local library.
Thank you, for the amazing experience.
For Rambam the highest aim of the religious life is attaining the intellectual love of God. He says in the 'Mishneh Torah' that when we perform certain precepts like putting on tefillin, or saying Shema we are helped in achieving the purpose of always loving God, and being ever mindful of Him.