Sunday, May 10, 2009

Harambam - A Collection Of Essays Edited By Professor Aviezer Ravitzky

I just finished reading several articles in a collection of essays on Rambam edited by Professor Aviezer Ravitzky. Professor Ravitzky, for the last several years has been suffering from the aftermaths of a very serious traffic accident and we all wish him a refuah shleimah, so I imagine this book was in the works before and only printed lately. It is available at here and is well worthwhile if you are a Hebrew reader.

Articles that I found especially outstanding:

Professor Gad Freudenthal - The Four Spheres In Rambam's Cosmos: Four Notes on MN 2:9-10.

A very intriguing understanding of Rambam's fascination with the number Four and its repercussions on his interpretation of Ma'asseh Merkavah - The Vision Of The Chariot in Yechezkel. This article really stands out and the two volumes are well worth if only for this essay.

Professor Lawrence Kaplan - Diminshing Esotericism and the Goal of Moreh Nevuchim -

Addresses the boundaries between Ma'asseh Breishit and Ma'asseh Merkava.

One article I found extremely superficial .

Professor Alfred Ivry - Moshe in Rambam's Thought.

He is trying to argue that Rambam in reality did not see Moshe as different. I am tired of these articles who are trying to show that Rambam did not mean what he said. They are all competing with Leo Strauss trying to show how much they can distort the great man's words.


  1. What is the true position of Leo Strauss? In the yeshiva world I have heard many negative things about him.

  2. The idea that Rambam has esoteric positions, in other words, what he says is not always what he means is an old theory that the early medieval commentators noted. In fact Rambam himself insinuates in his Hakdamah that he will obfuscate at times. Strauss took that idea to extremes. His followers went to great lengths to try and show that he almost never meant what he said. That is what I was referring to. As far as him as a person I have no idea and it should not matter - Kabel et ha'emet mimi she'omrah. The funny part is that Strauss himself is guilty in his writings of the same thing he accuses Rambam of. He is almost impossible to understand.