Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is the Moreh Nevuchim a Guide for the "perplexed" - The views of R Y. Sarna and S. Lieberman

In the Preface to his biography of Maimonides, J. Kramer records a conversation he had with Saul Lieberman:

I told him that my main interest was Maimonides' philosophy. He asked me, "For whom did Maimoides write the Moreh Nevukhim"."For the Nevukhim " I responded. "Kraemer," he asked, "do you want to be a Navokh". [Possibly playing with the yiddish word Nebich? - W.], &C.

By contrast, in Volume 5 of R' Yecheske Sarna's Daliyot Yecheskel,there is is a discussion on many important works of Machshavah, including of course the Moreh. Section 3 pg. 148 - 142 is titled "For whom did Maimonides write the Guide."

[I wonder if an analysis of the Biblical trm "Navokh" ( as in) כי נבוכים הם בארץ is relevant or is the Arabic term - دلالة الحائرين - dalālat alḥā’irīn - of greater importance here.]

He argues based on Maimonides' statements in his introduction that the Rambam doesn't write ofr those with mistaken beliefs (תועים) but for those who are of strong belief but are not sure of the correct meaning of various unclear pesukim, and the like.


Moti Kagan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wolf2191 said...

There is a whole lot more to Moreh Nevuchim then the "Aristotelian" stuff. EG, Kramer points out that he finds Rambam's view on the question of theodicy far convincing then any modern post-holocaust theology.

Even if the Aristotelian issue is not that relevant today, the way Rambam dealt with this problem is a model for how to deal with out Modern issues.

Moti Kagan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Creative Commons License
Ishim V' Shittos by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at