Intro to the Guide of the Perplexed
Teacher Title Abstract
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #01: Who Are the “Perplexed?” The Rambam, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, was born in 1138 in Cordova, Spain, to a family of respected lineage. In 1148 Spain was invaded by zealous Muslims who came from North Africa, and the Rambam's family was forced to leave Cordova.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #02: How Should the Guide Be Studied? In this shiur we shall continue our study of the Rambam's introduction to the Guide, with an emphasis on the literary nature of the book.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #03: The Sin of the Tree of Knowledge – "Necessary Truths" and "Apparent Truths" The first chapter of the Guide addresses the interpretation of the words "tzelem" (image) and "demut" (form).
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #04: Stages and Boundaries in the Study of Esoteric Wisdom As we have already seen, much of the Guide of the Perplexed is devoted to linguistic exegetical explanations of how different passages in Tanakh should be read.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #05: Placing Boundaries on Knowledge Following his discussion of the limitations of the human intellect, the Rambam proceeds to justify his literary and educational approach, which favors reserving some knowledge for an intellectual elite.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #06: Negating Personification – for Scholars or for the Masses? One of the most important and lasting influences of the Rambam's philosophy is the rejection of the notion of God's corporeality.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #07: Imitatio Dei – The Ways of Leadership Following the sin of the golden calf, Moshe succeeds in appeasing God and persuading Him not to annihilate the Jewish people.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #08: Names and the Problem of Religious Language: "Guide of the Perplexed" vs. "An'im Zemirot" In our introduction to the Guide, we noted that the Rambam defines the aims of his work as being focused on the linguistic realm.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #09: Negative Attributes In chapter fifty-eight of Book I of the Guide, the Rambam presents another element in his theory of divine attributes.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #10: The Unity of Knowledge- The Knower- The Known In order to understand the Rambam's metaphysics regarding the unity of knowledge, the knower, and the known, we must first acquire a basic familiarity with the Aristotelian philosophical view.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #11: Proofs for the Existence of God In Book I of his Guide of the Perplexed, the Rambam addresses mainly the problem of religious language.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #12: Was the World Created? In chapter thirteen of Book II of the Guide, the Rambam presents three opinions concerning the creation or origin of the universe.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #13: Belief in the Creation and the Plain Meaning of the Torah In chapter twenty-five of Book II of the Guide, the Rambam explains why, in this situation of uncertainty, he prefers the creationist view and rejects the eternal view.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #14: Prophecy and the Revelation at Sinai The Rambam devotes several chapters of Book II of the Guide to his understanding of prophecy.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #15: The Prophecy of Moshe vs. the Prophecy of Other Prophets The Rambam precedes his description of the mechanism of prophecy with a clarification:
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #16: Prophets, Sages, Leaders In the last few shiurim we have discussed prophecy as the Rambam understands it, the psychological mechanism behind the phenomenon, and its ramifications.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #17: The Problem of Evil in the World The problem of evil or injustice in the world has occupied humanity since antiquity.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #18: The Purpose of the World In chapter thirteen of Book II of the Guide, the Rambam addresses the question of the purpose of the world.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #19: Divine Providence In chapter seventeen in book III of the Guide, the Rambam discusses God's guidance of the world. He presents five different views in this regard.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #20: Are There Reasons for the Commandments? A good portion of Book III of the Guide is devoted to the question of the reasons for the mitzvot. We shall look at some of what the Rambam writes on this topic in chapter twenty-six and in chapter thirty-one.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #21: The Purpose of the Torah and the Reasons for the Mitzvot In the previous shiur we saw the Rambam's firm view that there are reasons for all of the mitzvot.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #22: The Reasons for the Mitzvot: the War on Idolatry As part of his discussion of the reasons for the mitzvot, the Rambam proposes that many are aimed at combatting and eliminating idolatry.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #23: The Reasons for the Mitzvot of Sacrifices The Rambam introduces his discussion of the sacrifices, in chapter thirty-two of Book III of the Guide, with an assertion concerning the biological realm: every creature develops gradually.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #24: Punishment for Sins In his explanation of the reasons for mitzvot, the Rambam also discusses the various punishments set forth in the Torah.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #25: “The Way of the Majority”: Is the Torah Suited to Everyone? Chapter thirty-four of Book III of the Guide is extremely short. Nevertheless, its content has given rise to considerable controversy, continuing to our own times.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #26: The Parable of the Palace and the Special Duties of Those who Attain Truths In the next few shiurim we will examine the final four chapters of the Guide (Book III, chapters 51-54), which are of special importance for understanding the Rambam's way of thinking.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #27: The Spiritual World of Those who Attain Truths In the previous shiur we saw that in chapter fifty-one of Book III, the Rambam draws a sharp distinction between the spiritual world of the masses, who are meant to occupy themselves with the acquisition of knowledge, and the spiritual world of the exalted individuals who have attained truths.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #28: Kindness, Righteousness and Justice: Is Supreme Perfection Reflected in Knowledge or in Moral Action? We will conclude our study of the Guide with an examination of a subject that occupies a central place in chapters fifty-three and fifty-four.
שיעורי טקסט Rav Chaim Navon Shiur #29: The Rambam's Teachings for Our Generation We shall conclude our journey through the Guide of the Perplexed by considering the relevance of the Rambam's teaching for our era.