A publishing sensation long at the top of the best-seller lists in Israel, the original Hebrew edition of Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism has been called the most successful book ever published in Israel on the preeminent medieval Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides.Read more...
A publishing sensation long at the top of the best-seller lists in Israel, the original Hebrew edition of Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism has been called the most successful book ever published in Israel on the preeminent medieval Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides. The works of Maimonides, particularly The Guide for the Perplexed, are reckoned among the fundamental texts that influenced all subsequent Jewish philosophy and also proved to be highly influential in Christian and Islamic thought.
Spanning subjects ranging from God, prophecy, miracles, revelation, and evil, to politics, messianism, reason in religion, and the therapeutic role of doubt, Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism elucidates the complex ideas of The Guide in remarkably clear and engaging prose.
Drawing on his own experience as a central figure in the current Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and spirituality, Micah Goodman brings Maimonides's masterwork into dialogue with the intellectual and spiritual worlds of twenty-first-century readers. Goodman contends that in Maimonides's view, the Torah's purpose is not to bring clarity about God but rather to make us realize that we do not understand God at all; not to resolve inscrutable religious issues but to give us insight into the true nature and purpose of our lives.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-13
- Reviewer: Staff
In this eagerly awaited English version of a popular Hebrew original, Goodman (research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Israel) unpacks Moses Maimonides's Guide for the Perplexed, suitable for both spiritual seekers and intellectually curious laypeople. Goodman explicates the Maimonides's views of God and prophecy, nature and evil, and humanity and leadership, revealing the didactic purpose behind the Guide's many perplexing contradictions. In addition, he addresses how to put Maimonides's more narrowly Judeocentric legal works (such as the Mishneh Torah) into the context of a more universal worldview as it appears in the Guide. Goodman's explanation of Maimonides's Guide concentrates on the most fundamental question of the Guide: what constitutes a life well-lived? Goodman considers the aim of the Guide in its original context and its impact on Judaism in previous ages, as well as its continued relevance, particularly its value to people living in a post-modernist, skeptical age. As Americans show increased interest in Jewish religion and culture in Israel, this English edition is likely to have great appeal. (May)