Download Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People by Menachem Kellner PDF

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By Menachem Kellner

Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish humans explores Maimonides' philosophical psychology, his ethics, his perspectives on prophecy, windfall, and immortality, his knowing of where of gentiles within the Messianic sector, his angle towards proselytes, his resolution to the query, "Who is a Jew?," his belief of the character of Torah, and his arguments about the nature of the selected humans. With appreciate to every of those matters, Kellner indicates that Maimonides followed positions that mirrored his emphasis on nurture over nature and his insistence that it truly is highbrow perfection and never ethnic association that's the most important.

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There is no compulsion on him nor is there any external cause which makes him incline towards a virtue or a vice, except for his being disposed by temperament so that something is easy or difficult for him-as we have explained. There is no way at all that he is forced or hindered. 16 Human beings are free; on this the Torah and philosophy agree. In order for them to be free, they cannot be born possessing either virtues or vices, for this would mean that we are no more to be honored and rewarded for our virtues than blamed and punished for our vices.

That this is indeed the case becomes clear when we read Maimonides's definition of the nature of prophecy: Know that the true reality and quiddity of prophecy consist in its being an emanation emanating from God, may He be cherished and honored, through the intermediation of the Active Intellect, toward the rational faculty in the first place and thereafter toward the imaginative faculty. This is the highest degree of man and the ultimate term of perfection that can exist for his species; and this state is the ultimate term of perfection for the imaginative faculty.

5 The Place of Gentiles in the Messianic Era Maimonides's views on the place of Gentiles in the messianic era are made possible and necessary by his philosophical psychology. According to Maimonides, as I will show in this chapter, the difference between Jew and Gentile will disappear by the time the messianic era reaches fruition. For my purposes, it is not important whether this comes about because the Gentiles will formally convert to Judaism, as I understand Maimonides to hold, or because the difference between the two will wither away and become irrelevant as other interpreters maintain.

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