Tag Archives: Maimonides

What Must We Believe?

By N.S. Palmer Are certain beliefs required to be a Jew in good standing? Moses Maimonides says yes. Moses Mendelssohn says no. (And yes. And no. Mendelssohn was all over the map on that issue.) Among religious Jews, Maimonides is … Continue reading

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Maimonides and Keeping the Commandments

By N.S. Palmer “God rewards those who perform the commandments of the Torah and punishes those who transgress its admonitions.”1 The Jewish sage Maimonides called that an essential tenet of our faith. But there’s something a little odd about it. … Continue reading

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Turning Around Spinoza’s Challenge

By N.S. Palmer Spinoza meant it as a taunt. But it might hold one of the keys to Jewish survival. Depending on where you sit, Baruch de Spinoza is either the founder of modern Jewish philosophy or Judaism’s deadliest critic. … Continue reading

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Is the Messiah Coming?

By N.S. Palmer Is the Jewish Messiah coming? Yes. But it’s complicated. Belief in a Messiah is central to the Jewish tradition. Maimonides listed it as a key principle of Judaism: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of … Continue reading

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Is Jewish Philosophy Bad for the Jews?

By N. S. Palmer Is Jewish philosophy bad for the Jews? I think it has to do with apple pie. Whatever it has to do with, it’s not an idle question. Moses Mendelssohn, the 18th-century philosopher who led the Jewish … Continue reading

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