[Avodah] Is a Teisch or Kumsitz Religiously Significant?

Simon Montagu simon.montagu at gmail.com
Tue Nov 9 08:22:26 PST 2021

On Fri, Nov 5, 2021 at 10:08 PM Micha Berger via Avodah <
avodah at lists.aishdas.org> wrote:

> I am not as sure. I think the Rambam's conception of G-d is so
> transcendent, there is no possibility of actual ahavah of Hashem
> Himself. In Yesodei haTorah 2:2 he talks more about love as thirst
> for knowledge ("miyad hu oheiv, umeshabeiach umfaeir umi'saveh ta'avah
> gedolah leida hasheim hagadol"). And his yir'ah is more about awareness
> of our limitation in contrast to the Temim Dei'os.

Hilchot Teshuva 10:5 (3 in the printed editions) seems to contradict this
https://mechon-mamre.org/i/1510.htm#5 and the Rambam's language in the
halacha you quoted, as well as the proof text "Sam'a nafshi..." which you
didn't quote, also seem to be on a much more emotional level than thirst
for knowledge. And is "knowledge" an adequate translation of "leida`"? I
think in this context it retains some of its connotations of the most
intimate forms of acquaintance.

Also, I'm not sure if it's accurate to describe the Rambam's derech as
"Aristotelian". Certainly Aristotle is part of the Rambam's intellectual
atmosphere (or the version of Aristotle filtered through Arabic authors),
but I wouldn't call him a defining influence. But that's probably too large
a subject to get into here and I don't know enough about either one or
lehavdil the other.
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