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<div class="moz-cite-prefix">On 7/3/2018 7:36 PM, Micha Berger
<pre wrap="">On Tue, Jul 03, 2018 at 04:51:41PM -0400, H Lampel wrote:
: I have not really studied Strauss. But in almost every description of the
: Strausian approach I've seen, the Rambam, to avoid persecution, secretly
: believed in Aristotelian eternity, a belief the Rambam vociferously fought
: against as heretical, one that would undermine the entire Torah...
The way I understood estoricism is that Strauss believed the Rambam had
beliefs that the masses would consider heretical, and therefore he hid
them. Not that the Rambam himself thought he was being a heretic, or
that his position was inconsistent with Chazal's.
<pre wrap="">So, why couldn't he believe Chazal were hiding the same truths from /their/ uneducated contemporaries?</pre>
The Rambam built he case that accepting Aristotle's version of an
eternal universe would topple the message of the Torah, repeatedly
describing Creation ex nihilo a y'sod of the Torah, denial of which
he declared heretical. So maybe what you mean to say is that Strauss
preached that although the Rambam considered himself a heretic, he
thought there's nothing wrong with being a heretic, because heresy
was the truth. And then, yes, Rambam thought Chazal as well secretly
held and hinted to in their Aggados views they publicly preached as
heretical. So yeah, if one could swallow that, the Strausian school
could be considered internally consistent. <br>
But regardless, it's not consistent with the facts or reason. The
Rambam constantly depicted the masses as the ones who accepted
Aristotle's eternity, and did not have the sophistication to see
doing so contradicted their following the Torah. Yet he went to
great lengths to counter that belief. Had he said nothing, the
masses would continue to hold the correct heretical belief in an
eternal universe while illogiclly continuing to keep the mitzvos. No
one asked the Rambam to buck the crowd and call Aristotle's view
heretical, but he did.<br>
As far as the Midrashim are concerned, it's the other way around.
The Rambam points out that on their face they often <i>are</i>
heretical (as are many pesukim depicting Hashem as a physical
entity) or otherwise unacceptable, and the masses accepted those
literal meanings. The Rambam struggled to convince his audience that
they required interpretation to remove the heresy and unacceptable
literal meanings. <br>
:> ... Although how the donkey could reach the level of knowledge the
:> Rambam would say would be necessary to experience a seikhel nivdal like
:> the mal'akh is beyond me. Leshitaso, was that the big neis?
: L'fi HaRambam, the entire episode was Bilaam's vision. He saw this
: story, including the donkey's seeing the angel and speaking to Bilaam
: [which was actually happening in the spiritual world, as you explain]
: being played out, meant to teach him the lessons he was meant to learn.
: This is how Abarbanel (on MN 2:42) explains the entire episode of the
: angels visiting Avraham, Sarai being in the tent and preparing food, etc.
Yes, that's who I cited.
But my problem stands. Bil'am saw a real event, and therefore he saw his
donkey having a real exchange with an angel. No problems with Bil'am's
witnessing the exchange, but I don't understand how the Rambam explains
that exchange itself.
However, the Rambam believes that nevu'ah comes from knowledge, and the
consequent connection to haSeikhel haPo'al / the Active Intellect. How
could the donkey have that exchange?</pre>
Bilaam was not seeing an earthly donkey. He was seeing a seichel
nivdal kind of donkey, which I would think is at home with other
such entities and with whom it is able to communicate. (For
readership's clarification, as you know, the issue isn't an earthly
donkey talking. Rambam accepts that such a temporary miracle is not
impossible. The only issue is that it is an impossibility for an
earthly donkey to make a connection with haSeikhel haPoel, a view
the Ramban shares.)<br>
: As I wrote,
: > The Rambam is explicitly speaking of contradicting /premises/ used
: > to give evidence for a point, not contradicting /points/. ...
: In their Hebrew translations, Ibn Tibbon, Shem Tob, Efodi, as well as KPCH
: speak of contradicting hakdamos. Pines accordingly speaks of contradicting
: premises. ...
CC-ing RSM. Here's a link to the original.
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.teachittome.com/seforim2/seforim/moreh_nevuchim_arabic.pdf#page=22">http://www.teachittome.com/seforim2/seforim/moreh_nevuchim_arabic.pdf#page=22</a>
(Page 22 of the pdf, page 11 of the book, the 7th reason starts on
From what I can make out (thanks to Rambam's occasional use of
Hebrew) this is where he begins talking about all seven seebos. The
Arabic Makdamah is obviously the Hebrew Hakdamah [to this subject],
and the next Arabic word, asba-av is obviously the Hebrew seebah.
The 7th reason for contradictions is on page 23 of the pdf, p. 12 of
the book. And there I again see the Arabic word makdamah, and
repeated twice in close proximity, matching the Hebrew translations
that have the word hakdamah twice in close proximity.<br>