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29.11.10

Rambam rational

There was traditionally a school of thought that thought there was a mystical element in the Guide for the Perplexed of Maimonides. The mystic Abraham Abulafia wrote a whole mystical commentary on that book and also said the secret of the redemption is contained in the first 40 chapters of the Guide.


The Rashba however was not thrilled by Avraham Abulafia. I have mixed feeling about the Rashba. His letters attacking the Guide for the Perplexed of the Rambam and the great mystic,  Avraham Abulfia annoy me. And yet he is quoted by the Maharsha. In general you can see people that were against the Rambam still being quoted by the great achronim (later authorities) like  Akiva Eiger. So who am I to judge? If the Maharsha saw value in the Rashba then maybe you could attribute the whole thing to the "Argument between saints." Two true points of view that are not consistent one with the other ontological un-decidablity .  The existence of the world depends on there being  the Empty Space (חלל הפנוי) that needed to be created by God so that there could be a creation. See beginning of the Eitz Chaim and the Mavo Shearim of Isaac Luria for details.]
Schelling says the same thing: This is the emergence of the finite world of entities that are connected to each other in an infinite chain of predicates from an originary indifference which is unconditioned. This emergence is not a smooth transition but a qualitative leap, a diversion, a falling away (Abfall) from its originary ground. And this in fact comes from the preSocratics.  [I got that quote from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]



And as for the Rambam himself: apparently there is a mystic element in the Rambam that goes along with the  Geonic school of thought of the Chovot Levavaot (Duties of the Heart) that seems to have begun with Saadia Geon.
There was traditionally a school of thought that thought there was a mystical element in the Guide for the Perplexed of Maimonides. The mystic Abraham Abulafia wrote a whole mystical commentary on that book and also said the secret of the redemption is contained in the first 40 chapters.

[Incidentally, you can get his works in Mea Shearim bookstores nowadays. It used to be the case that you had to learn him with microfilm in the basement of Hebrew University. But recently someone printed them in regular Hebrew. But I perhaps should mention that they are difficult to understand. Professor Moshe Idel at Hebrew U and made a career of studying and publishing about Avraham Abulafia.]


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