Moreh Nevuchim

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  • #1403842

    K-cup
    Participant

    Why is More Nevuchim not studied in mainstream yeshivish circles nowadays. In my experience I’ve heard much more Hashkafa from peirushim on tanach, and achronim and baile mussar, than from moreh. Some circles speak a lot from chassidus and “light Kabbalah” seforim like ramchal and maharal. People even build the rambams mishnah Torah and ignore his moreh Nevuchim. How come?

    #1403861

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    It was not studied in my yeshiva days which was 40 years ago. From what I recall, the language used by the RAMBAM was very difficult to translate and therefore yeshivos shied away from it.

    #1403876

    Joseph
    Participant

    The language used by the Rambam was Arabic.

    #1403882

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    Think it discusses too many philosophical concepts and many great leaders would warn to stay away from philosophy.

    #1403879

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Because it was never accepted. The Rishonim we able to see past the Sefer and accept the Rambam. The Sefer itself was for the most part rejected. It was that way from his time until today.

    #1403880

    K-cup
    Participant

    Chocos ha levavos and the Kuzari were also Arabic, they were both translated and seems they are more widely studied. I find it hard to believe that we ignore a sefer simply because it’s too difficult. If that were the case it comes out we infer Ramabams Hashkafa from his hallachik works out of laziness.

    #1403887

    joe
    Participant

    It was meant for the yidden of that time, some where going of the derech because of Greek philosophy, today no one cares or knows Greek philosophy

    #1403889

    K-cup
    Participant

    We accept the Rambams definitions of what a torah Jew believes, (which was debated at the time,) but not his in depth explanation of Torah beliefs. Seems very strange. Why would we reject his philosophy work for being to philisophical but not his philosophy

    #1403918

    Avi K
    Participant

    HKV, who says that it was never accepted? The reason why it was not studied is that nothing other than Gemara was studied except in mussar and Chassidic yeshivot where their own sheetot were studied. Why only Gemara is another question. Rav Kook believed that tanach and sifrei emuna should also be studied. Rav Mordechai Eliahu recommended studying mussar for ten minutes every day.

    #1403928

    Tex
    Participant

    Answers like “it was rejected” or “it’s philosophy” are ones that will not stand the test of honest and earnest research. Ramban did not reject it. He wrote a famous letter in defense. He did not claim familiarity with it. But he did state that before one could even make such claims against it, one should first consult with Rambam’s son, whom he considered one of the greatest of his generation, for clarification of the issues people had with it. As far as philosophy, Rashba, in his famous letter against the study of philosophy explicitly extolls the study of the Moreh. Anyone who is a decent student of historia would know that Rashba’s letter was against the study of the secular philosophy. Further, it is well known, and you can confirm with Rav Avraham Yehoshua Soloveitchik, Shlita, that Rav Chaim Brisker, as well as the Brisker Rav learned the Moreh. In fact, talmidim of Rav Chaim quoted him as referring to it as “Der hailiger Moreh.” The bottom line reasons it is not generally studied in Yeshivos are: 1. Historically it was too difficult. Written in Judeo-Classic Arabic and originally translated by R’ Yehudah Ibn Tivon into lashon hakodesh, he needed to construct new words to do so. He included a glossary of his invented words at the end of the Sefer. However, there are two more recent translations that Talmidei Chachomim familiar with the Arabic felt were highly accurate and not anti-kabbala agenda driven: the English one by Prof. Pines, published by CU Press and the new one in modern Ivrit, by Michoel Shwartz, published by TAU Press. 2. The second reason it was not studied in Yeshivos was because to study such a Sefer properly requires real dedication. Every good mechanech knows that something that requires dedication to truly grasp cannot be curricularized.

    #1403929

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    The tenets of our belief were actually not debated at the time, even if you work very hard to dig up a specific outcast opinion and twist it further than intended.

    What we accepted was his great work, the Yad, which is Torah-based. We did not accept the Moreh which is philosophy-based. In fact, he was careful to separate the twoand he even contradicts himself at times. There are small exceptions to this and guess what: those areas in the Yad that stem from philosophy are also rejected.

    There is something very sickly about this fascinating of Apikursus. There are some places that constantly lecture about the borderline of acceptable belief and beyond, and build towers in the sky of obscure, anomalous shitos — whether or not the Mechaber actually meant to finalize it — dug up from the Sheimos bin and stretched passed capacity. These are of course added onto each other and there you have it: a Mekor for a brand new system.

    #1403954

    K-cup
    Participant

    The ikkrei emuna are philosophy based, unless simply writing them in a halacha sefer makes them not. They are not based on mefurash pesukinm or spelled out in any gemarra as halacha.
    He lists ikrei emuna based on what a torah Jew can say about and believe about hashem, olam haba, ect., Based on tanach and Shas, interpreted non literally based on his philosophical approach. It’s very clear in how he writes this in yesodei hatorah and especially his peirush hamishnayus.

    #1404036

    GAON
    Participant

    Halevi,

    “The Sefer itself was for the most part rejected.”

    Which part of the sefer are you referring to and rejected by whom?
    There are many parts that do not even deal with Philosophy at all.

    There is a saying from one of the great thinkers: for “one who had studied Shas and Poskim – its a ‘Morah’ – for one who didn’t then its a ‘Nevuchim”

    As for recent Achronim , the Or Sameach and the Rogatchover constantly quote the Sefer haMorah..

    iac:
    “the language used by the RAMBAM was very difficult to translate and therefore yeshivos shied away from it.”

    Kapach’s edition took care of that problem. And there are other editions with perushim as well.

    #1404203

    5ish
    Participant

    The Moreh Nevuchim is a sefer which comes to answer questions which come from or are dealt with in greek philosophy. It is incredibly difficult to understand without first having a background in greek philosophy. Afaik, most yeshiva bochurim do not have a background in greek philosophy and are not bothered by questions discussed in greek philosophy, so what would be the purpose of studying it????

    #1404207

    K-cup
    Participant

    I have not learnt more nevuchim beginning to end, but I can say with certainty less than 25% deals with greek or secular philosophy. The overwhelming majority of it is simply Rambam discussing Torah inyanim.

    #1404270

    5ish
    Participant

    You must not have learnt enough greek philosophy then. Also the Rambam writes explicitly that the sefer is not meant to be consumed for the masses.

    #1404300

    K-cup
    Participant

    I have a bachelor’s in philosophy and have, not a doctorate or anything but I think enough backround to make the call. He does say parts of it would be misunderstood by the masses, but that just as easily could mean he’s not as influenced by secular philosophy as it may seem, and we are misunderstanding his writing. Rambam/Moreh nevuchim’s approach was influenced by Aristotles style, but really only in a small area discusses his positions and conclusions. It is mostly a discussion of what he says is the correct approach to understanding difficulties in Tanach, and certain Miztvos. The Greeks didn’t deal with that.

    #1404404

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    And yet, the Ramban, Rashba, Ritva, Rosh and many others did not want people, especially young inexperienced people, to learn it.

    The complaints aren’t about the direct Greek quotations. They are about his Taamei Hamitzvos (which don’t show up in the Yad), his explanation of the Merkava, and the implied dependence on the Torah being agreeable to philosophy.

    Some have said it is a cloaked Sefer (as he writes himself), which masks even Kabalistic ideas. The Kamarna writes that only someone with an open an holy mind can learn it. Some have said to own but not read it.

    It was a great composition to keep hold of a generation and culture that cared very much about certain assumptions and couldn’t accept certain other ideas. Some of these issues are outdated. For example, in a time such as ours in which concepts of machines looking, hearing, knowing, and wanting are common everyday language, we don’t need a whole thesis explaining הנוטע אוזן הלא ישמע. And yet, you still hear people feeling very educated for understanding this.

    Why should we instate learning apologetics of a thousand years ago? And yes, our Yeshivos learn Mussar. Some learn Chassidishe Sefarim, and some even learn Sifrei Machshavah. Usually it’s up to the individual.

    #1404408

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Some passages in the MN read like apologetic excuses. He writes about certain unpopular ideas, mentioned by a variety of Chachomim, that they are Daas Yachid although you don’t find any Amorah actually arguing the idea.

    This shows us in which vein it is written.

    So, it is an interesting Sefer. I’ve read parts of it but not all, I think. But it is not supposed to be the basis of our outlook of what the Torah is. Nor do the philosophical proofs help a non-philosophically oriented generation come to the same conclusion.

    #1404474

    K-cup
    Participant

    I think it really is supposed to be the Rambams position of the basis of a Torah outlook. Im confused by what you mean by apologetics. Apologetics of what?
    Haleivi, you said the complaints are his “about his Taamei Hamitzvos (which don’t show up in the Yad), his explanation of the Merkava, and the implied dependence on the Torah being agreeable to philosophy.” That’s really what I was curious about. Granted he was considered wrong for lack of a better word, people still learn those sefarim in areas of halacha. We often don’t pasken lehalacha like the Rambam, but that’s important for our understanding halacha. That is also true in machshava. Is the sefer really more out of bounds than a typical daas yachid?

    #1404901

    twisted
    Participant

    I” curicularized” it using the Rav Kapach edition, most of chelek bet and all of gimmel.

    #1404987

    K-cup
    Participant

    Twisted, Interesting, for what age group? Do you mind me asking what type of school or yeshiva?

    #1405102

    GAON
    Participant

    ” Is the sefer really more out of bounds than a typical daas yachid?’

    Why would you say so, the sefer haMoarah was studied by many great minds, the אברבנאל , Nishmas Chaim, the רשב”ץ (Magen Avos) even some great chassidic thinkers studied it in depth.
    Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk constantly quotes the sefer haMorah in אור שמח and משך חכמה .

    #1405176

    twisted
    Participant

    K-Cup: It was a group of mixed adults 20-60 y. o. I greatly value my anonymity, so that’s it for the details.

    #1405178

    K-cup
    Participant

    Gaon, and many more routinely cite the Moreh, but my impression (sort of confirmed in earlier comments) is that in more Yeshivish communities it is not studied, even when dealing with machshava. Many other sources come first, and Moreh won’t be metioned, even as a Daas Yachid the way in a halacha shiur a Daas Yachid would at least be metioned.

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