No Results Found.

50. “Meaningless” Mitzvos
by in
The Torah teaches the things that one needs to learn in order to achieve perfection – God’s existence, His unity, His eternity, His omniscience and omnipotence, etc. – but only in bullet points. [III, 28] These things can only be truly understood after acquiring an abundance of wisdom of many kinds. The Torah also requires […]
49. The Purpose of the Torah
by in
The Torah actually has two purposes: our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being. (III, 27) The Torah regulates our spiritual well-being through its philosophies. These philosophies must be communicated to the people according to their ability to understand them. Some of these are beyond the average person’s capacity. For this reason, some things are stated […]
48. Do the Mitzvos Have Reasons?
by in
As discussed in the previous section, people debate whether God’s actions are based in His wisdom (and therefore directed towards some purpose) or if they are exclusively manifestations of His will, and they therefore require no particular purpose. We maintain that God’s actions are based in His wisdom and do, in fact, have purposes, whether […]
47. Are God’s Actions Meaningful?
by in
The actions of a human being can be classified into four types: pointless, insignificant, in vain, and effective [III, 25]: * Pointless actions serve no purpose.   If you play with your hands while thinking, or doodle during a conference call, these are pointless actions. * Insignificant actions serve a trivial cause. This includes the various […]
46. Trials and Tribulations
by in
The concept that God puts people through trials is the most debated idea in the entire Bible. (III, 24) Most people assume (incorrectly) that God afflicts individuals not in response to their own sins but to provide them with an opportunity to earn reward. Trials are discussed six places in the Torah but only one […]
45. Suffering, as per the Book of Job
by in
The ideas we have been discussing – man’s free will, God’s omniscience and providence – in short, why bad things happen to good people – are also the theme of the Biblical book of Job. [III, 22] The Rambam subscribes to the Talmudic opinion that Job never existed and that his story is basically a […]
44. Understanding God’s Knowledge
by in
There’s a world of difference between the knowledge that the creator of an object possesses about it and the knowledge that others possess regarding that same object. [III, 21] The artisan assembles his object with knowledge before it is assembled, while others acquire their knowledge by observing the finished product. When a watchmaker assembles a […]
43. The Nature of God’s Knowledge
by in
It is generally accepted that God does not “learn” – that is, He does not become aware about things He didn’t know previously. [III, 20] In this, He is unlike humans, whose knowledge constantly changes as we are updated with new information. God, on the other hand, knows all, including events that have not yet […]
42. God is Not Unaware
by in
It is inherent in the concept of God that He is perfect and has no defects. One must admit that ignorance is a deficiency, therefore God cannot be said to be ignorant of any matter. [III, 19] Nevertheless, there are people who have expressed the idea that God knows some things but not others. They […]
41. Some People Are More Equal Than Others
by in
Having demonstrated that only man enjoys individual providence, the Rambam proceeds to elaborate on the idea that this providence correlates directly with the intellectual influence that one receives from God. [III, 18] If this is the case, it follows logically that the greater share one has of the latter, the more he will receive of […]