36. The Influence of the Celestial Spheres

What about the influence that the celestial spheres are said to exert on the affairs of man? The Rambam addresses this issue with a metaphor. [III, 14]

Let’s take the example of a craftsman who makes sewing needles for a living. He might construct a large machine for the job. If he were to build the machine to produce a single needle, it would be very foolish, not to mention bad business. But if he were to keep the machine running, producing many, many needles, eventually exceeding the mass of the machine several times over, it would be a worthwhile investment indeed. Similarly, it’s foolish to suggest that the celestial spheres in all their majesty were created to direct the affairs of one man or even one community. But to direct the affairs of all mankind? That would be a worthwhile investment indeed.


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