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Section: Seforim   Category: Introduction
Moreh Nevuchim Al HaTorah - Excitement Sans the Philosophy
One of the great works by one of the great Rishonim has been a closed book to most of us; the Moreh Nevuchim by the Rambam.  It once aroused passion from both its supporter and protagonists but nowadays it only arouses curiosity and collects dust.  Although there have been various translations from the original Arabic to Hebrew, most of these translations are very difficult to understand since the Rambam gave clear instructions (Shu”t HaRambam 143) not to expound on his words and to translate it as written. Since his reason for writing it was very specific, he felt that a loose translation with his ideas expounded on by others could cause great damage if incorrect.  He goes as far as saying that if a reader comes across something not in accordance with Chazal, he should know that he is misunderstanding the passage.

The greater difficulty with the Moreh Nevuchim is that it is a philosophical work which is not a wisdom that many of us are vey fluent in today.  Moreover the Rambam is defending the Torah from the philosophical viewpoints of his day.  Since we aren’t familiar with those viewpoints the task of understanding the Moreh Nevuchim becomes that much more difficult.

While overall the Moreh Nevuchim is philosophical treatise, along the way the Rambam explains many mitzvos and hard to understand concepts and stories in the Torah.  We’ve all heard some over the years but only mere glimpses.  Now Rav Dovid Makover has done us a great favor by pulling out all these gems and putting them together in a Sefer called Moreh Nevuchim Al HaTorah (published by Mosad HaRav Kook 2005).  He goes Parsha by Parsha and quoting the relevant pasukim and bringing the relevant passages of the Moreh Nevuchim.

These passages are more loosely translated than ever before.   In his Hakdama, Rav Makover explains that he did not stick to the Rambam’s instructions because the parts he brings down are not philosophical.  He only brings down the parts that either explain the meaning of the pasukim or story or the fascinating reasons for the Mitzvos.  Furthermore he says the Ramban in his peirush on Chumash brings down many of these passages from the Rambam and he himself explains them.

Take a trip through this wonderful new door opener and peer into the many fascinating reasons for the mitzvos based on history and philosophy in accordance with the Rambam’s view that the mitzvos also have a logical, humanitarian, and social component to them in addition to being the command of Hashem.  You will also learn that many of the stories are much more logical than is normally explained by other Meforshim.  Pick up this interesting easy to read sefer.  We are sure you will enjoy it!
RELATED ARTICLES:Moreh Nevuchim  seforim

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Visitor Comments: 1

DH, 2008-05-24 19:53:52
"Sans the Philosophy"?

The Rambam's explanations of the mizvot and his understanding of Chumash both reflect his philosophy and form it.

Perhaps what you meant to say that Rambam's thoughts here are less abstract and therefore more accesible.

What I mean to say is that it is a misconception (especially within a philosophical work) that Ramabm wore two hats, that there were two Rambams.

It's like saying that Ramban's understanding of Chumash was not related to his being a mekubal, that he was only wearing his mekubal hat when he wrote al pi sod.

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