Teacher: Levi Cooper
Level: Open to All
Maimonides may be the single most influential Jewish scholar of all time. The fascination with Maimonides – or MYmonides, as many seem to claim – transcends the divisions between different streams of Judaism. Indeed, the writings of Maimonides, or “Rambam” as he is known in Hebrew, are filled with gems in an array of fields: Jewish law, philosophy, communal leadership, social activism. It is no wonder that every contemporary faction wants to claim him as their own.
With this in mind we will study key texts from the Rambam’s magnum opus, Mishneh Torah. Texts will be prepared before class, and then reviewed and discussed when we meet. Parallel and complementary sources will be explored and their implication considered. Special attention will be given not only to the content of the text, but also to Maimonides the person, his style, contribution, his place in Sephardic tradition, and unique role in Jewish intellectual history.
This course is a golden opportunity to hone Hebrew skills, as we will examine the sources in the original – and truly accessible – Hebrew of Maimonides (who – like many of us – was not a native Hebrew speaker).
Text: Mishneh Torah (the one volume edition with dots is recommended)
Notebook and folder for handouts
Recommended: Modern Hebrew/English dictionary