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More thoughts on Maimonides and the Purpose of (the) Law

 

Earlier today (my day) I wrote about Maimonides’ thoughts on the Purpose of the Law, based on the Guide for the Perplexed..

In that post I mentioned that the well-being of the body (that is, the governing of the society), has to go before the well-being of the soul (the right believes), since that is needed to be established, before you can teach and communicate the right opinions (according to Maimonides)..

That made me wonder later on, ’cause in his halachic work, Mishneh Torah, he actually begins with the themes concerning the well-being of the soul, and ends with the well-being of the body.. Why is that?

I tried to find the answer in Mishneh Torah, but the only thing I could find, was what he writes about the various books:

“The first book – I will include within it all the mitzvot that are the foundations of the faith [taught by] Moses, our teacher, of blessed memory, those which a person must know before everything – e.g., the unity of God, blessed be He, and the prohibition against worshiping false gods. I have called this book The Book of Knowledge.”

Apparently it could seem like a contradiction.. Or maybe this is meant to be like that, since this is creating the foundation of understanding (of the faith), and hence it can be sorted based on the importance of the two well-being, since studying this is part of the perfection of the soul, as he writes:

“This second perfection certainly does not include any action or good conduct, but only knowledge, which is arrived at by speculation, or established by research.” (The Guide, part 3, chapter 27)*

I will try to delve into this some more, BE”H..

Other questions that I also am going to try to answer, is who is supposed to govern this society, why them, and how..

 

Just wanted to share:o)

 

*The Guide was written after the Mishnah Torah

 

Kol Tuv

 

 


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