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Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism

Secrets of "The Guide for the Perplexed"

Micah Goodman

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: The Jewish Publication Society
Published: 05/2015
Pages: 344
Subject: Religion
eBook ISBN: 9780827611986


A publishing sensation long at the top of the best-seller lists in Israel, the original Hebrew edition of Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism has been called the most successful book ever published in Israel on the preeminent medieval Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides. The works of Maimonides, particularly The Guide for the Perplexed, are reckoned among the fundamental texts that influenced all subsequent Jewish philosophy and also proved to be highly influential in Christian and Islamic thought. Spanning subjects ranging from God, prophecy, miracles, revelation, and evil, to politics, messianism, reason in religion, and the therapeutic role of doubt, Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism elucidates the complex ideas of The Guide in remarkably clear and engaging prose. Drawing on his own experience as a central figure in the current Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and spirituality, Micah Goodman brings Maimonides's masterwork into dialogue with the intellectual and spiritual worlds of twenty-first-century readers. Goodman contends that in Maimonides's view, the Torah's purpose is not to bring clarity about God but rather to make us realize that we do not understand God at all; not to resolve inscrutable religious issues but to give us insight into the true nature and purpose of our lives.


Micah Goodman is a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the director of Israel's Ein Prat Midrasha. A prominent public intellectual, he is a leading voice on Judaism, Zionism, the Bible, and the challenges and opportunities facing Israel and contemporary world Jewry. He is the author of three best-sellers in Hebrew on canonical Jewish texts.


“Micah Goodman’s inspiring book is an important and profound contribution to the comprehension of the greatest, most complex work in the history of Jewish philosophy.”—Moshe Halbertal, Gruss Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

“Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism presents an exciting and relevant possibility: freeing the mind from the habits of religious discourse and returning the concept of God to the intellectual’s thoughts.”—Ruth Calderon, author of A Bride for One Night, member of the Israeli Knesset, and founder of Alma: Home for Hebrew Culture

"One of Israel's brilliant next generation thinkers, Dr. Micah Goodman is an intellectual powerhouse. . . . I have been nourished by his electrifying lectures illuminating modern dilemmas through the minds of rabbinic sages and contemporary philosophers." —Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism