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God is One and Possesses True Unity: From “The Guide for the Perplexed” by Maimonides (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

2021-09-15
Lingua:English

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Maimonides, also known as HaRambam, or Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, was a notable medieval Jewish philosopher, astronomer, physician, and intellectual figure. Born into a prominent family in Spain, Maimonides’ path eventually led him to Morocco, and Palestine, until he finally settled in Egypt, in al-Fostat, near Cairo. Famous works by Maimonides include “Mishneh Torah,” a commentary on the Talmud, and “The Guide for the Perplexed,” philosophical discussions regarding theological matters.

CHAPTER L “Bear in mind that by ‘faith’ we do not understand merely that which is uttered with the lips, but also that which is apprehended by the soul, the conviction that the object (of belief) is exactly as it is apprehended. If, as regards real or supposed truths, you content yourself with giving utterance to them in words, without apprehending them or believing in them, especially if you do not seek real truth, you have a very easy task as, in fact, you will find many ignorant people professing articles of faith without connecting any idea with them. If, however, you have a desire to rise to a higher state, namely, that of reflection, and truly to hold the conviction that God is One and possesses true unity, without admitting plurality or divisibility in any sense whatever, you must understand that God has no essential attribute in any form or in any sense whatever, and that the rejection of corporeality implies the rejection of essential attributes.”

CHAPTER LII “It is quite clear that there is no relation between God and time or space. What we have explained in the present chapter is this: that God is One in every respect, containing no plurality or any element superadded to His essence: and that the many attributes of different significations applied in Scripture to God, originate in the multitude of His actions, not in a plurality existing in His essence, and are partly employed with the object of conveying to us some notion of His perfection, in accordance with what we consider perfection, as has been explained by us.”

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