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Maimonides' Confrontation with Mysticism$
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Menachem Kellner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113294

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113294.001.0001

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Contemporary Resistance to the Maimonidean Reform

Contemporary Resistance to the Maimonidean Reform

(p.286) Afterword Contemporary Resistance to the Maimonidean Reform
Maimonides' Confrontation with Mysticism

Menachem Kellner

Liverpool University Press

This afterword looks at the contemporary resistance to the Maimonidean reform. Anyone familiar with contemporary Jewish life, especially within Orthodoxy, will see immediately that the Maimonidean reform described in this book has failed to take hold. In addition to the seven specific issues addressed here — the nature of halakhah; distinctions between holy and profane and ritually pure and ritually impure; the character of the Hebrew language; the notion of kavod/shekhinah/created light; the distinction between Jew and non-Jew; and the existence of angels as popularly understood — Maimonides also sought to reform the curriculum of Jewish learning. In each of these areas, he sought to transform the Judaism of his day, and in each of these areas, Judaism continued to develop as if Maimonides had never existed and never written. However, in contrast to the items in this list, there are areas in which Maimonides' influence has been decisive. He succeeded in convincing almost all Jews that the God of Judaism is entirely incorporeal. He also convinced subsequent generations of Jews that the Jewish religion has a firm dogmatic base.

Keywords:   Maimonidean reform, contemporary Jewish life, Maimonides, Jewish learning, Judaism, Jews, Jewish religion

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