The Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides: Transfigurations of a Book
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The article discusses the metamorphoses of a book: The Guide for the Per-plexed by Moses Maimonides. The receptions of the book from the time of its publication (1191), and especially his translation into Hebrew (1224) were diverse and went through many changes during the last eight centuries. From its publication the book caused a storm among Jewish thinkers and rabbis, and was accused of being a profanation, was banned, and even burned. These facts are particularly intriguing taking into account the authoritative role of Maimonides in the Jewish world, who was considered as the second Moses, was named the “great eagle”, and his book Mishneh Torah, a comprehensive code of Halakhah (Jewish law) is a canonical book since then. Acceptance and rejection of this book can be observed in the Jewish world till today. The book was understood as the source for very different philosophical and theo-logical approaches. Therefore, it has a sense to talk about ‘many Guides for the Perplexed’. The article is concentrated particularly, on modern times: Haskalah and Zionism.
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