Still Relevant 800 Years Later

Friday, 5 January, 2018 - 10:01 am

This Sunday is the 20th of Tevet, the Yahrtzeit of the Rambam. Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides lived over 800 years ago. Yet somehow more than 8 centuries after his passing in 1204, he continues to be highly relevant in the world of Jewish law, Jewish and general philosophy, Talmudic commentary, medical ethics and medicine, and astronomy and related sciences. There aren’t many people in world history that have remained as relevant in so many areas of life and scholarship.

I do not profess to be an expert in analyzing greatness nor in conveying an appreciation for the greatness of Maimonides. Yet, I am comfortable stating, that for the Rambam, the lens through which he saw all else was the Torah. His greatness in all other areas are wonderful accomplishments, for which he has received much acclaim. However for the Jewish people his primary accomplishment is his ability to convey the truth of Torah in a clear and precise manner, making it accessible to anyone that understands the language in which it was written. He was the first codifier of Halacha, addressing the entire spectrum of Jewish life and law. He is a primary source in interpreting the Talmud. He is a pillar of Jewish thought, addressing matters of faith, philosophy and theology. He was also a caring leader of his people, who used his medical expertise, political connections and his gift of writing to bring comfort to so many of his brethren.

In our small corner of the universe (New Orleans), and at our microscopic moment in history (21st century), we gather each month to drink from the fountains of his wisdom and to be inspired the richness of his teachings. Join us on the first Sunday of each month at 8:45 AM for Breakfast with Maimonides. A group of seekers of Torah wisdom come together to bask in the radiance of the writings of the Rambam under the guidance of Rabbi Zelig Rivkin. There are bagels and lox and much food for the mind, heart and soul. As this Sunday is his Yahrtzeit, it would be a most auspicious time to explore the class. We look forward to seeing you there.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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