• 1-640 C.E.
• Need to harmonize Torah with known Science and
• Can God change his mind with the Aristotelian principle
that change indicates imperfection?
• Can one believe in miracles that interrupt the course of
nature and believe in philosophical principle that the laws
of nature are immutable?
• If Jews were Chosen by God why are they homeless?
Moses Maimonides 1141-1205
• Produced a commentary on the Mishnah
• Guide to the Perplexed published in 1190
Maimonides and the Existence of
• Negative theology
• “one cannot actually say what God is… and then
list attributes. Those who believe that God is One
and that he has many attributes declare the unity
with their lips and assume the plurality in their
thoughts. One cannot discuss God in positive
attributes but one can describe what God is not.
God is not corporeal, does not occupy space, does
not experience regeneration nor corruption.”
• God is simply God, as the highest cause of being.
• The anthropomorphic imagery are all all
allegorical passages designed to ease the
transition of the Jewish people from idolatry
• “created in the image of God” Created our
of free will and we are granted the ability to
reason and a free will of our own but there
is not family resemblance
Sayings of Maimonides
• It is improper to consider personal danger
when the public welfare is at stake
• If you build a synagogue, let it be more
beautiful than your house. When you feed
the hungry, clothe the naked, or devote
anything to a holy purpose, it must be from
Thirteen Articles of Faith
• 1 Belief in the existence of the Creator, be He Blessed, who is
perfect in every manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all
• 2 The belief in G-d's absolute and unparalleled unity.
• 3 The belief in G-d's noncorporeality, nor that He will be affected
by any physical occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.
• 4 The belief in G-d's eternity.
• 5 The imperative to worship Him exclusively and no foreign
• 6 The belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy.
• 7 The belief that the prophecy of Moses our teacher has priority.
• 8 The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.
• 9 The belief in the immutability of the Torah.
• 10 The belief in divine omniscience and
• 11 The belief in divine reward and retribution.
• 12 The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and
the messianic era.
• 13 The belief in the resurrection of the dead.
Resurrection of the Dead
• "There is neither Jewish faith nor any
attachment to the Jewish faith, for an
individual who does not believe in this"
• To reject this belief is to give up ones share
in Olam Haba - the Hereafter (Mishneh
Torah Hilkhot Teshuvah 3:6).
• "Thus, he says, `And many of them that sleep in
the dust of the earth shall awake. ...' And the
Angel said to Daniel, `But you, go to the end of all
flesh and rest; and stand in your lot at the end of
the days.' [Daniel 12:2-13]
• "And I will state that the resurrection of the dead -
…refers to the return of the soul to the body after
it had departed.
• What, then, is so incredibly important about the
belief in the resurrection of the dead that ALL of
Judaism rests upon it?
• Second, the very concept of the resurrection of the
dead seems odd. Why is it necessary for a soul
that has frolicked in the Garden of Eden for
thousands of years to suddenly be torn from that
wonderful abode and re-enter a physical body and
repeat living on earth.
• The Talmud (Berakhot 64a) finds a scriptural
proof for this concept: "The righteous have no
peace, not in this world and not in the world to
come, as it is written, 'They ascend from strength
to strength' (Psalm 84)."
• An ascendance of much higher magnitude is
enjoyed on each anniversary of the day of the
passing of the soul, known as Yahrzeit. The
following year the soul rises even higher.
• Why, then, is it necessary for these souls to
suddenly leave this exceptional abode and return
to this world in a physical body?
• the resurrection of the dead is part of the reward
promised by G-d for the observance of the Torah
and its commandments.
• One in the Garden of Eden, when the souls are
separated from their bodies, and the other on earth,
when the soul is once again enclothed in the body.
• We must conclude that the latter reward, in the
form of the resurrection of the dead, is far greater
than that of the Garden of Eden.
• If this were not the case, then the resurrection of
the dead would be more like a punishment rather
than a reward. But what kind of a reward is this?
• What could a soul possible enjoy more on earth,
trapped in a physical shell, more than the G-
dliness in the Garden of Eden.
• There are those who explain that the purpose of the
resurrection of the dead is to provide reward, not for the
soul, but for the body.
• Just as the soul has its own special place where it is
rewarded in the Garden of Eden in its natural environment
and habitat from which it was originally extracted, so too
the body must return to its domain, where it too can be
rewarded with the pleasures in which it delights.
• And being that a reward must always be qualitatively
similar to its cause, the body must be returned together
with the soul to the place where it earned the reward in the
• "A king chose two guardians to protect his garden. One was blind and
the other a midget. What did they do? The blind man put the midget
on his shoulders and through this they were able to eat all the fruits of
• "The king returned, furious, and questioned them as to what had
happened to his fruit.
• "Each one explained to the king how he could not have eaten the fruits
on his own due to his own deficiency.
• "What did the king then do?
• "He put the stout man on top of the blind man and judged them as one"
(Sanhedrin 91 a,b).
• So, too, says the Talmud, "G-d The resurrection of the dead is
necessary to reward the body.
Martin Buber (1878 C.E. -1965 C.E.)
• Martin Buber was
born in Vienna in
• Buber was a utopian
• Best Known for his his
book I and Thou
• the other is not
recognized as an
object any more than
as a subject. The other
is accepted, if at all, as
one to be spoken at
and spoken of; but
when the other is
spoken of, the lord of
every story is I.
• According to Buber, frequently we view both objects and
people by their functions. Doing this is sometimes good:
when doctors examine us for specific maladies, it's best if
they view us as organisms, not as individuals. Scientists
can learn a great deal about our world by observing,
measuring, and examining. For Buber, all such processes
are I-It relationships.
• We do so either to protect our vulnerabilities or to get them
to respond in some preconceived way, to get something
• the objects of their interests dominates their lives
• they study without any thought of use
• they are devoted to their subject but it does not
speak to them
We - We Relationships
• no individuality has emerged
• life is lived through others
• world is divided between the children of light and
the children of darkness
• righteousness, intelligence and integrity are the
prerogatives of Us, while wickedness, stupidity,
hypocrisy belong to them
• Occurs when we place ourselves completely
into a relationship, to truly understand and
"be there" with another person, without
masks, pretenses, even without words. Then
each person comes to such a relationship
without preconditions. The bond thus
created enlarges each person, and each
person responds by trying to enhance the
• I-Thou relationships are not constant or static.
People move in and out of I-It moments to I-Thou
• Attempts to achieve an I-Thou moment will fail
because the process of trying to create an I-Thou
relationship objectifies it and makes it I-It. Even
describing the moment objectifies it and makes it
• When you have it, you know it.
God and I-Thou
• God is the Eternal Thou. By trying to prove God's
existence or define God, the rationalist
philosophers automatically established an I-It
• Like a person we love, we can't define God; we
can't set up preconditions for the relationship. We
simply have to be available, open to the
relationship with the Eternal Thou. .
• The Thou encounters me by grace - it cannot be found by seeking. But
that I speak the basic word to it is a deed of my whole being, is my
essential deed. The Thou encounters me. I enter into a direct
relationship to it. Thus the relationship is election and electing, passive
and active at once: An action of the whole being must approach
passivity, for it does away with all partial actions and thus with any
sense of action, which always depends on limited exertions. The basic
word I-Thou can be spoken only with one’s whole being. The
concentration and fusion into a whole being can never be
accomplished by me, can never be accomplished without me. I require
a Thou to become; becoming I, I say Thou.
Jews and I-Thou
• After our redemption from Egypt, we as a people encountered God.
We were available and open, and the Sinai moment was an I-Thou
relationship for an entire people and for each individual. The Torah,
the prophets, and our rabbinic texts were all written by humans
expressing the I-Thou relationship with the Eternal Thou. By reading
those texts and being available to the relationship inherent in them, it is
also possible for us to make ourselves available for the I-Thou
experience with the Eternal Thou. We must come without
precondition, without expectation because that would already attempt
to limit our relationship partner, God, and thus create an I-It moment.
If we try to analyze the text, we again create an I-It relationship
because analysis places ourselves outside of the dialogue, as an
observer and not a total participant.
• For Buber, to do an action because it has
been previously legislated is meaningless.
Only our response at the moment of I-Thou
can have meaning