The work of Moses Maimonides loomed large in the thought of the 20th-century sage Joseph B. Soloveitchik, both as a prism through which to understand talmudic law and as a model for reconciliation between Judaism and Western rationalism. Yet Soloveitchik’s published writings contain little analysis of Maimonides’ philosophical magnum opus, the Guide of the Perplexed. A new book, based on one student’s extensive notes on Soloveitchik’s lectures, has changed this. The volume’s editor, Lawrence Kaplan, comments on the rabbi’s solution to one thorny problem posed by Maimonidean thought. (Interview by Alan Brill.)
Did Maimonides Value Philosophical Knowledge over Jewish Law?
Why Israel’s Political Crisis Remains Unresolved
On Monday afternoon, Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu—the leaders of Israel’s two major political parties—seemed poised to finalize a coalition agreement that would end the yearlong political stalemate. By the evening, talks broke down after Likud negotiators backtracked from a compromise over judicial appointments, and Gantz ordered his representatives to leave the table. Haviv Rettig Gur explains that Netanyahu, the incumbent prime minister, has found himself on the horns of a dilemma: he can’t form a government without compromising with Gantz, but he risks burning his bridges with his right-wing allies, foremost among them the Yamina party: