Since the 12th century, Moses Maimonides has sustained the status as being one of 1
the preeminent authorities on Jewish law and master of Jewish philosophy. This is in fact
what makes Maimonides so extraordinary. For close to a millennia, he has been equally
celebrated for his contributions to Jewish law, most notably his Mishnah Torah, and for his
contributions to Jewish philosophy, most notably his Moreh Nevuchim, or Guide for the
Perplexed. What sets Maimonides apart from others before him was his remarkable break
from exclusive use of traditional Jewish sources. In truth, for Maimonides “the principal
flaw in the Jewish thought that preceded [was] its overreliance on erroneous and misguided
sources of influence.” He therefore exposed himself to the best of classical Greek 2
philosophy, in addition to the selective Jewish thinkers he approved.
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