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Title: Some ironic consequences of Maimonides’ rationalist approach to the Messianic Age
Authors: Berger, David
Levy, Yamin
Carmy, Shalom
Keywords: Maimonides, Moses, 1135-1204.
Jewish philosophy
Philosophy, Medieval.
messianic activism
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Yashar Books
Citation: Berger, D. (2006). Some ironic consequences of Maimonides’ rationalist approach to the Messianic Age. In Y. Levy, & S. Carmy, (Eds.), The Legacy of Maimonides: Religion, reason, and community (pp. 79-88). Yashar Books.
Series/Report no.: Bernard Revel Faculty Publications;
Abstract: Rationalism and messianic activism are conceptual strangers. The rationalist views the world as ever following its natural course. The typical messianic activist views it as teetering on the edge of fundamental change that will topple the order of the Creation, or perhaps more accurately, restore that order to its ideal form. The rationalist perspective is hostile even to the activist who anticipates a naturalistic messianic age that is "no different from the current world except with regard to our subjugation to [foreign] kingdoms" (Talmud Bavli, Berakhot 34b; Sanhedrin 99a) since even such an activist seeks to hasten the end, while the sober and skeptical view of the rationalist reminds him that Jewish history is replete with messianic disappointment. He believes in the coming of the anticipated day, but even if the deeds of the Jewish people can help speed its arrival, he understands those deeds as the ordinary performance of mizvot, and not classic messianic activity. Both the psychology of the rationalist and his logic dictate his fundamental opposition to messianic activism.1
Description: Book chapter
ISBN: 19331439142
Appears in Collections:Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies (BRGS): Faculty Publications

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