Wednesday 27 May
Hailed as one of the greatest scholars of Jewish history, Moses Maimonides left behind a rich literary corpus that spanned the fields of mathematics, astronomy, logic, philosophy and law.
His two most celebrated contributions to rabbinic literature are his synthesis of Talmudic legislation (his so-called “Mishne Torah”) and his famous Guide of the Perplexed.
By considering the differences between these two texts, as unalike one another as two texts could possibly be, we will strike at the heart of what made Maimonides so great, what made him so controversial, and why he continues to be studied and revered to this day.
Simon Holloway is an education officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where he delivers seminars on Nazi racial science, Jewish resistance and the history of the Holocaust. He has a PhD in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies, and an MA in Ancient History. His primary research concerns the composition of the early rabbinic literature and the use of humour in rabbinic text.
Photo: Bodleian Library, MS Hunt.80, leaf 165a. Source: maimonides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk