In this book, a collection of brief works of Maimonides on various issues. Most of them are in Russian is published for the first time. Proceedings of these portentous fact that they Rambam discusses his views on some of the main provisions of Judaism.
After reading the book, the reader learns the story of transmission from generation to generation of the Oral Torah, understand the principles on which this doctrine is built, learns of his media. From the book, you can get an idea about the basics of Judaism and the Rambam's view on the virtues and vices of the human soul. Reading the letters Rambam, you will learn concepts such as the consecration of the name of God and the return of the dead to life, learn the opinion of the Rambam's Messiah and the end of days.
It remains to wish all of us will soon see the days on which the Rambam writes in the book "Mishneh Torah": "In those days there will be no hunger or war, no jealousy, nisopernichestva, for the good of the earth will be in abundance ... And the whole world will be occupied only by the knowledge of the Most High ... and will be guided by them in secret, and they come upon the wisdom of the Creator, as far as is humanly possible ... ".
Marheshvan 5665 (November 2004)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface ................................................. ............................ 9
Foreword to the Mishnah ............................................... ........... 21
Notes ................................................. ...... 113
Preface to the first Mishnah of the tenth chapter of the treatise
Sanhedrin (Perek "Helek") ............................ 143
Notes ................................................. ...... 185
Eight chapters that precede treatise Avot ..................... 203
Notes ................................................. ...... 266
Epistle to Yemen ............................................... 273 ................
Notes ................................................. ...... 329
The message of persecution
[An article about the dedication of the name of the Most High] .. 335
Notes ................................................. ...... 374
On the question of the return of the dead to life .................... 389
Notes ................................................. ...... 435
fragment from the book:
When our multi-volume set of laws became known in many countries, and the rumor of it spread to the ends of the earth, until we heard a rumor [about the next episode]. In Damascus, one [who studies the Torah] student has argued that the return of the dead to life will not be the soul after its separation does not return to the body. People who have heard it, they said to him: "How can you say such a thing?". And he began to argue [the words] said in our book that the final [step in the history of man] - this is the world to come, which will be an incorporeal existence. Those arguing with him began to argue, based on the common perception among the people [belief], and many wise sayings [in this matter]. Pupil, in turn, said that all the traditions and sayings of Zion [the return of the dead to life] is to be understood allegorically.
The dispute was prolonged. After learning about it, we decided to leave it unattended, deeming this an exceptional case. It can not be that someone [else] was so unreasonable that would have trouble in understanding our words. In 1501, established on the documents letoschisleniyu15 we received a letter from Yemen with a number of questions [about our teachings]. It reported on the individual [Yemenite Jews] who decided that [in the future] the human body will undergo destruction and disappear, the human soul does not return to him after his leave, and reward and punishment - a lot of soul. [The opinion], they argued with our words about the inhabitants of the world to come. When they were reminded clear and unambiguous statements of the wise men to return the dead to life, as well as some of the words of the prophets of this, they objected: it is an allegory, requiring interpretation. Sent us a letter with questions reports that this opinion [denying the resurrection of the dead], spread them, while others say they reject. He asks us to respond [in his letter]. We responded by explaining that [the question of the coming] back the dead to life is one of the cornerstones of the Torah, and it should be taken literally - as the return of the soul to the body. The world to come - the stage of [human history], following the return of the dead to life, as we explained in the preface to the first tenth chapter of Mishnah tractate Sanhedrin (Perek "Helek"). However, in this, in 1502 we received several letters from friends in Baghdad. They report that is calling to us with questions [about the resurrection of the dead] people of Yemen asked the same question today, standing at the head of the Yeshiva in Baghdad Rabbi Shmuel Halevi, bless his Creator! Our friends are informed that Rabbi Shmuel was a small treatise on the return of the dead to life. In it some of our remarks on this subject he describes as erroneous, others have pointed out that it is possible to find an excuse. In the role of our apologist, he writes with restraint, [no attacks and sarcasm in our address].
Following these letters [of Yemen and Baghdad], we have received a copy of the work, written gaon [Rabbi Shmuel], and saw it all and drashot agadot [on this topic] gathered them [the teachings of the Oral]. [This caused our perplexity because] everyone knows that from the people, imbued with wisdom [of the Torah], do not expect a literal retelling drashot and amazing stories, [contained in the Haggadah]. So do the old woman, preaching the one to the other in a house where mourn the dead. From them [the sages], expect the interpretation and drashot agadot and the clarification of issues raised therein, to make it possible to perceive their minds, or at least come close to it. Even more perplexing cause referred gaon [in the book] strange views, and argues that it is the point of view of philosophers [in the study] of the soul. From the words of Rabbi Shmuel that it takes all the false ideas mutakallimun16 and others for the opinions of philosophers. But the strangest thing of all written in this work, but all of it is puzzling - it gaon said that philosophers, scientists do not consider it impossible to return the body to the soul after its separation, as it is referred to the sphere of the possible, if we go by the speculative thinking. These are the words of the Gaon, bless his Gd, relatively mutakallimun, which he believes philosophers. These words show his ignorance in the approach to the criteria on which the philosophers distinguish between necessary and the impossible possible. [In the book] said he also mentions in his "Treatise of retribution" Avitsenny17 and compiled them in Baghdad book "Mu-etabar" 18, including their classic philosophical writings. We also noticed that Rabbi Shmuel decided and decreed: philosophers have come to unambiguous conclusions about the logical mind and substatsionalnosti variance with each other in this matter. Gd forbid me to know who are these people, whom he calls philosophers!
And another strange thing I found [in the work of Rabbi Shmuel]. It does not mention the mind [the person, and is concerned only with the soul]. I do not know what is the philosophical concept of the Gaon and whether he thinks the mind identical to the soul, or the soul, he says the same, but the mind transient. Maybe [it takes] the opposite - the mind is unchanged, and the soul is transient - and such a soul has in mind, saying that it is not known about the philosophers and one view identifies her with the blood. Perhaps, in the opinion of Rabbi Shmuel mind - accident of, according mutakallimun, which he believes scientists and philosophers, and the accident of if he did, then, without any doubt, the reason must be transient. If only Gaon, bless his Gd, limited drashot and compiling a collection of stories [of resurrection], and an explanation of Scripture verses that show that in these verses the Torah directly points to the return of the dead to life, it would be plausible and would have befitted a man of his position.
My conclusion [about this book is such]. All or nearly all the words of Rabbi Shmuel was already more or less set forth [other]. We do not write this work in order to challenge any of this book and would not even mention about it, but had to touch all those passages which touched as they relate to the topic under discussion, as this may make the reader. [This work], we aim to benefit those who will study it, and not to help anyone one to show his [intellectual] superiority, or to humiliate and belittle someone else's dignity. Ways of discord and destruction are open to those who wish to follow them, and for us to let Gd closes similar way. Now I proceed to the actual topic of this article.
You are studying this, you should know that in this paper we intend to present our beliefs about this situation - the return of the dead to life - which caused controversy among students [yeshiva in Damascus]. In our work there is nothing new in comparison with what was said in the commentary on the Mishnah and in the roof of [the laws]. In fact, it is nothing but repetition is contained in an expanded form for the broad masses of the people and further explanations, understandable even careless virgins and foolish. I will say [next]. The position on the return of the dead to life is well known and widely circulated among the Jews, it is accepted by all our [religious] currents. This [position] repeatedly mentioned in the prayers and hymns and requests for mercy, composed by the great sages and prophets, and in the Talmud and Midrash, it is mentioned constantly. It comes down to one position: the return of the soul to the body after she left ego19. In no way is unacceptable any other interpretation, [which goes beyond its literal meaning]. Forbidden even to think that a man who professes Judaism, may take a different persuasion. Later in this article I will explain the reason why all these words [of our primary sources of the resurrection of the dead] we conclude beyond a simple point and do not interpret them [allegorically], like many other words of the Torah. Daniel has words that do not allow them to interpret [figuratively], referred to the fact that the return of the dead to life means only one thing: the return of the soul to the body after death. Here is what he said: "Many of the dead in the dust of the earth will awake: some will gain everlasting life, others - contempt and eternal shame" [Daniel 12:2]. And Daniel was the angel: "And you tread [their way] to the end [of your days] and the repose [on the bed of the dead], then the same will come up [from the dust] for the acquisition of its shares at the end of days" [Daniel 12:13] .
Was nekto20 for mentioning us, claiming that, in the opinion expressed by us, the words of Scripture on the return of the dead to life is to be understood allegorically. However, on his part is a blatant lie and absolute slander. Our code of [law] is already widely known, so let read it and show you where it is said. If we called something [allegory], only relaying words of the sages of Israel. For example, [the story] about the undead [in the book of the prophet] Yechezkel caused controversy among the sages of the Talmud [about how to understand it - literally or allegorically] 21. In every issue, which has become a matter of dispute [rabbis in the Talmud], unless it is of no practical value, are allowed to adhere to any of the two points of view. We have mentioned several times about this in our commentary on the Mishnah.
Based on the excerpts [Talmud, which refers to the resurrection of the dead], we tend to assume that people whose souls will return to the [intended for them] the body to consume food, to enter into an intimate relationship, to produce offspring. People will die after an unusually long life, the kind that expects people in the era of Moshiach. But life, not followed by death - that's life in the next world, for then it will not be bodily form. We believe, and this is clear to every rational human truth that the world to come there will be souls without bodies - like the angels.
Will clarify this point [a bodiless existence in the world to come]. The human body - a set of catering to the soul, and this is confirmed by irrefutable evidence. All the organs of the human body can be [suspended] divided into three groups. The first - the authorities responsible for the power of the body. This is the mouth, stomach, liver, intestines, and all [authorities] lower abdomen. The second - the bodies associated with reproduction: sex-producing seed, providing prenatal development. And the third - all that is full needs of the body, eyes and other senses, as well as the muscles, nerves and tendons by which [a man] is able to perform different movements. If they do not, a living organism could not move around in search of food, run away from enemies and [removed] from all that destroys its nature. To meet the need for food, a person needs to do a lot of [the cultivation of land and cattle breeding], and then apply a lot of ways to make [the fruits of their labor foods]. To do this, it needs thinking and ingenuity. Man is endowed with order and reason, to manage workflows. He has both "natural instruments of labor" for work - hands and feet, for the legs serve him not only as an instrument of movement. Detailed knowledge [about the individual elements] of the population of which is the body, have the men of science. From what has been said [about the structure of the body] becomes clear what is the need of forming a body [bodies]. In this way, has as a goal: to ensure the continuity of the power of the body as an individual, but the birth of his kind, the continuity of the body as a kind.
But [step occurs] when these objectives will be unnecessary. I mean the world to come. A great many wise men nam22 already clarified that there will be no food, no drink, no intimate relationships, and that means the world to come will bestelesnym23. He ascended, in any case, will not grant anything or anyone being wasted all His actions are targeted. God save us from Gd thought that his acts committed similar acts of those who serve [personally created] idols: "... They have eyes, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not: for there is in noses, but they do not smell "[Tehillim, 115:5,6]. Those who represent the inhabitants of the world of the future bodily say something similar about the Almighty. It will create a body, I am referring to the body's organs, which do not function - not in accordance with the purpose for which were created, nor any other. Perhaps in view of the inhabitants of the world to come people will be deprived of, but certainly will possess the bodies. It is not excluded that the bodies as they appear homogeneous structure of balls, cylinders, cubes. All this can only arouse derision: "If you hold your peace! And it is reckoned to be your wisdom "[Iyov, 13:5] 24.
The cause of all these errors, as we have already explained, one. In the view of the crowd being endowed with a body, or that can not exist without the body. Anything that does not have a body or able [to exist outside of it] is devoid of life. And the more they try to imagine the firmness of being an entity, the more they materialize or, in other words, it is compacted material. We have already mentioned this [representation of the crowd] in connection with the discussion of a number of issues in the "Guide to the lost '25, and the one who seeks to consider our views [about the world to come] vicious, even goes as he pleases. If he wants to consider it a mistake and error, he can say about it - we will not hold it against him. We prefer to let us stretched a single, but a man, even if it is due to ridiculous beliefs alienate [from us] from him thousands of madmen. This is explained in the "Guide to the lost" 26.
However, what we really deny thereby purifying himself in the eyes of God, - that [we attributed detractors] claim that the soul never return to the body and even the possibility of such excluded. Abandonment of faith in it leads to a denial of all supernatural phenomena. Rejection of the same miracles entails a complete lack of faith in the basis of religion and away from Judaism. Therefore, the [future] the return of the dead to life is one of the provisions of the Torah. In our words, there is nothing that would indicate a rejection of the return of the soul in our body, they have something that proves otherwise. Who will elect [the path of evil], raising false accusations at us, and we will credit rejected by our judgment, shall be likened unto a man [unreasonably] suspected of pure evil [soul] people. He will interpret our words slurred, that tip the justice to the accused, but account for it before the court [the human and heavenly] and it will be judged as any wicked man, [vain] unsuspecting innocent.
Unacceptable erroneous understanding of our explanation [of the resurrection of the dead], and the statement that we believe any passage in Scripture, talking about the return of the dead to life, it should be understood allegorically. Among them are the ones that should be taken literally, but there are those that for sure - an allegory. There is also the doubt - whether it's an allegory [or their literal meaning] the truth. After reviewing all mentioned [in the comments of these passages] scholars and interpreters of Scripture people from Andalusia, as well as the context in which are [these passages], you shall know [how should understand each of them]. Given the purpose of this article, there is no need for the transfer of [what are excerpts taken literally and which are regarded as an allegory]. For statement does not become more true by multiple repetition and retelling and is no longer true, if it does not repeat and paraphrase. Did you know that the position of the unity of the [Supreme], expressed his words, "... Gd - one" is given in the Torah only once. Since we have not admitting any [adverse] interpretations [in a literal], the words of the prophet, which refers to the return of the soul to the body, thus we have the prophetic word about it [the return of the dead to life]. Nothing is added to the truth of this news, if every time, having met in Scripture the word "resurrection", you will be treated as the return of the soul to the body. On the other hand, this news does not lose its validity if in most cases, or in all but one of you will be understood as an allegory of the word.
Summing up [all the above], it is possible to emphasize the return of the soul to the body reported in the prophetic vision of either once or multiple times. The sages of Israel - both ancient and the latest - mentioned it countless times. It is spread among our people, being made [as one of the foundations of the faith]. Wherever wise scientist or compiler [books] mentions the resurrection, means the return of the soul to the body.
[Maryadu with those who have perverted the meaning of our words about the world to come], there were others - people who said at the end of the Laws of raised eyebrows. Here are our words [sown seeds of doubt]: "Yes, you do not have the idea that the Messiah should send signs, miracles, to bring something new into the world, raise the dead, or [make] has anything like that, as claimed by fools" [ Mishneh Torah, Laws of the kings and the war, 11:3]. There we presented the evidence [the truth of] our explanations. People are able to delve a little [in the studied text], interpreted these words aversion [postulate] to return the dead to life, and the same contradiction to our explanation in the commentary on the Mishnah that [postulate] to return the dead to life - one of the principles of the Torah. All this, [what was said in the book Mishneh Torah of Mashiach] sufficiently clear and beyond doubt and controversy. We [just] mentioned that [to confirm his mission] Mashiach is not required as a sign to perform any miracles - for example, cut the sea, to revive the dead. At the Mashiach will not have the need for the sign, as the prophets foretold of him, and the truth of their predictions are usually confirmed. Of our words does not mean that God according to His will not bring the dead back to life - when he so wishes, and whom He wills. In conclusion, [say] in our books there is nothing that would call into question a person [experienced] - from those who are able to delve deeply into [a readable]. [To doubt they are] just beginning students.
In addition, some have confused the definition of the words we Yeshayahu "... and the wolf shall dwell with the sheep ..." [Yeshayahu 11:6] as an allegory. But not only us it is said. Ahead of us, offering an understanding of the issue, the people of the subtle mind of the commentators [the Scripture], such as Rabbi Moshe ben [Samuel] Dzhikatila, Ibn Bal-am27 and other commentators. The end of this passage [from the book of Yeshayahu] indicates [that the whole passage - Riya allegory]. That is said there: "[No one] will not cause harm, and does not compromise the [predators and poisonous snakes] in all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Gd ..." [Yeshayahu 11:9]. So [the prophet] explains the reason for which they will cease to torment [other living beings], and hurt: they will know God. Judge for yourself, you are a society of people! Is lion has a mind, committing its [moral standards adhere] to God could prescribe it [the rules of behavior]? Today, he is rebelling [against his Creator] and tormented because [the animals]. And then [in the era of Moshiach], he repents and learns from the Creator, all that is needed [to know about creating your duty], including the requirement not to cause harm to all living, and become a herbivore? 28. [If this is not considered as an allegory, the predictions go beyond understanding] and becomes a reality [the prophet said]: "And they were all for you seeing how the words of the book with seven seals ..." [Yeshayahu, 29:11]. However, in the "Guide to the lost," we explained the issue [of deciphering this prediction] 29, and in the roof of [the laws] clearly demonstrated the allegorical form of verse from Yeshayahu, because [in the Talmud] states that in the era of Mashiach will not change the primordial miroporyadok30.
Know that our statement about the allegorical sense given the predictions of [the prophets of the future], and the like is not definitive. After all, we were not visited by a prophetic vision in which God would advise that it is an allegory. We also found no come down to the sages of the prophets stories about what their words [about the future] be considered an allegory. We still tend to it for reasons that I will explain.
Our aspirations, as well as the aspirations of everyone from a small group of people, imbued with wisdom [of the Torah], contrary to the trend observed in the broad masses of all faiths. For the latter, a favorite occupation of stupidity brings them pleasure - to represent the Torah and rational thinking as mutually exclusive opposites. Any [mentioned in the Torah] phenomenon, they take the scope of knowledge and relates to the field of the irrational, supernatural calling. They avoided explained by the natural as described [in the Tana-heh] events of the past and what is happening in the present and predicted the future. We strive to bring together the Torah with rational thinking and all [mentioned in it] phenomenon regard as permissible under the laws of the universe - except those of which it appears that they are supernatural and are not available for interpretation. In this case, we will have to say that this is a miracle. The "Guide to the lost," we have already shown clearly observed Ta-language feature Naha and language mudretsov31. It is evident in the words of the prophets, cited [in the Tanakh] in the form of allegories and many mysteries. [In this book], this issue explained in detail so that we do not refute any of the fools who love to argue. Therefore, as in the preceding authoritative commentators us [the Scripture], we argued that these [predictions of the future] should be understood allegorically, as already explained.
It can be assumed and the other [the interpretation of the words "wolf shall dwell with the sheep."] In the future, the land will be more homely [than now], and the place will give an abundance [of food], so it is possible that the animals will be less to harm [to others], and come near the other. This explanation is given by Aristotle in his book "History of Animals," 32 exploring the reasons why the animals in Egypt rarely harmed one another. In this case, it is possible that [the words of the verse "does not compromise on all my holy mountain"] - hyperbole, as our sages said: "The Torah speaks in the language of exaggeration" [Hulin, 906]. At the same literal meaning of words of the prophet "in all my holy mountain," it is a miracle that will take place on the Temple Mount. In such cases, this phenomenon is similar to what is, in the words of the wise, [observed in the Temple period]: "... do not cause harm in Jerusalem snakes and scorpions ..." [Avot 5:5].
Concluding the discussion, I will say these are not the main prognostic provisions in the Torah, and not as important as they perceive it. A person should wait for the prompt [the advent of the Messiah], and not to judge which of the beliefs of those words [true Prophets] until the promise has not been fulfilled. Then it will become clear whether they [the words of the prophets], allegory, or really meant a miracle.
It has become known that we avoided [explain any phenomenon mentioned in the Torah as a result] of changes in a pristine world order. Mistaken as those who believed before, and those who will believe in the future [that miracle, like natural phenomena, has an established pattern in the universe]. They make no distinction between the supernatural phenomena do not have a steady state and not be tied into the framework of nature, arising [in special situations] because of the need for themselves or to confirm the truth of the prophecy, and the phenomena of nature, natural, flowing constantly, for they are caused by the established [Supreme] world order. Our sages, but bring us blessing mention of them, constantly emphasized this by saying, "The course of events in the world corresponds to the routine in the order that" [Avodah Zara, 546]. And they said, "a miracle happened can not be a refutation of [the truth of the words of Zion]" [Berachot 60a]. And Solomon said: "I learned that all the things which the Almighty, shall be for ever, for it is impossible to add anything, and he did not turn down ..." [Ecclesiastes 3:14]. From these quotations it is clear that natural phenomena occur constantly in the prescribed manner for them. We also explained it in the "Guide to the lost", referring to the newly-minted mira33.
I believe the reason which has induced these people to doubt our words about returning the dead to life, the next. We give a detailed description of the world of the future, we reveal its essence and mention all of them pointing to the words of the prophets and sages. In the same issue of the return of the dead to life, we limit ourselves to a summary of the topic, stating that the resurrection of the dead is one of the fundamental truths of [the Torah].
[At that were] two reasons. First, in all