Maimonides and the Question of Modern Ethics

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
line-height:107%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-ansi-language:EN-US;
mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

As told by Moses, Son of Maimon

by

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
line-height:107%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-ansi-language:EN-US;
mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

Ilil Arbel

I rarely use my magic arts or inventions, particularly my skill of time
travel. I am not sure it is an ethical thing to do, and since I don’t
know anyone else who had learned to do so, who can I ask for advice?
Once in a while, I feel the need to study the events to come. This is
only my third time, and I have jumped about eight hundred years into my
future. The year is 2015 of the Christian calendar, and 5775 of the
Jewish calendar. I have never jumped so far ahead before. 


But
this is not all. They have wars, the horror of which even the great
Saladin would not be able to understand. Sadly, the fanatics called ISIS
remind me of the wild Almohades who had destroyed my beloved Al-Andalus
and exiled or killed my entire community. Like the Almohades, ISIS
brutally murders other Muslims, Christians, and Jews, pretending to do
so in the name of God. What God would want to see the innocents
slaughtered? Many of these wars are fought merely for money and power.


Another ethical question is the insane greed the rich are exhibiting. It is worse, much worse, than the habits of the rich in my time. All the money is concentrated in the hands of the few, while the populace is becoming poorer and poorer. Entire nations are losing their wealth to these groups, who do not seem to care at all for their own countrymen and women. Some of the practices they employ in the name of profit I am unable to understand. They seem to be able to employ people on meagre pay in faraway lands, instead of leaving such work in the hands of loyal employees who had served them well. Entire communities have the bread taken from their mouth, while the rich commit excess the likes of which the world has never seen.
They have learned nothing, nothing at all, about ethics. But as I am preparing to go home, I trust that someday in their own future they will see the light. I could not live without hope. 


I have to admit that as a physician, I am very much impressed with their practice of medicine. I have seen people cured from cancer. Artificial hearts save people from certain death. They can create a natural immunity to future diseases by using certain serums. But despite such wonders, they allow those who cannot pay die from illnesses the physicians could cure. I simply cannot understand that – in my time, a good physician would treat them for free. In my own practice, I set aside a time each week for people who cannot afford to pay.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
line-height:107%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-ansi-language:EN-US;
mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
line-height:107%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-ansi-language:EN-US;
mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

Ilil Arbel is the author of
a number of fiction and non-fiction books, including biographies, memoirs,
novels, and mythology/folklore. She has also written articles, short stories,
and Judaic myths.

Arbel has a Ph.D. in the
field of mythology and folklore but has also devoted much study to her special
interest in Jewish history, biography, legends, and myths. She is currently
engaged in writing the biography of Hillel the Elder, the first century B.C.
leader and religious scholar.

Dr. Arbel was born in Tel
Aviv, Israel. She has lived and studied in Tel Aviv, Paris, and New York and
currently resides in Manhattan.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
line-height:107%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-ansi-language:EN-US;
mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

 Moses, Son of Maimon

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

Born into a distinguished family in medieval Cordoba, Spain, the young Moses Maimonides was quickly recognized by his teachers for his outstanding intellectual abilities and extraordinary versatility. At the age of twelve, when his peaceful world was shattered by war and persecution and his family was forced into exile, his religious and secular studies continued. Despite the years of wandering and the harsh conditions, he also developed into a writer and wrote extensively until the end of his life.
 

Amazon

After years of wandering and relatively short stays in Morocco and Israel, Maimonides and his family settled in Egypt. The Jewish community quickly recognized his genius, and after completing his important book, the Mishneh Torah, he was recognized internationally as the chief religious and legal authority of the entire Jewish world. He produced many books on diverse subjects such as philosophy, law, religion, and medicine that are considered extremely important to this day by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Despite experiencing loss and controversies, Maimonides rose to eminence as both the official head of the Jewish community in Cairo and the private physician to the sultan and his court.

His world was full of contradictions. A man who abhorred excess of any kind, Maimonides nevertheless lived as a member of a glittering society. Cairo of that time was full of art, music, literature, elegant fashions, priceless jewelry, and sophisticated food. He moved among the sultan’s wealthy advisors and the elegant ladies of the royal harem during the day, and among the Jewish scholars in the evening. He was accused of supporting corporal punishment for wives, and at the same time, people gasped at his revolutionary defense of women’s rights.

His fame brought controversy that is still raging—eight hundred years after his death. At certain times his books were banned and even burned at the stake. But no one could ever deny that his work was that of a brilliant innovator and scholar who could reconcile religious traditions with science and philosophy like no one else.

Advertisements

Anything you want to say about this post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s