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Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism: Secrets of “The Guide for the Perplexed”
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Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism: Secrets of “The Guide for the Perplexed”


Jewish Publication Society 2015

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A publishing sensation long at the top of the best-seller lists in Israel, the original Hebrew edition of Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism has been called the most successful book ever published in Israel on the preeminent medieval Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides. The works of Maimonides, particularly The Guide for the Perplexed, are reckoned among the fundamental texts that influenced all subsequent Jewish philosophy and yet also proved to be highly influential in Christian and Islamic thought.

Spanning subjects ranging from God, prophecy, miracles, revelation, and evil to politics, messianism, reason in religion, and the therapeutic role of doubt, Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism elucidates the complex ideas of the Guide in remarkably clear and engaging prose.

Drawing on his own experience as a central figure in the current Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and spirituality, Micah Goodman brings Maimonides’s masterwork into dialogue with the intellectual and spiritual worlds of twenty-first-century readers. Goodman contends that in Maimonides’s view, the Torah’s purpose is not to bring clarity about God but rather to make us realize that we do not understand God at all; not to resolve inscrutable religious issues but to give us insight into the true nature and purpose of our lives.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

The Guide for the Perplexed is also available as a Logos title.

Key Features

  • Examines the life of Moses Maimonides
  • Elucidates the complex ideas of The Guide for the Perplexed
  • Contends that the Torah's purpose is to make us realize how little we know of God


Part 1. God

  • The God of Maimonides
  • Prophecy
  • Providence
  • Redemption
  • From Negative Theology to Empowering Humanity
  • Conclusion: The New Religious Hero

Part 2. Torah

  • Is the Torah Divine?
  • Reasons for the Commandments
  • Man and the Torah
  • The Universality of the Torah
  • Conclusion: Rising to the Level of Understanding

Part 3. Perplexity

  • Contradictions
  • The Creation of the World
  • Perplexity and God
  • The Role of Doubt
  • Halakhah and Dogmatism
  • The Crisis of Reason
  • The Crisis of Tradition
  • From Perplexity to Mysticism and Politics
  • Therapeutic Perplexity
  • Conclusion: The Purpose of Life

Praise for the Print Edition

With his characteristic skill and insight, Micah Goodman guides us through the beauty of Jewish philosophy, uplifting us from perplexity to enlightenment.

—Shimon Peres, former president of the State of Israel

After more than eight centuries, Maimonides’s Guide for the Perplexed remains the Everest of Jewish thought, majestic and challenging at the same time. Micah Goodman, one of the brightest of contemporary Jewish thinkers, has provided a superlative introduction to this work. It is engaging, lucid, and a delight to read, enabling Maimonides’s masterpiece to speak compellingly to our perplexities. An outstanding achievement.

—Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth

Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism presents an exciting and relevant possibility: freeing the mind from the habits of religious discourse and returning the concept of God to the intellectual’s thoughts.

—Ruth Calderon, author of A Bride for One Night, member of the Israeli Knesset, and founder of Alma: Home for Hebrew Culture

Micah Goodman’s inspiring book is an important and profound contribution to the comprehension of the greatest, most complex work in the history of Jewish philosophy.

—Moshe Halbertal, Gruss Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

One of Israel’s brilliant next generation thinkers, Dr. Micah Goodman is an intellectual powerhouse…I have been nourished by his electrifying lectures illuminating modern dilemmas through the minds of rabbinic sages and contemporary philosophers.

—Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism

Product Details

  • Title: Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism: Secrets of “The Guide for the Perplexed”
  • Author: Micah Goodman
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 296
  • Resource Type: Monographs
  • Topic: Philosophy

About the Author

Micah Goodman is a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the director of Israel’s Midrasha Ein Prat. A prominent public intellectual, he is a leading voice on Judaism, Zionism, the Bible, and the challenges and opportunities facing Israel and contemporary world Jewry. He is the author of two Israeli bestsellers in Hebrew on canonical Jewish texts.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition