Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Three Views of Jewish Philosophy
3 Lectures

Item #: S315

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Item Description:

Over the ages there have been different approaches to understanding Torah and Jewish life through philosophy. This series by Rabbi Berel Wein highlights three different approaches to these philosophical understandings with a review of the ideas of Rabbi Saadia Gaon, Rabbi Yehuda Halevy and Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon. The differences and similarities between these giants of Jewish thought on philosophical approaches to understanding Judaism are discussed in this thoughtful series. These views are vital for a sophisticated understanding of Judaism and its traditions and values.

Individual lectures:

R' Saadia Gaon / Emunos V'Dayos - Ninth century Babylonia was a world surprisingly like our own; a multitude of forces threatened to assimilate the Jewish people. With his powerful book Emunos V'Daos, Reb Saadia Gaon became the first to explain "what Jews believe." An unsung hero of Jewish thought, this lecture restores his unique contribution to the limelight.

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy / Kuzari - "What the heart is to the body, the Jewish people are to the world," wrote Rabbi Yehuda Halevy, author of the Kuzari. This philosophical work is written as a dialogue between a rabbi and the 8th century king of the Khazars. Between "the king's" relentless questions and "the rabbi's" meticulous answers emerges a picture of a religion of joy, accomplishment, and universal love of mankind.

Rambam / Moreh Nevuchim - Maimonides' Moreh Nevuchim or "Guide to the Perplexed" is possibly the most controversial book in all of Jewish history. Labeled heretical and even burned in its day, the philosophical and theological positions it advocated are debated until now. With a thorough analysis of some of the issues this great work raised and a discussion of the dispute that ensued as a result, Rabbi Wein delivers a spellbinding and informative lecture.

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