Category Archives: Taamei HaMitzvos (Moreh Nevuchim)

Taamei HaMitzvos 02

Rational basis of the Mitzvos

This shiur continues with section III; chapter 25 in Moreh Nevuchim.

Here is a one sentence summary of the main points of the shiur from Rabbi Triebitz:

The main point that the Rambam is saying is that our belief of creation ex nihilo is not a contradiction to the idea that G-d created the world based upon a rational basis and because of that we necessarily have to understand that every act of creation has a rationale behind it – if not we make G-d into a grand cosmic idiot. In consequence we have laid the foundations for understanding that the mitzvot also have a rational basis and this is the true expression and the revelation of Toras Moshe Rabbeinu, which will be explained in detail in the remainder of Moreh Nevuchim.

Or listen to it yourself.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. Please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 02

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Taamei HaMitzvos 02
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Taamei HaMitzvos 02

Taamei HaMitzvos 01

Purpose of Creation

In these shiurim Rabbi Triebitz and the hashkafa circle will be examining the last section of Moreh Nevuchim (Guide for the Perplexed) in which Rambam explains the reasons for the mitzvot. These shiurim will cover the majority of section III in the Guide (iy”H).

As Rabbi Triebitz says, this part of Moreh Nevuchim is one of the least studied and most controversial sections, which is really only known to most people because parts of it are quoted by Ramban in Chumash (who argues with Maimonides).

Rambam begins section III; chapter 25 with an attack on the philosophy of the Ashariah which is an early part of the Islamic Kalam philosophy. They claim that one cannot ask “What is the purpose of creation?” Divine Will is ineffable, and cannot be questioned or understood.

Rambam takes issue with this, and explains that it is based on their lack of knowledge of science and philosophy.

However, as Rabbi Triebitz points out, Rambam himself, in Section III; chapter 13 says that one may not ask the purpose of creation!

Luckily, Rabbi Triebitz finds a resolution to this apparent contradiction.

You can watch and download the shiurim below. Please send any comments, thoughts, ideas or criticisms to admin at hashkafacircle.com


Video of shiur 01

Click here to download the shiur as an flv file
Taamei HaMitzvos 01
(you may have to right click on the link and click ‘save target as’)

Click here to download the shiur in audio mp3 format
Taamei HaMitzvos 01