the silly season: rambam in gaza

It is the crazy summer season. The season of festivals. The Missile and retaliation festival. One of the side features of the Oslo tailgate party. UNESCO at the urging of Islamic state members has just finished rebranding Jewish sage Rambam, Maimonides as a Moslem. When down is up and up is plumbing the depths, this is really the silly season. Hey, 8600 missiles and counting since the expulsion of yids from the Gush Katif region bordering on the Gaza Strip. Now that’s some kind of celebration. The clinking of the glasses at Oslo that sealed the deal. “And after all we have done for them!” The ungrateful and unwashed in Southern Israel. Land for peace it really does work. Patience. Patience. The gazans are just working through their emotions. Slowly. Gilad Shalit looked like a death camp diet when released. But he was alive. Cynically, it gives Gazans a chance to vent some steam as summer begins, perhaps showing off for new suitors; the habit of picking bad boyfriends like Syria and Iran lingers; they seem to be getting dumped once again.But can the Islamic world really claim Rambam as one of their own, someone worthy to kiss the kiss the hand of Mohammed himself?

During the Middle Ages, or middling intelligence, the French Inquisition confiscated and burned Maimonides’s books, albeit they were hardly innovators. Savonarola and his bonfire of the vanities. What’s a Talmud or a Torah but a luxury, think how much bum wipe you can make from a truckload? But in his time,  to avoid persecution by the Muslim sect which at the tip of the sword type of moral suasion, offered Jews and Christians a simple decision of death and converting but not in that order. Only the Mormons have mastered that trick. So,  Maimonides, one of the archetypes of the Wandering Jew,  fled with his family,  to Morocco,  to Palestine, and lastly, to Egypt. He  hoped to continue his studies for several years more, but his brother, David, a jewelry trader,  perished in the Indian Ocean with most of the family’s fortune, he had to begin earning real money leading him to begin practicing medicine.

( see link at end) …The IDF’s Iron Dome rocket defense system on Wednesday intercepted the first rocket in the recent escalation in the past three days. The system intercepted a rocket in the Netivot area.

—n 1236 a Jewish apostate, Nicholas Donin, submitted a memorandum to Pope *Gregory IX listing 35 charges against the Talmud. These included allegations that contained blasphemies of Jesus and Mary, attacks on the Church, pronouncements hostile to non-Jews, and foolish and revolting stories which is often still today quoted by anti-Semites as truth. Even some Jews have made that same mistake.
The apostate version is that the Jews had elevated Oral Law to the level of divinely inspired Scripture, and this impeded the possibility of Jewish conversion to Christianity. In 1239 Gregory IX ordered ecclesiastics in France to confiscate Jewish books (March 3, 1240), and for them to be burned at the stake.
Similar instructions were conveyed to the kings of France, England, Spain, and an inquisitorial committee condemned the Talmud two years later. In June 1242, 24 wagon loads of books totaling thousands of volumes were handed over to the book executioner for public burning.—Read More:

Palestinians have fired over 70 rockets into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip since Monday. Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli Air Force attacked and killed a global jihad terrorist in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on Wednesday. The IDF said the man was involved in the terrorist attack that emanated from the Sinai Peninsula on Monday. One of the central planners of the attack was seriously injured.

The air strike was a joint operation of the Air Force and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), who said the killing was a confirmation of the declaration of responsibility issued Tuesday by the previously unknown global jihad organization. The defense establishment is particularly concerned with the development and growing presence of global jihad and al-Qaida-affiliated organizations in the Gaza Strip, some of which are made up of former Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas members. Others, it said, come from Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.Read More:


( see link at end) …This was left to Maimonides [1135-1204] who, as we shall see, strongly put forth the view that Muslims were not idolaters. Although, to be sure, Islam was heresy, this did not stop Maimonides from expressing a positive view about Islam–or even about Christianity, which he considered to be idolatry. In his mind, although Islam and Christianity are both in error, they still have some value in that they prepare the world eventually to accept the true religion, namely Judaism.

—Just when you thought they couldn’t get any crazier, UNESCO has converted the Rambam (Maimonides) to Islam.
On a final note, a recent UNESCO report on science, Jewish physician and theologian Maimonides is classified as a Muslim named “Moussa ben Maimoun.” So the Rambam – for Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon – has been forced to “convert” to Islam by the UN’s revisionist historians.—Read More: image:

“All those words of Jesus of Nazareth and of this Ishmaelite [i.e., Muhammad] who arose after him are only to make straight the path for the messianic king and to prepare the whole world to serve the Lord together. As it is said: ‘For then I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech so that all of them shall call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord’ (Zephaniah 3:9).” […]

Also important for understanding Maimonides’ view of Islam is a well known letter that he wrote around the year 1165, when he was still a resident of Fez, having not yet travelled to [the land of Israel] and Egypt. It was addressed to the inhabitants of Morocco, who had been threatened by the Almohads [the Berber Muslim dynasty

ruled Spain and Morocco in the 12th and 13th century] with conversion, exile, or death.

It so happened that an anonymous scholar who had been living outside of the Almo­hads’ reach had issued a ruling that Islam was idolatry and that, there­fore, one must give up his life rather than convert to Islam. If one did not, he was to be treated as no different than a true apostate. This ruling created somewhat of a storm among the crypto‑Jews of Morocco, and it was in response to this confusion that Maimonides wrote his letter, which was a marvelous defense of a Jewish community that was forced to hide its religion because of persecution.

—IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz commented Wednesday on the current round of escalation between Israel and the Gaza-based terror groups, saying that the IDF will “meet any attempt to infringe on Israel’s security with force.
Gaza terrorists fired close to 50 rockets at Israel’s western Negev communities since Wednesday morning. “We will meet any threat, any time,” Gantz said.—YNET Image:

There has been much argument about how faithful Maimonides was to the halakhic sources and whether his presentation of his opponent’s view was correct. However, one thing which appears to be sure, [contemporary historian] Haym Soloveitchik’s reservations notwithstanding, is that it was the Maimonidean acceptance of Islam’s monotheistic character that enabled him to come to the defense of the crypto‑Jews, even if he does not argue this point explicitly.

It would appear that, because he felt that this notion was so obvious, he did not feel the need to defend it. Alternatively, one could say that his refusal to argue the case that Islam is not idolatry was because he regarded the crypto‑Jews as never having truly accepted the religion in the first place and, therefore, his argument was able to proceed along a different line, one which argues that, even assuming that Islam is idolatry, the Jews still have not violated the idolatry prohibition. However, had the Jews truly accepted Islam, one could probably have expected Maimonides to argue that, whereas the Jews may have been heretics, they were not idolaters.

In any event, it is safe to say that, in the generations following Maimonides, almost all halakhic authorities accepted his approach to Islam.

—While the southern border region is the main focus right now, there was a familar voice coming from the north praising the rockets being fired into Gaza. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah was heard praising the attacks on Israel. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday praised the recent barrage of rockets fired from Gaza over southern Israel. “The resistance was able to force a million and half a million of Israelis to stay in shelters,” Nasrallah said, lauding it as an achievement.—Read More: image:

…Indeed, it was Maimonides’ son, Rabbi Abraham, who took his father’s view to its logical conclusion when he argued that, although Islamic religious practices should not be imitated, strictly speaking they do not fall under the biblical prohibition of following the ways of the Gentiles. This is so simply because “Muslims are monotheists who abhor idolatry.”

After all this has been said, one should not conclude that, with regard to Islam, Maimonides was expressing any real tolerance, in the modern sense of the term. All of his positive statements were intended simply to clarify the nature of the Islamic religion, statements which, in turn, will have numerous halakhic consequences. To show that Maimonides was anything but an adherent of religious tolerance, it is sufficient to note that, in his opinion, not only is it impossible for a Muslim to be a pious Gentile, but it is even forbidden for a Gentile to follow the dictates of Islam [Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 8:11].Read More:

Philosophically, Maimonides was a religious rationalist. His damning attacks on people who held ideas he regarded as primitive — those, for example, who understood literally such biblical expressions as “the finger of God” so infuriated his opponents that they proscribed parts of his code and all of The Guide to the Perplexed. Other, more liberal, spirits forbade study of the Guide to anyone not of mature years. An old joke has it that these rabbis feared that a Jew would start reading a section in the Guide in which Maimonides summarizes a rationalist attack on religion, and fall asleep before reading Maimonides’s counterattack-thereby spending the night as a heretic.

How Maimonides’s opponents reacted to his works was no joke, however. Three leading rabbis in France denounced his books to the Dominicans, who headed the French Inquisition. The Inquisitors were only too happy to intervene and burn the books. Eight years later, when the Dominicans started burning the Talmud, one of the rabbis involved, Jonah Gerondi, concluded that God was punishing him and French Jewry for their unjust condemnation of Maimonides. He resolved to travel to Maimonides’s grave in Tiberias, in Israel, to request forgiveness.Read More:

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