Monday, March 22, 2004

More on Maimonides Conference

Someone remarked to me that Dr. Grach (aka Professor Haym Soloveitchik) in his Maimonidean conference talk was talking as much about his father, the Rav, as about Maimonides. Especially when he referred to Maimonides as an artist who everyone sees themselves reflected in work. The artist whose compositions are so perfect that noone can possibly know its full and real meaning. And that people are inhibited to expand upon his writings, as it contains both the theoretical framework along with case studies. How he covertly polemicized in such a way that unless one knows the context one cannot see the polemic. There is more to be said, but ha-maivin yavin.

Further reports saw Dr. Soloveitchik, Rabbi Basil Herring, and Rabbi Saul Berman, talking between lectures with a small crowd surrounding them.
Rumour has it that they were talking about Ikkarei Emunah and what would be considered an Ikkar. Dr. Grach was overheard saying that anything could become an Ikkar, if that topic became a point of polemic. (Personally, I would disagree. Ikkarim are Ikkarim because they are fundamental to the Jewish religion. If somone said that Mei Sotah are not efficacious, but merely meant to scare the woman; that would not now automatically become an Ikkar. Though Alexander Altman has an interesting essay about a 17th century debate on the soul, which would support Dr. S's position....)

More to come....

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