Saturday, April 6, 2024

Rambam is inconsistent?

 Rambam (De'os 1:5) A person who carefully [examines] his [behavior],1 and therefore deviates slightly from the mean2 to either side is called pious.What is implied?4 One who shuns pride5 and turns to the other extreme6 and carries himself lowly is called pious. This is the quality of piety.7 However, if he separates himself [from pride] only to the extent that he reaches the mean and displays humility, he is called wise. This is the quality of wisdom.8 The same applies with regard to other character traits.

Rambam (De'os 2:3) There are temperaments with regard to which a man is forbidden to follow the middle path. He should move away from one extreme and adopt the other. Among these is arrogance. If a man is only humble, he is not following a good path. Rather, he must hold himself lowly and his spirit very unassuming. That is why Numbers 12:3 describes our teacher Moses as "very humble" and not simply "humble". Therefore, our Sages directed: "Hold oneself very, very lowly." Also, they declared: "Whoever is arrogant is as if he denied God's presence, as implied by Deuteronomy 8:14: 'And your heart will be haughty and you will forget God, your Lord.' Furthermore, they said: "Whoever is arrogant should be placed under a ban of ostracism. This applies even if he is only somewhat arrogant."

This contradiction was noted by the Lechem Mishna

Avodas HaMelech (01:05) ואם נתרחק עד האמצע בלבד ויהיה עניו נקרא חכם וזו היא מדת חכמה. ועי' לח"מ שתמה ע"ז טובא דהא בפרק שאח"ז כתב רבינו שאסור לנהוג במדת הענוה במדה בינונית ועוד תמיהות, ועי' מ"ש ישוב הדברים לקמן בפ"ב ה"ג. 


  1. Rambam is not there to be consistent, sorry about that. he is there to bring halacha, from diverse sources, which themselves are not consistent. The Talmuds are not consistent with each other.

    1. The Rambam was a rationalist, and one of the requirements of rationalism is being consistent and coherent.

      The hallmarks of a good Maimonidean scholar is to be able to demonstrate how Maimonides is consistent in his Halachic rulings, and to be able to explain away seeming divergent anomalies.

      If you feel that Maimonides' rulings are chaotic, that's just a reflection on your own lack of skills in following Maimonides' Halachic thought process.

    2. Does anyone agree with this absurd statement?!

    3. I agree that KA's statement about the Rambam is absurd.

    4. Which statement are you saying is absurd? mine, or Ratios?


    6. yours see intro to Moreh Nevuchim

    7. sorry, wrong book, this is from Moreh , which is a Philosophical work.

      Yad is a halachic work.

      Furthermore, even if the Rambam claims there are no logical contradictions, that is subject to debate. There are contradictions between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi, and also within the talmud Bavli itself.

    8. Inconsistencies occurring in the Mishnah and Boraitot are traceable to the first cause. You meet frequently in the Gemara with passages like the following:—“Does not the beginning of the passage contradict the end? No: the beginning is the dictum of a certain Rabbi: the end that of an other”; or “Rabbi (Jehudah ha-Nasi) approved of the opinion of a certain rabbi in one case and gave it therefore anonymously, and having accepted that of another rabbi in the other case he introduced that view without naming the authority”; or “Who is the author of this anonymous dictum? Rabbi A.” “Who is the author of that paragraph in the Mishnah? Rabbi B.” Instances of this kind are innumerable.
      Apparent contradictions or differences occurring in the Gemara may be traced to the first cause and to the second, as e.g., “In this particular case he agrees with this rabbi”; or “He agrees with him in one point, but differs from him in another”; or “These two dicta are the opinions of two Amoraim, who differ as regards the statement made by a certain rabbi.” These are examples of contradictions traceable to the first cause. The following are instances which may be traced to the second cause. “Rabba altered his opinion on that point”; it then becomes necessary to consider which of the two opinions came second. Again,” In the first recension of the Talmud by Rabbi Ashi, he made one assertion, and in the second a different one.”

    9. Where does he claim to resolve all inconsistencies ?


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