Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

"על מה אבדה הארץ" (ירמיה ט:יא): בין חטא דתי לתהליך היסטורי טבעי אצל הרמב"ם ותלמידיו / "Why is the Land in Ruins?" (Jeremiah 9:11): Religious Transgression versus Natural Historical Process in the Writing of Maimonides and His Disciples

חנה כשר and Hannah Kasher
Hebrew Union College Annual
Vol. 69 (1998), pp. קמג-קנו
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23508860
Page Count: 14
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"על מה אבדה הארץ" (ירמיה ט:יא): בין חטא דתי לתהליך היסטורי טבעי אצל הרמב"ם ותלמידיו / "Why is the Land in Ruins?" (Jeremiah 9:11): Religious Transgression versus Natural Historical Process in the Writing of Maimonides and His Disciples
Preview not available

Abstract

Jewish tradition interpreted the destruction of the First Temple and the ensuing exile as divine punishment for Israel's sins, particularly the sin of idolatry. Nevertheless, a different view may be discerned in some medieval writers, who interpret the destruction not as divine intervention in history to punish the recalcitrant people of Israel, but as an event open to rational explanation. This view, which can be traced to Maimonides' epistle to the scholars of Montpellier, indeed created a link between idolatry and the destruction of the Temple, but interpreted the link in a naturalistic vein: political folly, induced by reliance on astrology, brought about defeat at the hands of the Babylonian superpower. Maimonides' disciples followed him with their own discussions of the issue. R. Jedaiah ha-Penini Bedersi, postulating an essential link between intellectual perfection and divine providence, argued that idol-worship therefore negated providence. Nonetheless he proposed didactic reasons why faith in direct providence through reward and punishment should be preferred to Sisyphean preoccupation with astrology. R. Joseph ibn Kaspi held that the relevant religious transgression was disobedience of the prophets who were realistic politicians. R. Isaac Polgar proposed two answers. The first was part of his anti-Christian polemic: Israel's debacle was due to its submissive behavior and reluctance to resist; the second was traditional, portraying the destruction as divine punishment for religious sins. R. Moses of Narbonne translated the religious language of interpersonal sins or sins against God into the language of actions that weakened the nation's ability to withstand its enemies. Common to all these thinkers is the idea that Israel could mend its ways, so that there was hope for redemption and a return to the land.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
קמג
    קמג
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קמד
    קמד
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קמה
    קמה
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קמו
    קמו
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קמז
    קמז
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קמח
    קמח
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קמט
    קמט
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קנ
    קנ
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קנא
    קנא
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קנב
    קנב
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קנג
    קנג
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קנד
    קנד
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קנה
    קנה
  • Thumbnail: Page 
קנו
    קנו