Tonight and tomorrow is Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon’s yortzeit. I will not embarrass myself even attempting to talk about Rambam’s greatness and all the treasures one can gain from learning his Torah. I just want to mention that Rambam was one of the Rebbe’s favorite authorities in Judaism. Obviously, every voice is equally loud and important, but the Rebbe was seemingly obsessed (kvayachol) with Rambam and Rashi more than with any other authority outside of Chabad Chassidus. The Rebbe revitalized the practice of learning Rambam and talked at length many times about his importance.
I once overheard two shluchim talking about Rambam. One of them said that Rambam really helps one in one’s shlichus, because his approach to Judaism (both in halacha and philosophy) is so wholesome, available and clear. “The whole Torah”, said the other shliach. “And it’s true,” screamed the first shliach. “It’s mamosh the whole Torah.”
Again, I won’t embarass myself describing the importance of Rambam in Chabad Chassidus. In my personal view of Judaism, there is a great deal of similarity between the innovation and revolution in Judaism that Rambam accomplished and the same role that Chabad Chassidus played and plays in our times. See my earlier post for details.
Rabbi Paltiel talks about Rambam’s life and personality briefly in this class:
Jewish refusal to assimilate and yartzeit of Rambam
[How did the Jews not assimilate in Egypt? Rambam — seeming discrepancy between his personal character and his writings. Very fascinating shiur.]In the following class, Rabbi Paltiel brings a very interesting analysis of Moshe Rabbeinu’s inability to speak — including Rambam’s philosophical analysis of the question of whether absence of ability to speak is actual characteristic or a lack of characteristic (is darkness an independent entity or is it merely absence of light?). Rabbi Paltiel compares and contrasts Rambam’s (and generally philosophical) approach to that of Chassidus.
The Speech of Moshe
This class includes an analysis of Moshe Rabbenu's difficulty speaking. Sources include Rashi, Rambam, Ralbag, and other classic commentaries followed by insights on the topic from Chassidus.