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on 7 December 2011
I think that Moreh Nevuchim or "The Guide for the Perplexed", is one of the most important Jewish works created by Judaism. It was definitely Maimonides intention for this work to be studied for future Jewish generations, as the essence of the topic dealt with is as close to heart for us, as it was for Maimonides. Maimonides originally penned this work in Arabic, which was his spoken language, whilst he was residing in Egypt. Subsequently it was translated into Hebrew by a contemporary of Maimonides in his lifetime.

As Maimonides states in the introduction to the book, the book contains meanings which he has hidden from a superficial viewer. He did this as he wanted to protect the unworthy masses and outsiders from knowing the "Mysteries of the Law", as he puts it. Thus every word in "The Guide" is picked with intention, and this is stated explicitly. This is why still today scholars, are debating the contradictions which are present in the work, and debating Maimonides true intention. For this reason, someone wanting to study the text in English, must get a high quality translation. I think this edition, was a let down in this respect, as the publisher used a translator (Friedlander) who translated the text from Arabic, over a hundred years ago. The result is an archaic translation, with some words chosen poorly. It thus makes a difficult read.

Another word of advise I would give is to avoid purchasing a copy which is an abridgement, or one which is annotated upon. As Maimonides states in his introduction, the aim of "The Guide" is to be read from beginning to end. If one skips even a single section, you may miss something crucial, as every word is carefully chosen.

If you want to study more about "Maimonidean thought", I would recommend studying material by Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who I think is one of the authorities on the meaning of Maimonides.
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on 14 November 2015
A must read
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