Maimonides, known after the initial letters of his Hebrew name as Rambam, is generally acknowledged to be the greatest Jewish philosopher, Talmudist, and codifier in the Middle Ages.Read More
Texts and TraditionsHeresy
Various movements within the religion have been viewed heretical by those who disagreed with them.Principles of Faith
Maimonides' theological principles were never unanimously embraced.Biblical Faith
In the Torah, faith in God means trust, not belief in particular propositions.Medieval Jewish Philosophers
Thinkers who believed they were unearthing existing wisdom, not creating new ideas.Thinkers and Thought 101
It is difficult to speak of a single or official Jewish worldview, theology, or philosophy.
Modern InsightsBaruch Spinoza
A significant figure in the history of philosophy, excommunicated by the Jewish community.Outside Influences
Jewish thinkers have both embraced and directly reacted to foreign ideas and philosophies.Moses Mendelssohn
Herald of the Jewish Enlightenment.Martin Buber
The creation of a Jewish existentialism--and a Jewish state.Abraham Joshua Heschel
Heschel aimed to shock modern people out of complacency and into a spiritual dimension.
Major ThinkersJudah Halevi
A Spanish poet, philosopher, and proto-Zionist.Rashba
Solomon Ibn Adret wrote numerous medieval responsa.Saadiah Gaon
An introduction to the life and work of an early medieval spiritual leader.Leo Baeck
Theologian who stressed the ethical center of Judaism.Joseph Soloveitchik
A teacher, writer, and community leader who helped to shape modern Orthodoxy in America.
Books and PeopleThe Jewish Philosophy Reader
Edited by Daniel Frank, Oliver Leaman, Charles H. ManekinFifty Key Jewish Thinkers
By Dan Cohn-SherbokBahya Ibn Pakudah
His Duties of the Hearts stressed the inwardness of Judaism.Emmanuel Levinas
A Jewish sensibility encounters Western thought and ethics.Quiz Yourself
How much do you know about Jewish thinkers and thought?