Reading Assignment - Class #28

Please read mitzvot #544 – 547.  Please consider the following questions:


Mitzvot #544 - 545:

Our author’s discussion of the shoresh for these mitzvot has four sections:

An explanation of the opinion that mitzvot should be seen only as decrees;

A quote from Rambam’s discussion of these mitzvot in his Guide for the Perplexed;

A quote from Ramban’s comments on the passage from Rambam;

And finally the author’s reflection on his own enterprise of articulating a shoresh for each mitzvah.    


Try to summarize what the author says in each section.  In our discussion we will start with the passage from Rambam and Ramban’s commentary on that passage, and then discuss the first and last sections that our author wrote on his own.  


1.       Do Rambam and Ramban agree?  Disagree? 

2.      How does the 1st section of the author’s shoresh fit with the rest of what he says?

3.      The long quote from Ramban that our author includes uses the term “ta’amei hamitzvot,” “the taste /insight/reason for mitzvot.”  Our author has consistently used the term “shoresh.”  Why?


Mitzvot #546 – 547:


If nothing happens in the world without God’s input, why should there be a mitzvah to avoid creating or encountering dangerous situations?  If someone gets hurt in a dangerous situation, isn’t it because God has decided that person ought to be hurt?