The Power of a New Idea: Maimonides ⋆ Politicrossing
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The Power of a New Idea: Maimonides

The more innovative the idea you wish to introduce, the more you first need to contemplate and study the landscape

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The name Moses Maimonides is lost to our contemporary masses, who might know the names Nicolaus Copernicus, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, or James Madison, but can barely cite their accomplishments.

Maimonides was born in 1138 in Cordova, Spain. Under Muslim rule, Cordova was considered one of the intellectual centers of the Western world. When Maimonides was ten years old, a warring sect invaded and conquered Cordova, forcing all non-Muslims, including his family, who were Jewish, to convert, depart, or face execution.

Many Travels

For nearly two years, Maimonides’s family lived a fairly nomadic life, traveling throughout southern Spain and eventually settling in Morocco. At the age of 28, when he had already started to establish himself as a philosopher, author, and serious thinker, he relocated to Cairo, Egypt.

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His first masterpiece, the Mishneh Torah, provided an organizational framework forthe Torah’s commandments and highlighted that each part of Jewish law provided a rational and fundamental purpose.

Maimonides showed that none of the laws were constructed simply for the sake of obedience, an observation apparently true of many other religions.

Book One of the Mishneh Torah, also known as the Book of Knowledge, laid the foundation for Jewish philosophy, offered a theory of morality, implored the study of the Torah, spelled out laws regarding idolatry, and expounded upon the importance of repentance.

Book Fourteen, known as Judges, proclaimed that the true Messiah would come and restore sovereignty to Israel, make peace with surrounding nations, and lead the modern world in scientific and philosophical inquiry.

Articles of Faith

Maimonides presented 13 principles that he believed all Jews needed to adopt, including the existence and eternity of God; that God communicates through the prophets, of which Moses of Egypt was the greatest; that the Torah was offered by God and is immutable; and that there is divine providence, as well as divine punishment and reward.

These articles of faith were the first of their kind. His views were vexing to European in the 12th century and ignited an ongoing controversy in Judaism. As such, critics questioned and repudiated Maimonides for much of his adult life.

In 1190, at the age of 52, he wrote and published The Guide of the Perplexed, which began as a letter he wrote to a graduate student who couldn’t decide between studying philosophy or the teachings of Judaism.

The guide reviewed biblical terminology that seemed to endow God with corporeal qualities. It also discussed prophecy, creation, jurisprudence, and providence.

Maimonides believed that Jewish law was designed to improve the soul and body. He felt  literal interpretations of the Bible resulted in viewing God as a material conception; nothing more than idolatry.

Resistance Rises

Like the Mishneh Torah, The Guide of the Perplexed sparked controversy and was banned in many Jewish communities.

Some Rabbis feared that Maimonides’ arguments raised the question as to whether the true meaning of the Torah could be understood by typical worshippers, which implied that the Torah might only be taught to an educated few.

Maimonides published his treatise on resurrection, one year later, in which he discussed how his concept of the afterlife represented an intellectual, but not bodily, resurrection.

His letter on astrology debunked the widespread belief that celestial bodies had influence over human events.

Innovation Requires Contemplation

In his mid-60s, Maimonides died in Fostat, Egypt after a continuous battle with exhaustion.

Today, much of his content hardly seems controversial. However, Maimonides was a brilliant and serious scholar, and he did not offer his innovative views of God and humankind and their intertwined relationship to rile existing powers. Rather, they represented his best ideas from years of study and contemplation on the nature of God, existence, and divine law.

What are we to learn from one of the great thinkers of the ages? The more innovative the idea you wish to introduce, the more study and contemplation you first need to do.  Controversy can dissipate in the light of rational comprehensive arguments, but those don’t come easily.

If you have passion for your innovation and have faith in your concept, brave the criticism and stand by your ideas.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Elections

America No More…

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After watching with over a hundred others the newly released movie, Civil War, I left the theater stunned, and I was not alone. Was it a good movie? Just a deeply unsettling one! Could it really happen? You don’t even want to imagine it! But with Biden’s assault on America continuing and Trump reemerging as the favored GOP candidate, the American division is growing. More and more citizens are getting angrier as their standard of living is in jeopardy and illegals are getting benefits citizens can only dream of.

Spoiling the movie’s plot is never appropriate, but when Western forces from Texas, Florida, and even California take on the elected President, the country is left in a civil war. We watch as desensitized media professionals cover the death of hundreds of American citizens. To the film’s media, the war is just a once-in-a-lifetime story that deserves to be captured one picture at a time. After all, it’s the media’s job. They are just feeding citizens what they want—blood, gore, winners, and victims. What would happen if America descends into such chaos? This movie provides one disturbing view, one that, God help us, must never happen.

One thing is clear, when a country loses trust in its leader’s ability to preserve their cherished freedoms and ensure equal treatment under the law, even insurrection seems somehow possible. That is a nightmare no American should have to entertain, but more and more Americans seem to be losing hope in the future of our country. They don’t trust elections. Many don’t even like the Presidential choices presented to them.

The Founding Fathers valued freedom enough to unleash a revolution against the greatest power at the time. Enough citizens joined them in securing what most at the time believed impossible, independence. Yes, insurrection hatched our beloved America. Belief in equal rights and freedom are powerful forces that have always driven patriotic Americans to action.


Even with our differences, most Americans believe in property rights, voting rights, law enforcement to keep us safe, freedom of speech, and personal responsibility. Unfortunately, more and more Americans feel these values are in question, and they are not sure America can be saved!

Many Americans no longer even believe that elections will produce a lawful winner. They don’t trust the voting machines. They want paper ballots that can be counted. They don’t believe multiple days are needed. Hasn’t one day of voting always been enough? They want required IDs and signed mail-in ballots. They fear ballot harvesting is just another name for ‘manufacturing” all the votes you need to ensure a fraudulent victory. Are American fair elections no more!

Many no longer believe that the enforcement of law is fair and sure. While former President Donald Trump has been charged with multiple “crimes,” President Joe Biden’s similar actions aren’t even charged. Hunter Biden’s influence peddling with money set aside for the “Big Guy” are not even covered in the mainstream media. The Dept. of Justice is quick to charge Trump, but with the Bidens, we hear nothing but crickets. People who commit crimes are being let go instead of being held accountable. Is American law and order no more!

Under President Trump, our border was finally more under control. Under Biden, his open border has been continually flooding our country with illegals from around the world. They come expecting benefits at the expense of taxpaying citizens. Illegals overwhelm services in our urban areas. Legal immigrants had to wait years to enter and are fuming at this invasion of illegals rushing to the front of the line and expecting to be accepted, supported, and allowed to become citizens. Is America’s secure border no more!

We thought in America, your home was your castle. If you work to buy the home of your dreams, you were sure that your property rights were secure in a community that you loved. But today, squatters are taking over vacant homes and fending off owners who want them to leave their property. Illegals are being told to come to America, find an empty home, and move in. In the name of equity, governments are rezoning the suburbs and requiring the building of low-income housing where it is not wanted. Are America’s property rights no more!

Do you believe America is lost? Do you believe nothing can reverse this march to chaos? Do you believe that it is time to buy your own guns to protect your family when the government won’t? Is a civil war coming? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are in danger of losing the optimistic attitude that has characterized Americans for two centuries. This is our country. This is not the time for surrender. It’s time to fight to preserve America the best way you can—vote for candidates who promise to preserve the rights you value most.

Your vote does matter. There are no perfect candidates, but the party positions make a difference in this critical election. If you want law and order, secure borders, fair elections, property rights, and a return to personal responsibility, there is only one party to support. Vote for every GOP candidate you are given the opportunity to support, or it may very well be America no more!

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News

Biden wants to tie Israel’s hands

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After Iran launched an extensive drone and missile attack against Israel, Iran’s president vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with a military response. In plain language, Israel is not allowed to react as any other country would after being attacked. That seems to be the opinion of many world leaders, including Joe Biden.

That’s like saying that the US had no right to retaliate after Japan’s attack on December 7th. This absurd policy applies only to Israel. If Iran launched missiles against the US, imagine what we would do in response. (Of course, with a wimp in the White House, there is a good chance that we would do nothing.)

On the evening of 13 April 2024, Iran launched hundreds of deadly missiles against various sites in Israel. Iran’s attack was presumably in retaliation for an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Israel’s justification for its attack is that the Iranian consulate has been the center for Iran’s terrorist activities throughout the Middle East. The consulate “did not have diplomatic immunity,” according to attorney Alan Dershowitz, “because it was not being used for diplomatic purposes; it was being used to plan military attacks against Israel.”

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With assistance from the US, the UK, neighboring Jordan and other nations, Israel successfully intercepted nearly all the missiles and drones. Despite the lack of damage, Iran’s intent clearly was to inflict serious harm. Iran underestimated Israel’s ability to defend itself. Now Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi has vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with even the “tiniest invasion” of Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would be the one to decide whether and how to respond to the Iranian attack, brushing off calls for restraint. “The state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself,” Netanyahu said. “Everything is on the table right now,” said a source in the Israeli government. Israel possesses an impressive range of high-tech weaponry, including nuclear weapons and F35 fighter planes that can overwhelm Iran’s outmoded air force.

“Iran declared war on Israel by sending more than 300 bombs in Israel’s direction, aimed at civilian as well as military targets in Jerusalem and other locations,” said Alan Dershowitz. “As a matter of law and morality, Israel is entitled to respond to this act of war by overwhelming, even disproportionate, force against Iranian military targets.”

Biden has not supported Dershowitz’s argument. Instead, he has “sent a clear message to the mullahs that there would be no consequences for their rogue actions,” said Lisa Daftari, a leading Iranian-American expert. “What we are seeing is a manifestation of weak policies and the ayatollah’s correct read on American foreign policy.” Biden’s policy, said Yaakov Katz, a leading Israeli security expert, “does not work and the world’s strategy of diplomacy and sanctions is not effective. The world needs to shift gears and change the way it has tried to confront Iran.”

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe agreed that the Biden administration’s tepid policy has emboldened Iran. “Joe Biden’s reaction to that hit in Damascus sent a message to Iran and to the rest of the world that the US was not with Israel, that the US was reluctant to support Israel on this. And I think that emboldened Iran. And as one of the former intelligence officials in Iran said to me, with friends like Joe Biden, Israel doesn’t need more enemies.”

Biden has warned Israel not to take action, said Alan Dershowitz. “Biden wants Israel simply to proclaim victory and not respond appropriately. This will only encourage Iran to take further military action against Israel either directly or through its numerous proxies,” Dershowitz warns. “If the [Iranian] regime felt endangered, it could attack Israel with its nuclear weapons, as it has threatened to do. That is an important reason why Iran’s potential nuclear arsenal should be destroyed before it can be deployed.”

“This is the time to act,” Dershowitz concludes. “Iran has provided Israel and the United States with a complete legal and moral justification for destroying its nuclear weapons program and for beginning the process toward regime change. If we do not act now, it may be too late.”

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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