Why does the Torah prohibit eating certain birds? The Ramban (Vayikra 11:13) observes that there exist two classes of triefe birds: (i) predatory birds and (ii) birds which live only in uncivilized habitats, such as deserts for example. To explain why these birds should be excluded from the Jewish diet, the Ramban meditates — tersely and profoundly, as only he is capable — on the notion and experience of eating…

For those who have heard of him, Leo Strauss generally suffers from a negative reputation. To some, he is a political philosopher who rejected modernity in favor of classical antiquity. To others, he was the father of the Iraq war. To yeshiva students, Strauss is the heretic who disgraced the Mishneh Torah and made eternal The Guide of the Perplexed. However, I would like to study Strauss in another light…

Like most other books, the Guide of the Perplexed is a book of words. Unlike most other books it is a book about words. Maimonides, in his Introduction to the First Part, claims to have two goals. The first goal is to explain the meaning of various terms occurring in the books of prophecy. The second purpose is to explain obscure parables occurring in the books of prophecy…