Maimonides palace metaphor


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Palace Metaphor

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Those outside the palace

Those within the city

Those who seek to enter the ruler’s habitation but never see it

Those who have come to the palace and walked around

Those who have entered the antechamber

Those who have entered the inner court

Those present at the rulers council

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Can understand, but understand wrong

Adherents of the law, observe commandments but do not speculate, fully obedient

Almost one with God, men of science who reached perfection in divine knowledge

Speculate on fundamental principles of religion, divided in two: higher (philosophical) and lower (sophistry)

Prophets who know G-d in the way all humans can know G-d

Irrational animals, unable to understand anything higher

Jurists - know the right things and study the law but only on basis of authority