Joint Straus/Tikvah Fellow
Academic Year 2012-2013
Professor Blidstein is Professor Emeritus in the Goren Goldstein Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He has written extensively on the legal thought of Maimonides and the relationship between law and ethics in Jewish law and is considered one of the foremost authorities on the Mishneh Torah. His publications include: Honor Thy Father and Mother: Filial Responsibility in Jewish Law and Ethics (1975), Political Principles in Maimonidean Law (1983; 2d ed., 2001), and Authority and Dissent in Maimonidean Law (2002). Professor Blidstein is a Fellow of the Israel Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2006 received the coveted Israel Prize in Jewish Thought. He holds a doctorate in rabbinics from Yeshiva University and rabbinic ordination from its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Maimonides on the Education and The Study of Torah
I intend to pursue the Maimonidean treatment of study and education in his Code, both in terms of its meaning, consistency, and coherence as well as in terms of its relationship to the Talmudic (and where possible, geonic) tradition. Where-and how- is Maimonides original, and where and how is he the devoted student of his own masters? Is Maimonides Judaic or is he philosophic? Maimonides created this unit of the Code (“Laws of the Study of the Torah”) as the site for discussion of study and education, as well as for rulings concerning the required scope of obligatory education, the subsidization of teachers and scholars, the power to license and the need to be licensed, the obligation to educate children and the structures to be established for that purpose, the status of women, and other topics.