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Rabbi Shlomo Riskin makes the following statement in his Sept. 27th, 2013 commentary on Bereishit in the Jerusalem Post:

Furthermore, Maimonides, in his Guide for the Perplexed, interprets all of the early biblical stories until the advent of Abraham as allegories, whose purpose is to convey moral lessons rather than historical fact.

Does this mean that Rambam didn't believe that anything up until the time of Abraham was literally true?

Is this a reasonable interpretation of Rambam's position as set out in the Guide?

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dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/29999/759 –  Double AA Oct 1 '13 at 17:10
    
@DoubleAA Don't think it's a dupe. That question deals only with the six days of creation, this question deals with everything up until Abraham which is much broader. –  Robert S. Barnes Oct 1 '13 at 17:39
    
No, I don't think it's a reasonable interpretation of RaMBa"M's views, although it's an understandable leap if you're only reading summaries of RaMBa"M's views. –  Seth J Oct 1 '13 at 17:48
    
(But I have only learned M"N in bits and pieces, and not in its original language.) –  Seth J Oct 1 '13 at 17:48
    
@SethJ I'm asking because this is being said by a well respected, main stream Orthodox Rabbi. I doubt he's "only reading summaries of RaMBa"M's views". I'm look for detailed reasons one way or the other that can be understood by someone who's not an expert in the Guide. –  Robert S. Barnes Oct 1 '13 at 18:21
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This is not an accurate presentation of the Rambam. Whereas the Rambam does not accept a literal reading of the creation story (as cited here, and see here), nowhere does he extend this to "all of the early biblical stories until the advent of Abraham." For example, the Rambam was criticized for his view (Moreh Nevukhim 2:47) that only the people mentioned in the Torah had such long lives, not the others of the generation. If all is allegorical, there is no reason for him to have said this. See also Moreh Nevukhim 1:29 and especially 3:50, where the Rambam discusses the story of the flood, and of the Tower of Babel.

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