The late, renown Shakespearean scholar Frank Kermode said that the work of a critic is to help us makes sense of how we try to make sense of things. (Sounds like a svek sveka.)

Are there any books (I would say "worthy," but trying to avoid the taint of opinion based) focused primarily on the "Guide," rather than included in a more general discussion of HaRambam.

I should say in English, which may severely constrain the possibilities.


  • 1
    The Guide is pretty readable, if you have a translation. Some parts (e.g., extensive discussion of Aristotelian philosophy) are less interesting to modern readers. I usually skim through them.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 2:34
  • @MichoelR Thanks for the advice. Also, wow, math PhD from Berkeley. The real deal. With regards,
    – user24795
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 21:00
  • Thanks! Enjoy - the Guide is just awesome. So many insights you can't find anywhere.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 23:01

3 Answers 3


R. Dr. Jose Faur wrote precisely such a book. It is called Homo Mysticus: A Guide to Maimonides's Guide for the Perplexed.

  • Thanks for the book and more. R Faur's story is quite an eye-opener. With regards,
    – user24795
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 12:09

Here are some sources I have encountered:

-- The Shlomo Pines translation (supposedly the best in English) has an introduction by Leo Strauss and one especially focused on philosophical background by Pines himself.

-- Moshe Halbertal, legal scholar at NYU, has a more comprehensive study of HaRambam (contrary to my request for focus on the "Guide") which traces his legal development as a precursor and the ends with the "Guide" itself. Interesting to see how the "Guide" stands in the overall context. A drawback is that the book is overly repetitive and is in desperate need of a good editor. But with that in mind, the endeavor to analyze HaRambam's thought process is admirable.


-- While I could not find anything regarding the qualifications of the source, Akiba Eliyahu, this is a succinct footnoted summary.



My chevruta and I have been working our way through the Guide, using Alfred L. Ivry's "Maimonides' 'Guide of the Perplexed': A Philosophical Guide" to provide both background material on Maimonides, his life, and works, along with the philosophical material that Maimonides assumes the reader is familiar with. Also, the book provides chapter summaries, that are helpful to read after we've studied the full chapters in the Guide, to see how his understanding contrasts with our own.

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