Hell, Heretics, and Humanists: The World and Ideas of the Most Interesting Jewish Rebels throughout History, Part 4: Maimonides
Rabbi Tzemah Yoreh
Moses Maimonides, a twelfth century Jewish sage, is not usually labeled as a heretic in this day and age, but if we dig a little deeper it is apparent that he is a very controversial figure. He may have converted to Islam to escape persecution and one of his most important works, the Guide to the Perplexed was banned by many rabbis for heresy. Yet Maimonides and his family ruled Egyptian Jewry for centuries. Today, many Jewish atheists, such as Yaakov Malkin, see his views as a precursor to their own theologies, since he was so focused on what God wasn’t rather than on what he was.