2024 marks 820 years since the death of Maimonides in the Egyptian city of Fustat. The main focus of his writing falls in three categories. There’s his commentary on the Mishnah and his code of Jewish law, the Mishneh Torah, a monumental contribution to Jewish jurisprudence. His Guide of the Perplexed is a magnum opus of theological and philosophical puzzles and reflection. And his writings about science, health, and medicine are an expression of the expertise he developed in his career as a court physician in Egypt.

Today’s episode is the first of a multi-episode mini-series on Maimonides featuring Yehuda Halper of Bar-Ilan University, among the most distinguished scholars today of medieval Jewish philosophy and medieval Islamic philosophy, in conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver. This week, they begin the series by looking at passages from the Mishneh Torah which describe the purview of Torah study.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.