The Soul and the Body in the Philosophy of the Rambam
Among the wide-spectrum contribution of the Rambam – the Maimonides – in philosophy to the word and to Judaism are his ideas on the body and on the soul and on the relations between them. His major approaches in these subjects are the following: 1) The body is the home of the soul, and the soul guides the body. That means the body and the soul are one unit. 2) The soul has five virtual parts. Each part is responsible for another activity in the human being. 3) Except for the treatment of diseases of the body and the soul with drugs, foods, physical exercise, etc., the Rambam believes that maintaining the health – of the body and of the soul – lies first of all, and probably exclusively, in observing the commandments and improving one’s ways, morals and conduct up to their highest levels, toward all of the world’s creatures. 4) The Rambam is of the opinion that one needs to persist in learning the Torah. One should worship God with awe and love and observe good values and virtues. All of these build the frameworks that maintain mental health and strengthen man’s abilities to develop skills for maintaining bodily health. This is so because body and soul are one – which is the basis of the Rambam’s philosophy of health and medicine.
Rambam Maimonides Med J 2011;2(2):e0040