Philosophy Salon: Maimonides with Rabbi Shneur Reti-Waks

Back in the 12th century, a philosophical physician changed the face of Jewish thought. Maimonides, or Rambam as he is known in the Jewish tradition, wrote two of the most important text in the Jewish tradition, the Mishna Torah and The Guide to the Perplexed. These works set him apart from everyone else on two seemingly contradictory counts. His former work was the first and last time the entirety of the Jewish tradition was codified by a single individual. He systematically arranged every law, aspect of life, and source of wisdom in Judaism into a fourteen volume work. The inscription on Maimonides’ tombstone suggests that not since Moses in the bible has there been such a great scholar and lawmaker.

On the other hand, his Guide to the Perplexed was so controversial that some fellow Jews were actually responsible for the burning of his books. Some of his radical ideas included the notion that enlightenment can be reached outside of religion. That God and religion are bound by rational thought and scientific knowledge so that when they are inconsistent it is religion which needs a makeover rather than our hard earned scientific truth.

Rambam’s works included many on science and his writings on medicine and astronomy were used as textbooks right until modernity. One of his most famous doctrines is about the eight levels of charity, and even 800 years ago, he was thinking of social enterprise as the answer suggesting that the greatest form of charity is to help someone get a meaningful job.

Join Rabbi Reti-Waks in discussing this luminous philosopher, astronomer and physician who changed the face of Jewish thought, and how many of his ideas still resonate today.


6.30 pm     Doors Open & Refreshments
7.00 pm     Welcome & Introduction
7.15 pm     Key Idea 1 & conversation
7.45 pm     Key Idea 2 & conversation
8.15 pm     Key Idea 3 & conversation
9.00 pm     Salon Concludes



'Teach thy tongue to say 'I do not know,' and thou shalt progress.'

– Maimonides


Rabbi Shneur was born in Israel to an ultra-orthodox Jewish family and is one of 17 children. He only learnt only religious studies from a young age, graduating as a rabbi at the age of 24.  He spent a decade pursuing extensive study at Monash University whilst discovering the world, nature, and Blues Brothers. Rabbi Shneur then spent the following decade as the senior rabbi at Ark Centre, stepping down in 2019. He now works as a freelance rabbi without borders.  

About Philosophy Salons

Hosted by a current philosopher, Philosophy Salons actively explore one important philosopher and their ideas over a social night of wine & cheese. Philosophers selected over these evenings include a mix of thinkers from different periods, schools of thought, geographical locations and backgrounds. Participants will be presented with a biographical background of the philosopher, along with three of their most relevant and provoking ideas and will be given opportunities throughout the night to then discuss these in small groups, making for an interactive and social evening.

Buy tickets for
Philosophy Salon: Maimonides with Rabbi Shneur Reti-Waks


When and where:
  • Thu 6 Feb 2020 6.30pm – 9.00pm
    11 Princes St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia




Full price: $45
Concession: $36
+ booking fee 

Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current Student Cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers. If you can no longer attend this event you are welcome to share your ticket with someone else, which they can present at the door to gain entry. Please see our Terms & Conditions on Refunds, Transfers & Credits for further details.

Need More Help?


For mobility access: Please contact us as above to discuss arrangements to ensure your access requirements are supported.