Religion: Honoring the Second Moses

Muslims and Jews unite in paying tribute to a medieval sage

The conference of scholars last week in Paris could best be described as unexpected, and perhaps even improbable. The meeting honored the medieval genius Maimonides, one of history's greatest Jewish thinkers, and the host was UNESCO, the troubled United Nations cultural organization, which has upset Jews by frequently denouncing Israel. The World Jewish Congress co-sponsored the gathering, and one of its American leaders, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, even ventured that the conference might indicate "a reformed UNESCO." Sponsoring nations for UNESCO's Maimonides year, the 850th anniversary of his birth, include Pakistan, India, Cuba and Spain, which refuse to recognize the legitimacy of...

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