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Moses ben Maimon ; (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides ( ) grc-gre, Μωυσής Μαϊμωνίδης ; la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם),, for ''Rabbeinu Mōše bēn Maimun'', "Our
Rabbi A rabbi is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi, following a course of study of Jewish texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisees, Phar ...

Rabbi
Moses, son of Maimon"
was a medieval
Sephardic Jewish Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews, ''Sephardim'',, Modern Hebrew: ''Sefaraddim'', Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or sefarditas), pt, Judeus se ...
philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, ...
who became one of the most prolific and influential
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are a ...

Torah
scholars of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. In his time, he was also a preeminent
astronomer An astronomer is a in the field of who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of . They observe s such as s, s, , s and – in either (by analyzing the data) or . Examples of topics or fields astronomers stud ...

astronomer
and physician, serving as the personal physician of
Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ku, سەلاحەدینی ئەییووبی, Selahedînê Eyûbî; ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب, an-Nāṣir Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb; 11374 March 1193), better k ...

Saladin
. Born in Córdoba,
Almoravid Empire The Almoravid dynasty ( ar, المرابطون, translit=Al-Murābiṭūn, lit=those from the ribats) was an imperial Berbers, Berber Muslim dynasty centered in Morocco. It established an empire in the 11th century that stretched over the weste ...
(present-day
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
) on
Passover Passover, also called Pesach (; he, פֶּסַח '), is a major Jewish holiday Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or ''Yamim Tovim'' ( he, ימים טובים, , Good Days, or singular , in transliterated Translitera ...
eve, 1138 (or 1135), he worked as a rabbi, physician and philosopher in
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
. He died in Egypt on 12 December 1204, whence his body was taken to the lower Galilee and buried in
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, טְבֶרְיָה, ; ar, طبريا, Ṭabariyyā) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, גִּנֵּיסַ ...

Tiberias
. During his lifetime, most Jews greeted Maimonides' writings on
Jewish law ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus '' trans-'' + '' liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → ...
and
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, m ...
with acclaim and gratitude, even as far away as Iraq and Yemen. Yet, while Maimonides rose to become the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, his writings also had vociferous critics, particularly in Spain. Nonetheless, he was posthumously acknowledged as one of the foremost rabbinic decisors and philosophers in
Jewish history Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their nation, Judaism, religion and Jewish culture, culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism as a religion first appears in Greek records d ...
, and his copious work comprises a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship. His fourteen-volume ''
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, "Repetition of the Torah"), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' (ספר יד החזקה "Book of the Strong Hand"), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbinic Jewish religio ...
'' still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of
Halacha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus '' trans-'' + '' liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → ...
. He is sometimes known as "ha'Nesher ha'Gadol" (The Great Eagle) in recognition of his outstanding status as a ''bona fide'' exponent of the
Oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, C ...
. Aside from being revered by Jewish historians, Maimonides also figures very prominently in the history of Islamic and Arab sciences and he is mentioned extensively in studies. Influenced by
Al-Farabi Abu Nasr Al-Farabi (; '; known in the West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-base ...

Al-Farabi
,
Ibn Sina Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا), also known as Abu Ali Sina (), Pur Sina (), and often known in the West as Avicenna (;  – June 1037), was a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' ...

Ibn Sina
, and his contemporary
Ibn Rushd Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; full name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, among others. Other cultures use other structures for full names. ...

Ibn Rushd
, he became a prominent philosopher and
polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific prob ...

polymath
in both the Jewish and . On his tomb is inscribed "From Moses to Moses there was none like Moses".


Name

His full Hebrew name is Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (), whose
acronym An acronym is a word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign langu ...
forms "Rambam" (). His full Arabic name is (), or () for short. The portion ''bin ʿUbaidallāh'' should not imply that Maimon's father was named
Obadiah Obadiah (; he, עֹבַדְיָה  – ''ʿŌḇaḏyā'' or  – ''ʿŌḇaḏyāhū''; "servant of Yah") is a biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religiou ...

Obadiah
, instead ''bin ʿUbaidallāh'' is treated as Maimonides' surname, as Obadiah was the name of his earliest direct ancestor. In Latin, the Hebrew ''
ben {{Infobox Given Name Revised , name = Ben , image= , imagesize= , caption= , gender = , meaning = , region = , origin = , related names = Benjamin Benjamin () was the last-born of Jacob's thirteen children (12 sons and one daughter) ...
'' (son of) becomes the Greek-style
patronymic A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a based on the of one's father, grandfather (avonymic), or an earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a . A name based on the name of ...
suffix '' -ides'', forming "Moses Maimonides".


Biography


Early years

Maimonides was born 1138 in Córdoba, Andalusia in the
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
-ruled
Almoravid Empire The Almoravid dynasty ( ar, المرابطون, translit=Al-Murābiṭūn, lit=those from the ribats) was an imperial Berbers, Berber Muslim dynasty centered in Morocco. It established an empire in the 11th century that stretched over the weste ...

Almoravid Empire
during what some scholars consider to be the end of the
golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula The golden age of Jewish culture in Spain, which coincided with the Middle Ages in Europe, was a Al-Andalus, period of Muslim rule during which, intermittently, Jews were generally accepted in society and Jewish religious, cultural, and economic ...
, after the first centuries of the
Moorish '' of Alfonso X, c. 1285 The term Moor is an Endonym and exonym, exonym first used by Christian Europeans to designate the Muslims, Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors in ...

Moorish
rule. His father Maimon ben Joseph, was a Spanish dayyan (Jewish judge), whose family claimed direct paternal descent from
Simeon ben Judah ha-NasiSimeon ben Judah ha-Nasi also called Rabban b'Rabbi was a 3rd-century Tanna in the Land of Israel Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparenc ...
, and thus from the
Davidic line The Davidic line or House of David (, ) refers to the Lineage (anthropology), lineage of the Israelites, Israelite king David through texts in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and through the succeeding centuries. In Judaism and Christianit ...
. Maimonides later stated that there are 38 generations between him and
Judah ha-Nasi Judah ha-Nasi ( he, יְהוּדָה הַנָשִׂיא‎, ''Yəhūḏā haNāsīʾ‎''; Yehudah HaNasi or Judah the Prince) or Judah I, was a second-century rabbi (a tanna of the fifth generation) and chief redactor and editor "Quarters ...
. His ancestry, going back four generations, is given in his ''Iggeret Teiman'' (Epistle to Yemen), as Moses son of Maimon the Judge (''hadayan''), son of Joseph the Wise (הֶחָכָם, ''he-chakham''), son of Isaac the Rabbi (הָרָב, ''harav''), son of Obadiah the Judge. At an early age, Maimonides developed an interest in sciences and philosophy. He read those
Greek philosophers Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC, at a time when the inhabitants of ancient Greece were struggling to repel devastating invasions from the east. Greek philosophy continued throughout the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic pe ...
accessible in Arabic translations, and was deeply immersed in the sciences and learning of Islamic culture. Maimonides was not known as a supporter of
Kabbalah Kabbalah ( he, קַבָּלָה, links=no ''Qabālā'', literally "reception, tradition" or "correspondence") is an esoteric method, discipline, and Jewish theology, school of thought in Jewish mysticism. A traditional Kabbalist in Judaism is ...

Kabbalah
, although a strong intellectual type of mysticism has been discerned in his philosophy. He expressed disapproval of poetry, the best of which he declared to be false, since it was founded on pure invention. This , who was revered for his personality as well as for his writings, led a busy life, and wrote many of his works while travelling or in temporary accommodation.1954 ''Encyclopedia Americana'', vol. 18, p. 140. Maimonides studied Torah under his father, who had in turn studied under Rabbi
Joseph ibn Migash Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef. The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in the Nordic coun ...
, a student of
Isaac Alfasi Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi ha-Cohen (1013–1103) ( he, ר' יצחק אלפסי, ar, إسحاق الفاسي) - also known as the Alfasi or by his Hebrew language, Hebrew acronym Rif (Rabbi Isaac al-Fasi), was a Maghrebis, Maghrebi Talmudist and posek ...
.


Exile

Another Berber dynasty, the
Almohads The Almohad Caliphate (International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA: ; from ar, المُوَحِّدون, translit=al-Muwaḥḥidūn, lit=those who profess the unity of God) was a North African Berbers, Berber Muslim empire founded in the 12th century. ...

Almohads
, conquered Córdoba in 1148 and abolished ''
dhimmi ' ( ar, ذمي ', , collectively ''/'' "the people of the covenant") or Mu'ahid is a historical term for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al ...
'' status (i.e., state protection of non-Muslims ensured through payment of a tax, the ''
jizya Jizya or jizyah ( ar, جِزْيَة; ) is a per capita ''Per capita'' is a Latin phrase literally meaning "by heads" or "for each head", and idiomatically used to mean "per person". The term is used in a wide variety of social sciences and sta ...
'') in some of their territories. The loss of this status left the
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...
and Christian communities with
conversion to Islam Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated re ...
,
death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organi ...

death
, or
exile To be in exile means to be forced away from one's home (i.e. village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scien ...

exile
. Many Jews were forced to convert, but due to suspicion by the authorities of fake conversions, the new converts had to wear identifying clothing that set them apart and made them subject to public scrutiny. Maimonides's family, along with most other
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
, chose exile. The question whether Maimonides himself was among those who had to convert to Islam in order to save his life prior to fleeing the area, has been the subject of scholarly debate.Stroumsa (2009), ''Maimonides in His World'', p.59 This forced conversion was ruled legally invalid under Islamic law when brought up by a rival in Egypt. For the next ten years, Maimonides moved about in southern Spain, eventually settling in
Fez Fez most often refers to: * Fez (hat) The fez (, ), also called tarboosh ( ar, طربوش, translit=ṭarbūš, derived from fa, سرپوش, translit=sarpuš, lit=cap), is a felt headdress in the shape of a short cylindrical peakless hat, usuall ...

Fez
in
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
. During this time, he composed his acclaimed commentary on the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah. ...
, during the years 1166–1168. Some say that his teacher in Fez was Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Cohen Ibn Susan, until he was killed in 1165. Following this sojourn in Morocco, together with two sons, he sojourned in the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical ...

Land of Israel
before settling in
Fustat Fustat ( ar, الفسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ'', ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt The current capital of Egypt is Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic: ⲕⲁϩ ...
in
Fatimid Caliphate The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Ismaili Shia Ismāʿīlism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, ''al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah''; fa, اسماعیلیان, ''E ...

Fatimid Caliphate
-controlled Egypt around 1168. While in
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
, he studied in a
yeshiva A yeshiva (; he, ישיבה, , sitting; pl. , or ) is a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards de ...
attached to a small
synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a High German languages, High German–derived language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews. ...
, which now bears his name. Goitein, S.D. ''Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders'', Princeton University Press, 1973 (), p. 208 In the Land of Israel, he prayed at the
Temple Mount The Temple Mount (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , ; "Mount of the House f God, i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem), known to Muslims as the (Arabic: , , "the Noble Sanctuary", or , , "the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem") and the Compound, is a hill i ...

Temple Mount
. He wrote that this day of visiting the Temple Mount was a day of holiness for him and his descendants. Maimonides shortly thereafter was instrumental in helping rescue Jews taken captive during the Christian
Amalric of Jerusalem Amalric ( la, Amalricus; french: Amaury; 113611 July 1174) was King of Jerusalem The King of Jerusalem was the supreme ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Crusader state founded by Christian princes in 1099 when the First Crusade took the c ...
's siege of the southeastern
Nile Delta The Nile Delta ( ar, دلتا النيل, or simply , ) is the delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), ...
town of
Bilbeis Belbeis ( ar, بلبيس  ; Bohairic cop, Ⲫⲉⲗⲃⲉⲥ/Ⲫⲉⲗⲃⲏⲥ ') is an ancient fortress A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized ...
. He sent five letters to the Jewish communities of
Lower Egypt , the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Image:Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png, 350px, Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ''Tsakhet'') is the northernmost region In geography, regions are areas that are ...
asking them to pool money together to pay the
ransom Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort Extortion is the practice of obtaining benefit through coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a ''commu ...

ransom
. The money was collected and then given to two judges sent to Palestine to negotiate with the Crusaders. The captives were eventually released.


Death of his brother

Following this triumph, the Maimonides family, hoping to increase their wealth, gave their savings to his brother, the youngest son David ben Maimon, a merchant. Maimonides directed his brother to procure goods only at the
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
ese port of ʽAydhab. After a long arduous trip through the desert, however, David was unimpressed by the goods on offer there. Against his brother's wishes, David boarded a ship for
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, since great wealth was to be found in the East. Before he could reach his destination, David drowned at sea sometime between 1169 and 1177. The death of his brother caused Maimonides to become sick with grief. In a letter discovered in the
Cairo Geniza The Cairo Geniza, alternatively spelled Genizah, is a collection of some 400,000 Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelit ...
, he wrote:


Nagid

Around 1171, Maimonides was appointed the ''
Nagid Nagid, ( he, נגיד ), is a Hebrew term meaning a prince or leader. This title was often applied to the religious leader in Sephardic communities of the Middle Ages. In Egypt, the Jewish ''Nagid'' was appointed over all the Jews living under the d ...
'' of the Egyptian Jewish community. Arabist
Shelomo Dov Goitein Shelomo Dov Goitein (April 3, 1900 – February 6, 1985) was a German-Jewish ethnographer, historian and Arabist known for his research on Jewish life in the Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in ...
believes the leadership he displayed during the ransoming of the Crusader captives led to this appointment. However he was replaced by
Sar Shalom ben MosesRabbi Sar Shalom ben Moses HaLevi (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, ...
in 1173. Over the controversial course of Sar Shalom's appointment, during which Sar Shalom was accused of
tax farming Farming or tax-farming is a technique of financial management in which the management of a variable revenue stream is assigned by legal contract to a third party and the holder of the revenue stream receives fixed periodic rents from the contract ...
, Maimonides excommunicated and fought with him for several years until Maimonides was appointed Nagid in 1195. A work known as "Megillat Zutta" was written by Abraham ben Hillel, who writes a scathing description of Sar Shalom while praising Maimonides as "''the light of east and west and unique master and marvel of the generation''." With the loss of the family funds tied up in David's business venture, Maimonides assumed the vocation of physician, for which he was to become famous. He had trained in medicine in both Córdoba and in Fez. Gaining widespread recognition, he was appointed court physician to the Grand
Vizier A vizier (; ar, وزير, wazīr; fa, وزیر, vazīr), or wazir, is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in the near east. The caliphs gave the title ''wazir'' to a minister formerly called ' (secretary), who was at first merely a ...
al-Qadi al Fadil, then to Sultan
Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ku, سەلاحەدینی ئەییووبی, Selahedînê Eyûbî; ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب, an-Nāṣir Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb; 11374 March 1193), better k ...

Saladin
, after whose death he remained a physician to the
Ayyubid dynasty The Ayyubid dynasty ( ar, الأيوبيون '; Kurdish languages, Kurdish: ئەیووبیەکان Eyûbiyan) was a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Kurds, Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin and centered in Egypt in the Middle Ages, Egypt, ruling over t ...

Ayyubid dynasty
. In his medical writings, Maimonides described many conditions, including
asthma Asthma is a long-term Long-Term Capital Management L.P. (LTCM) was a hedge fund''A financial History of the United States Volume II: 1970–2001'', Jerry W. Markham, Chapter 5: "Bank Consolidation", M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2002 based in Greenwich, ...

asthma
,
diabetes Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as just diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorder A metabolic disorder is a disorder that negatively alters the body's processing and distribution of macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrate ...

diabetes
,
hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living or ...

hepatitis
, and
pneumonia Pneumonia is an inflammatory Inflammatory may refer to: * Inflammation, a biological response to harmful stimuli * The word ''inflammatory'' is also used to refer literally to fire and flammability, and figuratively in relation to comments t ...

pneumonia
, and he emphasized moderation and a healthy lifestyle. His treatises became influential for generations of physicians. He was knowledgeable about Greek and Arabic medicine, and followed the principles of
humorism Humorism, the humoral theory, or humoralism, was a system of medicine detailing a supposed makeup and workings of the human body, adopted by Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Mo ...

humorism
in the tradition of
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
. He did not blindly accept authority but used his own observation and experience. Julia Bess Frank indicates that Maimonides in his medical writings sought to interpret works of authorities so that they could become acceptable. Maimonides displayed in his interactions with patients attributes that today would be called intercultural awareness and respect for the patient's Autonomy. Although he frequently wrote of his longing for solitude in order to come closer to God and to extend his reflections – elements considered essential in his philosophy to the prophetic experience -he gave over most of his time to caring for others. In a famous letter, Maimonides describes his daily routine. After visiting the Sultan's palace, he would arrive home exhausted and hungry, where "I would find the antechambers filled with gentiles and Jews … I would go to heal them, and write prescriptions for their illnesses … until the evening … and I would be extremely weak." As he goes on to say in this letter, even on
Shabbat Shabbat (, , or ; he, שַׁבָּת, Šabat, , ) or the Sabbath, also called Shabbos ( yi, שבת) by , is 's day of rest on the seventh day of the —i.e., . On this day, religious remember the biblical stories describing the and the redem ...

Shabbat
he would receive members of the community. It is remarkable that he managed to write extended treatises, including not only medical and other scientific studies but some of the most systematically thought-through and influential treatises on
halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific ...
(rabbinic law) and Jewish philosophy of the Middle Ages.
Joseph Karo Joseph ben Ephraim Karo, also spelled Yosef Caro, or Qaro ( he, יוסף קארו; 1488 – March 24, 1575, 13 Nisan 5335 Anno mundi, A.M.), was the author of the last great codification of Jewish law, the ''Beit Yosef (book), Beit Yosef'', and it ...
later praised Maimonides, writing of him, "Maimonides is the greatest of the decisors f Jewish law and all communities of the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical ...

Land of Israel
and of
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
and of the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
base their practices after him, and have taken him upon themselves as their rabbi." In 1173/4, Maimonides wrote his famous '' Epistle to Yemen''. It has been suggested that his "incessant travail" undermined his own health and brought about his death at 69 (although this is a normal lifespan).


Death

Maimonides died on 12 December 1204 (20th of
Tevet Tevet ( he, טֵבֵת, ''Tevet''; ; ''Ṭeveth''; ''Teves''; from Akkadian language, Akkadian ) is the fourth month of the civil year and the tenth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It follows Kislev and precedes Shevat ...
4965) in Fustat. It is widely believed that he was briefly buried in the
beth midrash A ''beth midrash'' ( he, בית מדרש, or ''beis medrash'', ''beit midrash'', pl. ''batei midrash'' "House of Learning") is hall dedicated for Torah study, often translated as a "study hall." It is distinct from a synagogue (''beth knesset'' ...
of the synagogue courtyard, and soon afterward, in accordance with his wishes, his remains were exhumed and taken to
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, טְבֶרְיָה, ; ar, طبريا, Ṭabariyyā) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, גִּנֵּיסַ ...

Tiberias
, where they were re-interred. The
Tomb of Maimonides According to Jewish tradition, the Tomb of Maimonides ( he, קבר הרמב"ם, Kever ha-Rambam) is in central Tiberias, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل) ...
on the western shore of the
Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic Judaeo-Aramaic languages represent a group of Hebrew-influenced Aramaic and Neo-Aramaic languages The Neo-Aramaic or Modern Aramaic languages are varieties of Aramaic ...

Sea of Galilee
in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
marks his grave. This location for his final resting-place has been debated, for in the Jewish Cairene community, a tradition holds that he remained buried in Egypt. Maimonides and his wife, the daughter of Mishael ben Yeshayahu Halevi, had one child who survived into adulthood, Abraham Maimonides, who became recognized as a great scholar. He succeeded Maimonides as Nagid and as court
physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintainin ...

physician
at the age of eighteen. Throughout his career, he defended his father's writings against all critics. The office of Nagid was held by the Maimonides family for four successive generations until the end of the 14th century. Maimonides is widely respected in Spain, and a statue of him was erected near the Córdoba Synagogue. Maimonides is sometimes said to be a descendant of King David, although he never made such a claim.


Thirteen principles of faith

In his commentary on the Mishnah (Talmud, tractate Sanhedrin, chapter 10), Maimonides formulates his "13 principles of faith"; and that these principles summarized what he viewed as the required beliefs of Judaism: # The existence of God. # God's Divine simplicity#In Jewish thought, unity and indivisibility into elements. # God's spirituality and incorporeality. # God's eternity. # God in Judaism#To God alone may one offer prayer, God alone should be the object of worship. # Revelation through God's prophets. # The preeminence of Moses among the prophets. # That the entire Torah (both the Written and Oral law) are of Divine origin and were dictated to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai. # The
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are a ...

Torah
given by Moses is permanent and will not be replaced or changed. # God's awareness of all human actions and thoughts. # Reward of righteousness and punishment of evil. # The coming of the Jewish Messiah. # The resurrection of the dead. Maimonides is said to have compiled the principles from various Talmudic sources. These principles were controversial when first proposed, evoking criticism by Rabbis Hasdai Crescas and Joseph Albo, and were effectively ignored by much of the Jewish community for the next few centuries. However, these principles have become widely held and are considered to be the cardinal principles of faith for Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jews. Two poetic restatements of these principles (''Ani Ma'amin'' and ''Yigdal'') eventually became canonized in many editions of the "Siddur" (Jewish prayer book). The principles can be seen listed in the Siddur Edot HaMizrach, Additions for Shacharit The omission of a list of these principles as such within his later works, the
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, "Repetition of the Torah"), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' (ספר יד החזקה "Book of the Strong Hand"), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbinic Jewish religio ...
and The Guide for the Perplexed, has lead some to suggest that either he retracted his earlier position, or that these principles are descriptive rather than prescriptive.


Legal works

With ''Mishneh Torah'', Maimonides composed a code of Jewish law with the widest-possible scope and depth. The work gathers all the binding laws from the Talmud, and incorporates the positions of the Geonim (post-Talmudic early Medieval scholars, mainly from Mesopotamia). Later codes of Jewish law, e.g. Arba'ah Turim by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher and Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Yosef Karo, draw heavily on ''Mishneh Torah'': both often quote whole sections verbatim. However, it met initially with much opposition. There were two main reasons for this opposition. First, Maimonides had refrained from adding references to his work for the sake of brevity; second, in the introduction, he gave the impression of wanting to "cut out" study of the Talmud, to arrive at a conclusion in Jewish law, although Maimonides later wrote that this was not his intent. His most forceful opponents were the rabbis of Provence (Southern France), and a running critique by Rabbi Abraham ben David (Raavad III) is printed in virtually all editions of ''Mishneh Torah''. It was still recognized as a monumental contribution to the systemized writing of
halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific ...
. Throughout the centuries, it has been widely studied and its halakhic decisions have weighed heavily in later rulings. In response to those who would attempt to force followers of Maimonides and his ''Mishneh Torah'' to abide by the rulings of his own Shulchan Aruch or other later works, Rabbi Yosef Karo wrote: "Who would dare force communities who follow the Rambam to follow any other decisor, early or late? … The Rambam is the greatest of the decisors, and all the communities of the Land of Israel and the Arabian Peninsula, Arabistan and the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
practice according to his word, and accepted him as their rabbi." An oft-cited legal maxim from his pen is: "Blackstone's formulation, It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death." He argued that executing a defendant on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely according to the judge's caprice. Scholars specializing in the study of the history and subculture of Judaism in premodern China (Sino-Judaica) have noted surprising similarities between this work and the liturgy of the Kaifeng Jews, descendants of Persian merchants who settled in the Middle Kingdom during the early Song dynasty. Beyond scriptural similarities, Michael Pollak comments the Jews' Pentateuch was divided into 53 sections according to the Persian style. He also points out:


Tzedakah (charity)

One of the sections of the ''Mishneh Torah'' is the section dealing with tzedakah. In Hilkhot Matanot Aniyim (Laws about Giving to Poor People), Chapter 10:7–14, Maimonides lists his famous Eight Levels of Giving (where the first level is most preferable, and the eighth the least): # Giving an interest-free loan to a person in need; forming a partnership with a person in need; giving a grant to a person in need; finding a job for a person in need; so long as that loan, grant, partnership, or job results in the person no longer living by relying upon others. # Giving tzedakah anonymously to an unknown recipient via a person (or public fund) which is trustworthy, wise, and can perform acts of tzedakah with your money in a most impeccable fashion. # Giving tzedakah anonymously to a known recipient. # Giving tzedakah publicly to an unknown recipient. # Giving tzedakah before being asked. # Giving adequately after being asked. # Giving willingly, but inadequately. # Giving "in sadness" (giving out of pity): It is thought that Maimonides was referring to giving because of the sad feelings one might have in seeing people in need (as opposed to giving because it is a religious obligation). Other translations say "Giving unwillingly."


Philosophy

Through ''The Guide for the Perplexed'' (which was initially written in Arabic as ''Dalālat al-ḥāʾirīn'') and the philosophical introductions to sections of his commentaries on the Mishna, Maimonides exerted an important influence on the Scholasticism, Scholastic philosophers, especially on Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. He was a Jewish Scholastic. Educated more by reading the works of Arab Muslim philosophers than by personal contact with Arabian teachers, he acquired an intimate acquaintance not only with Arab Muslim philosophy, but with the doctrines of Aristotle. Maimonides strove to reconcile Aristotelianism and science with the teachings of the
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are a ...

Torah
. In his ''Guide for the Perplexed'', he often explains the function and purpose of the statutory provisions contained in the Torah against the backdrop of the historical conditions. Maimonides is said to have been influenced by Asaph the Jew, who was the first Hebrew language, Hebrew medical writer.


Theology

Maimonides equated the God in Judaism, God of Abraham to what philosophers refer to as the necessary being, Necessary Being. God is unique in the universe, and the Torah commands that one love and fear God (Deut 10:12) on account of that uniqueness. To Maimonides, this meant that one ought to contemplate God's works and to marvel at the order and wisdom that went into their creation. When one does this, one inevitably comes to love God and to sense how insignificant one is in comparison to God. This is the basis of the Torah. The principle that inspired his philosophical activity was identical to a fundamental tenet of scholasticism: there can be no contradiction between the truths which God has revealed and the findings of the human mind in science and philosophy. Maimonides primarily relied upon the science of Aristotle and the teachings of the Talmud, commonly finding basis in the former for the latter. Maimonides' admiration for the Neoplatonism, Neoplatonic commentators led him to doctrines which the later Scholastics did not accept. For instance, Maimonides was an adherent of apophatic theology. In this theology, one attempts to describe God through negative attributes. For instance, one should not say that God exists in the usual sense of the term; it can be said that God is not non-existent. We should not say that "God is wise"; but we can say that "God is not ignorant," i.e., in some way, God has some properties of knowledge. We should not say that "God is One," but we can state that "there is no multiplicity in God's being." In brief, the attempt is to gain and express knowledge of God by describing what God is not, rather than by describing what God "is."Robinson, George
"Maimonides’ Conception of God/"
''My Jewish Learning''. 30 April 2018.
Maimonides argued adamantly that God is not corporeal. This was central to his thinking about the sin of idolatry. Maimonides insisted that all of the Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphic phrases pertaining to God in sacred texts are to be interpreted metaphorically. A related tenet of Maimonidean theology is the notion that the 613 commandments, commandments (especially those relates Korban, sacrifices) are intend to help wean the Israelites away from idolatry.Reuven Chaim Klein,
Weaning Away from Idolatry: Maimonides on the Purpose of Ritual Sacrifices
", ''Religions'' 12(5), 363.


Character development

Maimonides taught about the developing of one's moral character. Although his life predated the modern concept of a personality, Maimonides believed that each person has an innate disposition along an ethical and emotional spectrum. Although one's disposition is often determined by factors outside of one's control, human beings have free will to choose to behave in ways that build character. He wrote, "One is obligated to conduct his affairs with others in a gentle and pleasing manner." Maimonides advised those with anti-social character traits ought to identify those traits and then make a conscious effort to behave in the opposite way. For example, an arrogant person should practice humility. If the circumstances of one's environment are such that it is impossible to behave ethically, one must move to a new location.


Prophecy

He agrees with "the Philosopher" (Aristotle) in teaching that the use of logic is the "right" way of thinking. In order to build an inner understanding of how to know God, every human being must, by study, meditation and uncompromising strong will, attain the degree of complete logical, spiritual and physical perfection required in the prophetic state. Here he rejects previous ideas (especially portrayed by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in "Hakuzari") that in order to become a prophet, God must intervene. Maimonides claims that any man or woman has the potential to become a prophet (not just Jews) and that in fact it is the purpose of the human race.


The problem of evil

Maimonides wrote on theodicy (the philosophical attempt to reconcile the existence of a God with the existence of evil). He took the premise that an omnipotent and good God exists. In ''The Guide for the Perplexed'', Maimonides writes that all the evil that exists within human beings stems from their individual attributes, while all good comes from a universally shared humanity (Guide 3:8). He says that there are people who are guided by higher purpose, and there are those who are guided by physicality and must strive to find the higher purpose with which to guide their actions. To justify the existence of evil, assuming God is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent, Maimonides postulates that one who created something by causing its opposite not to exist is not the same as creating something that exists; so evil is merely the absence of good. God did not create evil, rather God created good, and evil exists where good is absent (Guide 3:10). Therefore, all good is divine invention, and evil both is not and comes secondarily. Maimonides contests the common view that evil outweighs good in the world. He says that if one were to examine existence only in terms of humanity, then that person may observe evil to dominate good, but if one looks at the whole of the universe, then he sees good is significantly more common than evil (Guide 3:12). Man, he reasons, is too insignificant a figure in God's myriad works to be their primary characterizing force, and so when people see mostly evil in their lives, they are not taking into account the extent of positive Creation outside of themselves. Maimonides believes that there are three types of evil in the world: evil caused by nature, evil that people bring upon others, and evil man brings upon himself (Guide 3:12). The first type of evil Maimonides states is the rarest form, but arguably of the most necessary—the balance of life and death in both the human and animal worlds itself, he recognizes, is essential to God's plan. Maimonides writes that the second type of evil is relatively rare, and that humanity brings it upon itself. The third type of evil humans bring upon themselves and is the source of most of the ills of the world. These are the result of people's falling victim to their physical desires. To prevent the majority of evil which stems from harm we do to ourselves, we must learn how to respond to our bodily urges.


On poisons and death

In a separate work recently translated from Arabic, Maimonides warns against lethal drugs which he calls poisons. According to this work these poisons will cause the most severe Apathy, apathies, and the decay of the human being's vigor right up to death.


Skepticism of astrology

Maimonides answered an inquiry concerning astrology, addressed to him from Marseille. He responded that man should believe only what can be supported either by rational proof, by the evidence of the senses, or by trustworthy authority. He affirms that he had studied astrology, and that it does not deserve to be described as a science. He ridicules the concept that the fate of a man could be dependent upon the constellations; he argues that such a theory would rob life of purpose, and would make man a slave of destiny.


True beliefs versus necessary beliefs

In ''The Guide for the Perplexed'' Book III, Chapter 28, Maimonides draws a distinction between "true beliefs," which were beliefs about God that produced intellectual perfection, and "necessary beliefs," which were conducive to improving social order. Maimonides places anthropomorphic personification statements about God in the latter class. He uses as an example the notion that God becomes "angry" with people who do wrong. In the view of Maimonides (taken from Avicenna), God does not become angry with people, as God has no human passions; but it is important for them to believe God does, so that they desist from doing wrong.


Eschatology


The Messianic era

Perhaps one of Maimonides's most highly acclaimed and renowned writings is his treatise on the Messianic era, written originally in Judeo-Arabic and which he elaborates on in great detail in his Commentary on the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah. ...
(Introduction to the 10th chapter of Sanhedrin (tractate), tractate Sanhedrin, also known as ''Pereḳ Ḥeleḳ''). (Open window for text)


Resurrection

Religious Jews believed in immortality in a spiritual sense, and most believed that the future would include a messianic era and a resurrection of the dead. This is the subject of Jewish eschatology. Maimonides wrote much on this topic, but in most cases he wrote about the immortality of the soul for people of perfected intellect; his writings were usually ''not'' about the resurrection of dead bodies. Rabbis of his day were critical of this aspect of this thought, and there was controversy over his true views. Eventually, Maimonides felt pressured to write a treatise on the subject, known as "The Treatise on Resurrection." In it, he wrote that those who claimed that he believed the verses of the Tanakh, Hebrew Bible referring to the resurrection were only allegorical were spreading falsehoods. Maimonides asserts that belief in resurrection is a fundamental truth of Judaism about which there is no disagreement. While his position on the World to Come (non-corporeal eternal life as described above) may be seen as being in contradiction with his position on bodily resurrection, Maimonides resolved them with a then unique solution: Maimonides believed that the resurrection was not permanent or general. In his view, God never violates the laws of nature. Rather, divine interaction is by way of angels, whom Maimonides often regards to be metaphors for the laws of nature, the principles by which the physical universe operates, or Platonic eternal forms. [This is not always the case. In Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah Chaps. 2–4, Maimonides describes angels that are actually created beings.] Thus, if a unique event actually occurs, even if it is perceived as a miracle, it is not a violation of the world's order. In this view, any dead who are resurrected must eventually die again. In his discussion of the Jewish principles of faith, 13 principles of faith, the first five deal with knowledge of God, the next four deal with prophecy and the Torah, while the last four deal with reward, punishment and the ultimate redemption. In this discussion Maimonides says nothing of a universal resurrection. All he says it is that whatever resurrection does take place, it will occur at an indeterminate time before the world to come, which he repeatedly states will be purely spiritual.


The World to Come

Maimonides distinguishes two kinds of intelligence in man, the one material in the sense of being dependent on, and influenced by, the body, and the other immaterial, that is, independent of the bodily organism. The latter is a direct emanation from the universal active intellect; this is his interpretation of the ''noûs poietikós'' of Aristotelian philosophy. It is acquired as the result of the efforts of the soul to attain a correct knowledge of the absolute, pure intelligence of God. The knowledge of God is a form of knowledge which develops in us the immaterial intelligence, and thus confers on man an immaterial, spiritual nature. This confers on the soul that perfection in which human happiness consists, and endows the soul with immortality. One who has attained a correct knowledge of God has reached a condition of existence, which renders him immune from all the accidents of fortune, from all the allurements of sin, and from death itself. Man is in a position to work out his own salvation and his immortality. Baruch Spinoza, Spinoza's doctrine of immortality was strikingly similar. But Spinoza teaches that the way to attain the knowledge which confers immortality is the progress from sense-knowledge through scientific knowledge to philosophical intuition of all things ''sub specie æternitatis'', while Maimonides holds that the road to perfection and immortality is the path of duty as described in the
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are a ...

Torah
and the rabbinic understanding of the oral law. Maimonides describes the world to come as the stage after a person lives his or her life in this world as well as the final state of existence after the Messianic Era. Some time after the resurrection of the dead, souls will live forever without bodies. They will enjoy the radiance of the Divine Presence without the need for food, drink or sexual pleasures.


Maimonides and Kabbalah

In ''The Guide for the Perplexed'', Maimonides declares his intention to conceal from the average reader his explanations of ''Sod'' esoteric meanings of Torah. The nature of these "secrets" is debated. Religious Jewish rationalists, and the mainstream academic view, read Maimonides' Aristotelianism as a mutually-exclusive alternative metaphysics to
Kabbalah Kabbalah ( he, קַבָּלָה, links=no ''Qabālā'', literally "reception, tradition" or "correspondence") is an esoteric method, discipline, and Jewish theology, school of thought in Jewish mysticism. A traditional Kabbalist in Judaism is ...

Kabbalah
. Some academics hold that Maimonides' project fought against the Proto-Kabbalah of his time. However, many Kabbalists and their heirs read Maimonides according to Kabbalah or as an actual covert subscriber to Kabbalah, due to the similarities between the Kabbalistic approach and Maimonides' approach toward interpreting the Bible with metaphor, Maimonides' understanding of God through attributes of action, thought and negative attributes, Maimonides' description of the roles of the imagination and intellect in life, sin, and prophesy, Maimonides' assertion that the commandments have a function that can be understood, and Maimonides' description of a 3-tiered cosmic order whereby God's will is implemented through a system of angels. According to this, he employed rationalism to defend Judaism rather than limit inquiry of ''Sod'' only to rationalism. His rationalism, if not taken as an opposition, also assisted the Kabbalists, purifying their transmitted teaching from mistaken Anthropomorphism in Kabbalah, corporeal interpretations that could have been made from Hekhalot literature, though Kabbalists held that their theosophy alone allowed human access to Divine mysteries.


''The Oath of Maimonides''

The ''Oath of Maimonides'' is a document about the medical calling and recited as a substitute for the ''Hippocratic Oath''. It is not to be confused with a more lengthy ''Prayer of Maimonides''. These documents may not have been written by Maimonides, but later. The ''Prayer'' appeared first in print in 1793 and has been attributed to Markus Herz, a German physician, pupil of Immanuel Kant.


Views on circumcision

In ''The Guide for the Perplexed'', Maimonides proposes that two important purposes of circumcision (''brit milah'') are to temper sexual desire and to join in an affirmation of faith and the covenant of Abraham:


Influence

Maimonides' ''
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, "Repetition of the Torah"), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' (ספר יד החזקה "Book of the Strong Hand"), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbinic Jewish religio ...
'' is considered by Jews even today as one of the chief authoritative codifications of Jewish law and ethics. It is exceptional for its logical construction, concise and clear expression and extraordinary learning, so that it became a standard against which other later codifications were often measured. It is still closely studied in rabbinic yeshivot (seminaries). The first to compile a comprehensive lexicon containing an alphabetically-arranged list of difficult words found in Maimonides' ''Mishne Torah'' was Tanhum ha-Yerushalmi, Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi (1220–1291). A popular medieval saying that also served as his epitaph states, ''From Moses, Mosheh (of the Torah) to Mosheh (Maimonides) there was none like Mosheh.'' It chiefly referred to his rabbinic writings. But Maimonides was also one of the most influential figures in medieval Jewish philosophy. His brilliant adaptation of Aristotelianism, Aristotelian thought to Biblical faith deeply impressed later Jewish thinkers, and had an unexpected immediate historical impact. Some more acculturated Jews in the century that followed his death, particularly in Spain, sought to apply Maimonides's Aristotelianism in ways that undercut traditionalist belief and observance, giving rise to an intellectual controversy in Spanish and southern French Jewish circles. The intensity of debate spurred Catholic Church interventions against "heresy" and a general confiscation of rabbinic texts. In reaction, the more radical interpretations of Maimonides were defeated. At least amongst Ashkenazi Jews, there was a tendency to ignore his specifically philosophical writings and to stress instead the rabbinic and halakhic writings. These writings often included considerable philosophical chapters or discussions in support of halakhic observance; David Hartman observes that Maimonides clearly expressed "the traditional support for a philosophical understanding of God both in the Aggadah of Talmud and in the behavior of the hasid [the pious Jew]." Maimonidean thought continues to influence traditionally observant Jews. The most rigorous medieval critique of Maimonides is Hasdai Crescas's ''Or Adonai''. Crescas bucked the eclectic trend, by demolishing the certainty of the Aristotelian world-view, not only in religious matters but also in the most basic areas of medieval science (such as physics and geometry). Crescas's critique provoked a number of 15th-century scholars to write defenses of Maimonides. A partial translation of Crescas was produced by Harry Austryn Wolfson of Harvard University in 1929. Because of his path-finding synthesis of Aristotle and Biblical faith, Maimonides had an influence on the great Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas, Saint Thomas Aquinas who refers to Maimonides in several of his works, including the ''Commentary on the Sentences''. Maimonides's combined abilities in the fields of theology, philosophy and medicine make his work attractive today as a source during discussions of evolving norms in these fields, particularly medicine. An example is the modern citation of his method of determining death of the body in the controversy regarding declaration of death to permit organ donation for Organ transplantation, transplantation.


Maimonides and the Modernists

Maimonides remains one of the most widely debated Jewish thinkers among modern scholars. He has been adopted as a symbol and an intellectual hero by almost all major movements in modern Judaism, and has proven important to philosophers such as Leo Strauss; and his views on the importance of humility have been taken up by modern humanism, humanist philosophers. In academia, particularly within the area of Jewish Studies, the teaching of Maimonides has been dominated by traditional scholars, generally Orthodox, who place a very strong emphasis on Maimonides as a rationalist; one result is that certain sides of Maimonides's thought, including his opposition to anthropocentrism, have been obviated. There are movements in some postmodern circles to claim Maimonides for other purposes, as within the discourse of ecotheology. Maimonides's reconciliation of the philosophical and the traditional has given his legacy an extremely diverse and dynamic quality.


Tributes and memorials

Maimonides has been memorialized in numerous ways. For example, one of the Learning Communities at the Tufts University School of Medicine bears his name. There is also Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts, Maimonides Academy School in Los Angeles, California, Lycée Maïmonide in Casablanca, the Brauser Maimonides Academy in Hollywood, Florida, and Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Beit Harambam Congregation, a Sephardi synagogue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is named after him. Issued from May 8, 1986 to 1985, the Series A of the Israeli New Shekel featured an illustration of Maimonides on the obverse and the place of his burial in
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, טְבֶרְיָה, ; ar, طبريا, Ṭabariyyā) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, גִּנֵּיסַ ...

Tiberias
on the reverse on its 1-shekel bill. In 2004, conferences were held at Yale, Florida International University, Penn State, and the Rambam Health Care Campus, Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, which is named after him. To commemorate the 800th anniversary of his death, Harvard University issued a memorial volume. In 1953, the Israel Postal Authority issued a postage stamp of Maimonides, pictured. In March 2008, during the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Euromed Conference of Ministers of Tourism, The Tourism Ministries of Israel, Morocco and Spain agreed to work together on a joint project that will trace the footsteps of the Rambam and thus boost religious tourism in the cities of Córdoba, Fes and
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, טְבֶרְיָה, ; ar, طبريا, Ṭabariyyā) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, גִּנֵּיסַ ...

Tiberias
. Between December 2018 and January 2019 the Israel Museum held a special exhibit dedicated to the writings of Maimonides.


Works and bibliography


Judaic and philosophical works

Maimonides composed works of Jewish scholarship, halakhah, rabbinic law, philosophy, and medical texts. Most of Maimonides's works were written in Judeo-Arabic languages, Judeo-Arabic. However, the ''Mishneh Torah'' was written in Hebrew. His Jewish texts were: * ''Mishnah#Commentaries, Commentary on the Mishna'' (Arabic ''Kitab al-Siraj'', translated into Hebrew as ''Pirush Hamishnayot''), written in Classical Arabic using the Hebrew alphabet. This was the first full commentary ever written on the entire Mishnah, which took Maimonides seven years to complete, and it enjoyed great popularity both in its Arabic original and its medieval Hebrew translation. The commentary includes three philosophical introductions which were also highly influential: ** The Introduction to the Mishnah deals with the nature of the oral law, the distinction between the prophet and the sage, and the organizational structure of the Mishnah. ** The Introduction to Mishnah Sanhedrin, chapter ten (''Perek Helek''), is an eschatological essay that concludes with Maimonides's famous creed ("the thirteen principles of faith"). ** The Introduction to Tractate ''Avot'' (popularly called ''The Eight Chapters'') is an ethical treatise. * ''Sefer Hamitzvot'' (trans. ''The Book of Commandments''). In this work, Maimonides lists all the 613 mitzvot traditionally contained in the Torah (Pentateuch). He describes fourteen shorashim (roots or principles) to guide his selection. * Sefer Ha'shamad (letter of Martydom) * ''
Mishneh Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, "Repetition of the Torah"), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' (ספר יד החזקה "Book of the Strong Hand"), is a Legal code, code of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbinic Jewish religio ...
'', a comprehensive code of law, code of Jewish law. It is also known as ''Yad ha-Chazaka'' or simply Yad/"יד" which has the numerical value 14, representing the 14 books of the work. * ''The Guide for the Perplexed'', a philosophical work harmonising and differentiating Aristotle's philosophy and Jewish theology. Written in Judeo-Arabic, and completed between 1186 and 1190. The first translation of this work into Hebrew was done by Samuel ibn Tibbon in 1204. * ''Teshuvot'', collected correspondence and responsa, including a number of public letters (on resurrection and the afterlife, on conversion to other faiths, and ''The Yemen Epistle, Iggereth Teiman'' – addressed to the oppressed Yemenite Jews, Jewry of Yemen). * ''Hilkhot ha-Yerushalmi'', a fragment of a commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud, identified and published by Saul Lieberman in 1947.


Medical works

Maimonides' achievements in the medical field are well known, and are cited by many medieval authors. One of his more important medical works is his ''Guide to Good Health (Regimen Sanitis)'' which he composed in Arabic for the Sultan Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din, al-Afdal, son of
Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ku, سەلاحەدینی ئەییووبی, Selahedînê Eyûbî; ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب, an-Nāṣir Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb; 11374 March 1193), better k ...

Saladin
, who suffered from Depression (mood), depression. The work was translated into Latin, and published in Florence in 1477, becoming the first medical book to appear in print there. While his prescriptions may have become obsolete, "his ideas about preventive medicine, public hygiene, approach to the suffering patient, and the preservation of the health of the soul have not become obsolete." Maimonides wrote ten known medical works in Arabic that have been translated by the Jewish medical ethics, Jewish medical ethicist Fred Rosner into contemporary English. Lectures, conferences and research on Maimonides, even recently in the 21st century, have been done at medical universities in
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
. *''Regimen Sanitatis'', Suessmann Muntner (ed.), Mossad Harav Kook: Jerusalem 1963 (translated into Hebrew by Moses ibn Tibbon, Moshe Ibn Tibbon) () * ''The Art of Cure – Extracts from Galen'' (Barzel, 1992, Vol. 5) is essentially an extract of
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
's extensive writings. * ''Commentary on the Aphorisms of Hippocrates'' (Rosner, 1987, Vol. 2; Hebrew: פירוש לפרקי אבוקראט) is interspersed with his own views. * ''Medical Aphorisms of Moses'' (Rosner, 1989, Vol. 3) titled ''Fusul Musa'' in Arabic language, Arabic ("Chapters of Moses," Hebrew: פרקי משה) contains 1500 aphorisms and many medical conditions are described. * ''Treatise on Hemorrhoids'' (in Rosner, 1984, Vol. 1; Hebrew: ברפואת הטחורים) discusses also digestion and food. * ''Treatise on Cohabitation'' (in Rosner, 1984, Vol. 1) contains recipes as aphrodisiacs and anti-aphrodisiacs. * ''Treatise on Asthma'' (Rosner, 1994, Vol. 6) discusses climates and diets and their effect on asthma and emphasizes the need for clean air. * ''Treatise on Poisons and Their Antidotes'' (in Rosner, 1984, Vol. 1) is an early toxicology textbook that remained popular for centuries. * ''Regimen of Health'' (in Rosner, 1990, Vol. 4; Hebrew: הנהגת הבריאות) is a discourse on healthy living and the mind-body connection. * ''Discourse on the Explanation of Fits'' advocates healthy living and the avoidance of overabundance. * ''Glossary of Drug Names'' (Rosner, 1992, Vol. 7) represents a pharmacopeia with 405 paragraphs with the names of drugs in Arabic, Greek, Syrian, Persian, Berber, and Spanish.


Treatise on logic

The ''Treatise on Logic'' (Arabic: ''Maqala Fi-Sinat Al-Mantiq'') has been printed 17 times, including editions in Latin (1527), German language, German (1805, 1822, 1833, 1828), French language, French (1935), and English (1938), and in an abridged Hebrew form. The work illustrates the essentials of Aristotelian logic to be found in the teachings of the great List of Muslim philosophers, Islamic philosophers such as Avicenna and, above all,
Al-Farabi Abu Nasr Al-Farabi (; '; known in the West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-base ...

Al-Farabi
, "the Second Master," the "First Master" being Aristotle. In his work devoted to the Treatise, Rémi Brague stresses the fact that Al-Farabi is the only philosopher mentioned therein. This indicates a line of conduct for the reader, who must read the text keeping in mind Al-Farabi's works on logic. In the Hebrew versions, the Treatise is called ''The words of Logic'' which describes the bulk of the work. The author explains the technical meaning of the words used by logicians. The Treatise duly inventories the terms used by the logician and indicates what they refer to. The work proceeds rationally through a lexicon of philosophical terms to a summary of higher philosophical topics, in 14 chapters corresponding to Maimonides's birthdate of 14 Nissan. The number 14 recurs in many of Maimonides's works. Each chapter offers a cluster of associated notions. The meaning of the words is explained and illustrated with examples. At the end of each chapter, the author carefully draws up the list of words studied. Until very recently, it was accepted that Maimonides wrote the ''Treatise on Logic'' in his twenties or even in his teen years. Herbert Davidson has raised questions about Maimonides's authorship of this short work (and of other short works traditionally attributed to Maimonides). He maintains that Maimonides was not the author at all, based on a report of two Arabic-language manuscripts, unavailable to Western investigators in Asia Minor. Rabbi Yosef Qafih, Yosef Kafih maintained that it is by Maimonides and newly translated it to Hebrew (as ''Beiur M'lekhet HaHiggayon'') from the Judeo-Arabic.


See also

* Averroes * s:Epistle to Yemen, Iggeret Teman (''Epistle to Yemen'') * Maimonides Foundation * Mimouna


Notes


References


See also

*


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * Originally published by the Jewish Publication of America, Philadelphia. * * * * * See especially chapters 10 through 15. * * * (Volume 5 translated by Uriel Barzel; foreword by Fred Rosner.) * * * * See chapters 5 through 8. * * reprint * * * *


External links

;About Maimonides
Video lecture on Maimonides
by Henry Abramson, Dr. Henry Abramson
Maimonides entry in Jewish Encyclopedia

Maimonides entry in the Encyclopædia Britannica

Maimonides entry in the Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd edition
*
"Maimonides entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy"


— book by David Yellin and Israel Abrahams
Maimonides as a Philosopher

The Influence of Islamic Thought on Maimonides


Article from ''Policy Review''
Rambam and the Earth: Maimonides as a Proto-Ecological Thinker
nbsp;– reprint on neohasid.org from The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ecology

by Jose Faur, describing the controversy surrounding Maimonides's works * David Yellin and Israel Abrahams,

' (1903) (full text of a biography) *
PDF version
* Maimonides a
intellectualencounters.org
* *
Yahoo Maimonides Discussion Group
*
The Guide: An Explanatory Commentary on Each Chapter of Maimonides' Guide of The Perplexed
' by Scott Michael Alexander (covers all of Book I, currently) ;Maimonides's works




Oral Readings of Mishne Torah
— Free listening and Download, site also had classes in Maimonides's ''The Yemen Epistle, Iggereth Teiman''
Maimonides 13 Principles

Intellectual Encounters – Main Thinkers – Moses Maimonides
i
intellectualencounters.org

Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Autograph Draft
Egypt, 1180

Ilana Tahan * [https://search.cjh.org/primo-explore/search?query=creator,contains,Moses%20Maimonides,AND&tab=default_tab&search_scope=LBI&vid=lbi&facet=tlevel,include,online_resources&facet=creator,include,Maimonides,%20M&mode=advanced&offset=0 Digitized works by Maimonides] at the Leo Baeck Institute ;Texts by Maimonides
Siddur Mesorath Moshe
a prayerbook based on the early Jewish liturgy as found in Maimonides's Mishne Tora

* [https://www.daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/hakdama/tohen-m-2.htm Rambam's introduction to the Commentary on the Mishnah (Hebrew language, Hebrew Fulltext)]
The Guide For the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides translated into English by Michael Friedländer


* [http://www.kb.dk/permalink/2006/manus/293/ Facsimile edition of Moreh Nevukhim/The Guide for the Perplexed (illuminated Hebrew manuscript, Barcelona, 1347–48). The Royal Library, Copenhagen]
University of Cambridge Library collection
of Judeo-Arabic letters and manuscripts written by or to Maimonides. It includes the last letter his brother David sent him before drowning at sea. * A. Ashur
A newly discovered medical recipe written by Maimonides
* M.A Friedman and A. Ashur
A newly-discovered autograph responsum of Maimonides
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Maimonides Maimonides, 1130s births 1204 deaths 12th-century Arabic writers 12th-century Jews of Al-Andalus 12th-century Jewish theologians 12th-century Egyptian physicians 12th-century philosophers 12th-century rabbis 13th-century philosophers 13th-century rabbis Aristotelian philosophers Authors of books on Jewish law Commentaries on the Mishnah Court physicians Egyptian rabbis Exponents of Jewish law Jewish astronomers Jewish ethicists Jewish refugees Jews and Judaism in the Kingdom of Jerusalem Judeo-Arabic writers Medieval Jewish astronomers Medieval Jewish physicians of Spain Medieval Jewish physicians of Egypt People from Córdoba, Spain Philosophers of Al-Andalus Philosophers of Judaism Physicians of medieval Islam Sephardi rabbis Spanish rabbis Spanish refugees Rishonim University of al-Qarawiyyin alumni