30 March or 6 April 1135
Possibly born 28 March or 4 April 1138
Almoravid Empire (present-day
12 December 1204 (aged 69)
Ayyubid Sultanate (present-day
Jewish law ,
Aristotle , al-Farabi ,
Jeremiah Stamler , Spinoza , Aquinas , Joyce , Bodin , Leibniz ,
Newton , Strauss , Friedländer , Levinas
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Rabbi MOSES BEN MAIMON (Hebrew : מֹשֶׁה
בֶּן־מַימוֹן _Mōšeh bēn-Maymōn_;
Arabic : موسى
بن ميمون _Mūsā bin Maymūn_), commonly known as
MAIMONIDES /maɪˈmɒnᵻ.diːz/ (_my-MON-i-deez_ ; Greek :
Μαϊμωνίδης _Maïmōnídēs_), and also referred to by the
acronym RAMBAM /ˌrɑːmˈbɑːm/ (רמב״ם, for _Rabbeinu
Mōšeh bēn Maimon_, "Our
Moses son of Maimon"), was a medieval
Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and
Torah scholars of the
Middle Ages . In his time, he was
also a preeminent astronomer and physician. Born in Cordova ,
Almoravid Empire (present-day
Spain ) on
Passover Eve , 1135 or 1138,
he worked as a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in
Egypt . He died in
Egypt on December 12, 1204, whence his body was
taken to the lower Galilee and buried in
During his lifetime, most
Jews greeted Maimonides' writings on Jewish
law and ethics with acclaim and gratitude, even as far away as Iraq
and Yemen, and although
Maimonides rose to become the revered head of
the Jewish community in
Egypt , there were also vociferous critics of
some of his writings, particularly in Spain. Nonetheless, he was
posthumously acknowledged as among the foremost rabbinical arbiters
and philosophers in
Jewish history , and his copious work comprises a
cornerstone of Jewish scholarship. His fourteen-volume _Mishneh Torah
_ still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of
Talmudic law. 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
Aside from being revered by Jewish historians,
figures very prominently in the history of Islamic and Arab sciences
and is mentioned extensively in studies. Influenced by Mohammed
Arabic : ابو نصر محمد بن محمد
الفارابي, ca. 872–950/951), Ibn Sina known as Avicenna
Arabic : ابن سینا, c. 980 – 1037), and his
contemporary Ibn Rushd known as
Arabic : ابن
رشد, 1126–1198), he in his turn influenced other prominent
Arab and Muslim philosophers and scientists. He became a prominent
philosopher and polymath in both the Jewish and Islamic worlds.
* 1 Name
* 2 Biography
* 2.1 Early years
* 2.3 Death of his brother
* 2.5 Death
* 3 Influence
* 4 13 principles of faith
* 5 Legal works
* 6.2 Prophecy
* 6.3 The problem of evil
* 6.4 Astrology
* 6.5 True beliefs versus necessary beliefs
* 6.6 Resurrection, acquired immortality, and the afterlife
* 6.7 Messianic era
* 6.8 _The Oath of Maimonides_
Maimonides and the Modernists
* 8 Tributes and memorials
* 9 Works and bibliography
* 9.1 Judaic and philosophical works
* 9.2 Medical works
* 9.3 Treatise on logic
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 References
* 13 Bibliography
* 14 External links
His full Hebrew name is
Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Hebrew : רבי
משה בן מימון), whose acronym forms "Rambam"
(רמב"ם). His full
Arabic name is Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin Maimūn
bin ʿUbaidallāh al-Qurtabī (ابو عمران موسى بن
ميمون بن عبيد الله القرطبي) or Mūsā bin
Arabic : موسى بن ميمون) for short. In Latin,
the Hebrew "ben" (son of) becomes the Greek−style suffix "-ides" to
The dominion of the
Almohad Caliphate at its greatest extent, c.
1200 CE Further information: History of the
Egypt § Arab
rule (641 to 1250)
Maimonides was born in Córdoba during what some scholars consider to
be the end of the golden age of
Jewish culture in the Iberian
Peninsula , after the first centuries of the Moorish rule. At an early
age, he developed an interest in sciences and philosophy. He read
Greek philosophers accessible in
Arabic translations, and was
deeply immersed in the sciences and learning of Islamic culture.
Though the Gaonic tradition, especially in its North African version,
formed the basis of his legal thought, some scholars have argued in
the 21st century that Muslim law , including Almohad legal thought,
also had a substantial influence.
Maimonides was not known as a
supporter of mysticism , 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 sage , 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
Torah under his father Maimon , who
had in turn studied under
Joseph ibn Migash , a student of Isaac
Alfasi . Maimonides' house in Fez,
A Berber dynasty, the Almohads , conquered Córdoba in 1148, and
abolished _dhimmi _ status (i.e., state protection of life and wealth)
in some of their territories. The loss of this protected status
threatened the Jewish and
Christian communities with conversion to
Islam , death , or exile . The historical records of abuses against
Jews in the immediate post-1148 period are subject to different
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 , chose exile. Some
say, though, that it is likely that
Maimonides feigned a conversion to
Islam before escaping. 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 in
Morocco . During this time, he composed
his acclaimed commentary on the
Mishnah in the years 1166–1168.
Following this sojourn in Morocco, together with two sons, he
sojourned in the Holy Land , before settling in
1168. While in Cairo, he studied in a yeshiva attached to a small
synagogue (which now bears his name). In the Holy Land, he prayed at
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 King Amalric 's siege of the
Egyptian town of
Bilbays . He sent five letters to the Jewish
communities of Lower
Egypt asking them to pool money together to pay
the ransom . The money was collected and then given to two judges sent
to Palestine to negotiate with the Crusaders. The captives were
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 Sudanese port of
‘Aydhab . 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, since great wealth was to be found in the East.
Before he could reach his destination, David drowned at sea sometime
between 1169–1170. The death of his brother caused
become sick with grief. Monument in Córdoba
In a letter (discovered later in the
Cairo Geniza ), he wrote:
The greatest misfortune that has befallen me during my entire
life—worse than anything else—was the demise of the saint, may his
memory be blessed, who drowned in the Indian sea, carrying much money
belonging to me, him, and to others, and left with me a little
daughter and a widow. On the day I received that terrible news I fell
ill and remained in bed for about a year, suffering from a sore boil,
fever, and depression , and was almost given up. About eight years
have passed, but I am still mourning and unable to accept consolation.
And how should I console myself? He grew up on my knees, he was my
brother, he was my student.
Maimonides in the
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives .
Maimonides was appointed the _
Nagid _ of the Egyptian
Jewish community. Arabist
S.D. Goitein believes the leadership he
displayed during the ransoming of the Crusader captives led to this
appointment. With the loss of the family funds tied up in David's
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 Al Qadi al Fadil, then to Sultan
Saladin , after whose death he remained a physician to the royal
In his medical writings,
Maimonides described many conditions,
including asthma , diabetes , hepatitis , and pneumonia , and he
emphasized moderation and a healthy lifestyle. His treatises became
influential for generations of physicians. He was knowledgeable about
Arabic medicine, and followed the principles of humorism in
the tradition of
Galen . 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 the Sabbath 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 (rabbinic law) and
Jewish philosophy of the
Middle Ages. In 1173/4,
Maimonides wrote his famous Iggeret Teman
(_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). His rabbinic writings are
valued as fundamental and unparalleled resources for religious Jews
Tomb of Maimonides in
Maimonides died on December 12, 1204 (20th of
Tevet 4965) in
It is widely believed that he was briefly buried in the study room
(beit hamidrash ) of the synagogue courtyard, and that, soon after, in
accordance with his wishes, his remains were exhumed and taken to
Tiberias , where he was re-interred. The
Tomb of Maimonides on the
western shore of the
Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee in
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
Maimonides and his wife, the daughter of Mishael ben Yeshayahu
Halevi, had one child who survived into adulthood, Avraham , who
became recognized as a great scholar. He succeeded
Maimonides as Nagid
and as court 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.
The philosopher/doctor is widely respected in
Spain and a statue of
him was erected in Córdoba near to the only synagogue in that city to
escape destruction during years of persecution. Although it no longer
functions as a Jewish house of worship, it is open to the public.
Maimonides is sometimes said to be a descendant of
King David ,
although he never made such a claim.
_ The title page of
The Guide for the Perplexed _
Torah 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 (academies). A popular medieval saying
that also served as his epitaph states, _From Mosheh (of the Torah) to
Mosheh (Maimonides) there was none like Mosheh._ It chiefly referred
to his rabbinic writings.
Maimonides was also one of the most influential figures in
medieval Jewish philosophy. His brilliant adaptation of 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 ."
Maimonidean thought continues to influence traditionally observant
The most rigorous medieval critique of
Maimonides is Hasdai Crescas
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
Maimonides had a fundamental influence on the great Christian
Thomas Aquinas . Aquinas refers specifically to
Maimonides in several of his works, including the _Commentary on the
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 transplantation .
13 PRINCIPLES OF FAITH
Jewish principles of faith
In his commentary on the
Sanhedrin , chapter 10),
Maimonides formulates his "13 principles of faith". They summarized
what he viewed as the required beliefs of Judaism:
* The existence of God .
* God's unity and indivisibility into elements.
* God's spirituality and incorporeality .
* God's eternity .
* God alone should be the object of worship .
Revelation through God's prophets .
* The preeminence of
Moses among the prophets.
Torah that we have today is the one dictated to
Moses by God .
Torah given by
Moses will not be replaced and that nothing may
be added or removed from it.
* God's awareness of all human actions and thoughts.
* Reward of good and punishment of evil.
* The coming of the
Jewish Messiah .
* The resurrection of the dead .
Maimonides 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. ("Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought," Menachem Kellner).
However, these principles have become widely held and are considered
to be the cardonial principals of faith for Orthodox
Jews . Two
poetic restatements of these principles (_Ani Ma\'amin _ and _Yigdal
_) eventually became canonized in many editions of the "
Jewish prayer book).
Main article: Mishneh
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
While _Mishneh Torah_ is now considered the fore-runner of the
Arbaah Turim _ and the _
Shulchan Aruch _ (two later codes), it met
initially with much opposition. There were two main reasons for this
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
Provence (Southern France), and a running critique by
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 . Throughout the centuries, it has been
widely studied and its halakhic decisions have weighed heavily in
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,
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
Arabistan and the
Maghreb practice according to his word, and accepted
him as their rabbi."
An oft-cited legal maxim from his pen is: "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
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:
There is no proof, to be sure, that
Kaifeng Jewry ever had direct
access to the works of "the Great Eagle," but it would have had ample
time and opportunity to acquire or become acquainted with them well
before its reservoir of Jewish learning began to run out. Nor do the
Maimonidean leanings of the _kehillah_ contradict the historical
evidence that has the
Jews arriving in
Kaifeng no later than 1126, the
year in which the Sung fled the city —and nine years before
Maimonides was born. In 1163, when the _kehillah_ built the first of
Maimonides was only twenty-eight years old, so that it
is highly unlikely that even his earliest authoritative teachings
could by then have reached China.
One of the most widely referred to 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
* 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
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Maimonides teaching students about the 'measure of
man' in an illuminated manuscript .
Through the _
Guide for the Perplexed _ (which was initially written
Arabic as _Dalālat al-ḥāʾirīn_) and the philosophical
introductions to sections of his commentaries on the Mishna,
Maimonides exerted an important influence on the Scholastic
philosophers, especially on Albert the Great ,
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 Aristotelian philosophy and science
with the teachings of the
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
Maimonides is said to have been influenced by Asaph
ha-Jehoudi , who was the first Hebrew medical writer.
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. In some important points,
he departed from the teaching of Aristotle; for instance, he rejected
the Aristotelian doctrine that God's provident care extends only to
humanity, and not to the individual.
Maimonides' admiration for the neo-Platonic commentators led him to
doctrines which the later Scholastics did not accept. For instance,
Maimonides was an adherent of "negative theology " (also known as
"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".
The Scholastics agreed that no predicate is adequate to express the
nature of God, but they did not say that no affirmative term could be
applied to God. They acknowledged that while the terms "eternal,"
"omnipotent," etc., as we apply them to God are inadequate, at the
same time we may say "God is eternal" etc. We need not stop, as
Maimonides did, with the negative "God is not not-eternal," etc.
Maimonides suggested that when people give God anthropomorphic
qualities, they do not explain anything more of what God is, because
people cannot know the essence.
Maimonides's use of apophatic theology is not unique to this time
period or to Judaism. For example,
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and
Maximus the Confessor , Eastern
Christian theologians, had developed
apophatic theology for Christianity nearly 900 years earlier. See
Negative theology for uses in other religions.
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
Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in "Hakuzari") that in order to become a
prophet, God must intervene.
Maimonides claims that any man 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 his _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
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 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 ignore our bodily urges.
Jewish views on astrology
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Maimonides answered an inquiry concerning astrology, addressed to him
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
Guide for the Perplexed _ Book III, Chapter 28,
a distinction between "true beliefs," which were beliefs about God
that produced intellectual perfection, and "necessary beliefs," which
were conducive to improving social order.
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
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.
RESURRECTION, ACQUIRED IMMORTALITY, AND THE AFTERLIFE
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.
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
Maimonides holds that the road to perfection and
immortality is the path of duty as described in the
Torah and the
rabbinic understanding of the oral law .
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.
Rabbinic works usually refer to this afterlife as _Olam Haba _ (the
World to Come). Some rabbinic works use this phrase to refer to a
messianic era, an era of history here on Earth; in other rabbinic
works this phrase refers to a purely spiritual realm. During
Maimonides's lifetime the debate expanded into a full-blown
Maimonides charged as a heretic by some Jewish
Jews at this time taught that
Judaism did not require a belief
in the physical resurrection of the dead, as the afterlife would be a
purely spiritual realm. They used Maimonides's works on this subject
to back up their position. In return, their opponents claimed that
this was outright heresy; for them the afterlife was here on Earth,
where God would raise dead bodies from the grave so that the
resurrected could live eternally.
Maimonides was brought into this
dispute by both sides, as the first group stated that his writings
agreed with them, and the second group portrayed him as a heretic for
writing that the afterlife is for the immaterial spirit alone.
Maimonides felt pressured to write a treatise on the
subject, the "_Ma'amar Tehiyyat Hametim_" "The Treatise on
Resurrection." Chapter two of the treatise on resurrection refers to
those who believe that the world to come involves physically
Maimonides refers to one with such beliefs, as
being an "utter fool" whose belief is "folly". If one of the
multitude refuses to believe and prefers to believe that angels have
bodies and even that they eat, since it is written (Genesis 18:8)
'they ate', or that those who exist in the World to Come will also
have bodies—we won't hold it against him or consider him a heretic,
and we will not distance ourselves from him. May there not be many who
profess this folly, and let us hope that he will go no farther than
this in his folly and believe that the Creator is corporeal.
Maimonides also writes, that those who claimed that he believed the
verses of the Hebrew
Bible referring to the resurrection were only
allegorical, were spreading falsehoods and "revolting" statements.
Maimonides asserts that belief in resurrection is a fundamental truth
Judaism about which there is no disagreement, and that it is not
permissible for a Jew to support anyone who believes differently. He
cites Daniel 12:2 and 12:13 as definitive proofs of physical
resurrection of the dead when they state "many of them that sleep in
the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches
and everlasting abhorrence" and "But you, go your way till the end;
for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of
While these two positions may be seen as in contradiction
(non-corporeal eternal life, versus a bodily resurrection), Maimonides
resolves 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. Thus, if a unique event actually occurs, even
if it is perceived as a miracle, it is not a violation of the world's
In this view, any dead who are resurrected must eventually die again.
In his discussion of the 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.
He writes "It appears to us on the basis of these verses (Daniel
12:2,13) that those people who will return to those bodies will eat,
drink, copulate, beget, and die after a very long life, like the lives
of those who will live in the Days of the Messiah."
disassociated the resurrection of the dead from both the World to Come
and the Messianic era.
In his time, many
Jews believed that the physical resurrection was
identical to the world to come; thus denial of a permanent and
universal resurrection was considered tantamount to denying the words
of the Talmudic sages. However, instead of denying the resurrection,
or maintaining the current dogma,
Maimonides posited a third way: That
resurrection had nothing to do with the messianic era (here in this
world) or with Olam Haba (עולם הבא) (the purely spiritual
afterlife). Rather, he considered resurrection to be a miracle that
the book of Daniel predicted; thus at some point in time we could
expect some instances of resurrection to occur temporarily, which
would have no place in the final eternal life of the righteous.
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 (Introduction to the 10th chapter of
Sanhedrin , also known as _Pereḳ Ḥeleḳ_).
MAIMONIDES ON THE MESSIANIC ERA
_Pereḳ Ḥeleḳ_ (Chapter 10)
"… 'The days of the Messiah' (i.e., the Messianic Era) is a
timeframe in which the kingdom shall return to Israel, and they (i.e.,
the people of Israel) will return to the Land of Israel, and the king
who shall stand-up will establish the place of his kingdom in Zion,
whose name shall be extolled and it will reach unto the ends of the
earth, being greater than Solomon's kingdom, and the nations will
enter a covenant of peace with him, and all lands shall serve him on
account of the abundance of his righteousness, and for the wondrous
things that shall be revealed through him; whosoever shall rise-up
against him, the Lord will cut him off and deliver him into his hands.
All of the Scriptural verses bear witness of him, and of us with him,
but there is nothing which exists now that will change, excepting that
the kingdom will be given over to Israel; thus have we heard it in the
language used by the Sages: 'There is no difference between this world
and the days of the Messiah, excepting only the subjugation of
kingdoms' (San. 91b). There shall remain in his days, both, the strong
and the weak, in comparison to others, only that in those days the
people's livelihood will be made much easier for them, insofar that if
a man should work any work no matter how short-lived, he will gain
much thereby. This is that which they have spoken about, saying: 'In
the future, the
Land of Israel shall produce sweet-rolls of bread and
clothes made of white woollen fabric' (Shab. 30b), seeing that people
will say whenever a man finds something ready in abundance that
so-and-so has found baked bread and a cooked dish, the proof of which
being what is written: 'And the sons of the stranger shall be your
field workers and vine dressers' (Isa. 61:5). Meaning, a time of
ploughing and a time of reaping will be there; Wherefore, it was for
this reason that that erudite man who said these things was angered
at his disciple when he failed to understand their import and had
thought rather that these things should be understood in their plain
sense, and he was compelled to answer him in a way that he'd
understand, even though that wasn't the proper response . The evidence
for this, _viz_., that he didn't give him a truthful answer in
accordance with what he learned of the verse, is this: 'Don't answer a
foolish man in accordance with his folly' (Proverbs 26:4).
Now the greatest advantage at that time will be that we'll have rest
from the subjugation of the wicked kingdom, which prevents us from
performing that which God has enjoined unto us to do, while knowledge
will be vastly increased, as it says: 'For the earth shall be filled
with the knowledge of the Lo-rd' (Isa. 11:9). Meanwhile, battles and
wars will come to an end, as it says: 'Nation shall not lift up a
sword against nation' (Micha 4:3), while all those who will be in
those days will attain to great perfection, by which he will merit the
world to come. The Messiah will then die , and his son, and his son's
son will rule after him. Now God has already described his death; he
says: 'He shall not tire nor be weary, till he establish judgment in
the earth: and the isles shall hope for his law' (Isa. 42:4). His
kingdom shall continue for a very long time, while the lives of men
will also be prolonged; for by the absence of worries and troubles
they shall prolong their lives. Neither should it seem strange that
his kingdom will continue for thousands of years, inasmuch as the
Sages have already said that no matter how noble the things that are
collected together, when they are but few that are amassed together,
they will fall apart. Nevertheless, we do not desire the days of the
Messiah so that our grain and possessions might increase, or so that
we can mount horses, or be engaged in revelry of drink and musical
instruments, as those who are confused may think. Rather, the prophets
fervently desired them and the pious men longed for them because of
what shall be there of the ingathering of righteous men, and of proper
conduct, and wisdom, and the uprightness of the king and his great
wisdom and his drawing nigh unto the Creator, just as it was said of
him: 'Thou art my son, ' (Psalm 2:7), as well as the observance of the
entire Law of Moses, without worries and without fear, and without
constraint, just as He has promised 'And they shall teach no more
every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the
LORD. For they shall all know me, from the least of them to the
greatest of them' (Jer. 31:33 ); 'and I shall put my Law in their
heart,' 'and I shall remove the heart of stone from your flesh' (Ezek.
36:26), and there are many similar verses that speak of such matters.
It is in this manner will acquire the next world with a firm
acquisition, while the desired end is the world to come, and all that
comes before it is human effort.
Wherefore, he that can perceive the truth has looked at the ultimate
purpose of life and has forsaken all other things, whereby He says:
Israel has a portion in the world to come.' Moreover, seeing
that this is the desired end and purpose of one's life, it is not
fitting that he who wishes to serve out of love should serve Him for
the sole intent of attaining the next world, as we have premised
earlier, but rather that he may serve Him in the manner that I shall
prescribe, _viz_., that if he has already come to believe that
knowledge has been imparted unto the prophets from God, and that by it
(i.e., that knowledge) He has revealed to them that the virtues are
such and such, and the faults are such and such, it behooves him,
therefore, by reason of his being a moderate man of reason, to draw
near to the virtues and to shun that which is deficient. If he has
done this, Lo! He would have completed the mortal chapter , and he is
then distinguished from the beasts; and since he would have become a
perfect man, one of the virtues of man is that no hindrance be found
that will hinder him from attaining life for his soul in what is his
remaining existence through her (i.e., the soul's) consciousness,
and which is the world to come as we have explained. Moreover, it is
that which is said: 'Be ye not like a horse, like a mule, which has
no understanding; ' (Psalm 32:9), meaning, the thing that prevents
them from idleness and uncontrollable conduct is an external thing
like a bit and a bridle. May a man never be like this, but rather, let
his soul be what stops him from acting in such a manner, that is to
say, his human form – if it were perfected, it will prevent him
from whatever thing that withholds from him perfection (i.e., the
betterment of his condition), which things are called deficiencies,
but it will spurn him on in whatever is considered wholesome, which
things are the virtues. This then is what has become clear unto me
from all of their words relating to this noble matter, but things that
can be easily misconstrued."
* ^ Rabban Gamliel; see: Babylonian
Talmud , _Shabbat_ 30b
* ^ The
Judeo-Arabic word used by
Maimonides is מעלומהא, or
"that which is known by her (i.e., by the soul)," meaning, the _ens
intelligibile_. Some translate this word as "perceived intellect."
* ^ See: Mishne
Torah (_Hil. Teshuvah_, chapter 8), for more on
what is meant by "the world to come."
* ^ See: Mishne
Torah (_Hil. Yesodei HaTorah_ 4:8) for a discussion
on the soul. Elsewhere, in _Hil. Teshuvah_ 8:3,
"Every 'soul' that is mentioned here in this context isn't the spirit
that stands in need of a body, but rather the 'form of the soul,'
which is the knowledge with which one comprehends the Creator
according to its ability." See also the _Guide for the Perplexed_,
part iii, the last chapter, on the fourth kind of perfection.
* ^ This last addition, "but things that can be easily
misconstrued," is written in Maimonides's original
but was omitted in the translated printed texts.
Rabbi Yosef Qafih
points out the omission, and inserts it in his new translation. See:
_Mishnah, with Commentary of Maimonides_ (ed. Yosef Qafih), vol. 2,
Rav Kook Institute,
Jerusalem 1963 (Hebrew)
_THE OATH OF MAIMONIDES_
Oath of Maimonides _ is a document about the medical calling and
recited as a substitute for the _
Oath of Hippocrates _. The _Oath_ 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
Marcus Herz , a German physician, pupil of
Immanuel Kant .
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 immensely important to philosophers such as
Leo Strauss ;
and his views on the importance of humility have been taken up by
modern humanist philosophers, including
Peter Singer .
In academia, particularly within the area of Jewish Studies, the
Maimonides has been dominated by traditional scholars,
generally Orthodox, who place a very strong emphasis on
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.
Chabad and The
Rohr Jewish Learning Institute focus on Maimonides's
teaching that each Jew should understand his unique importance in the
TRIBUTES AND MEMORIALS
Maimonides at Rambam Medical Center,
Manuscript page by Maimonides. Judeo-
Arabic language in Hebrew
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,
Maimonides Academy School in
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California ,
Maimonides Academy in
Hollywood, Florida , and Maimonides
Medical Center in
Brooklyn , New York. In 2004, conferences were held
Florida International University ,
Penn State , and the
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
Euromed Conference of Ministers of Tourism, The Tourism Ministries of
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
WORKS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
JUDAIC AND PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS
Maimonides composed works of Jewish scholarship, rabbinic law ,
philosophy, and medical texts. Most of Maimonides's works were written
Judeo-Arabic . However, the _Mishneh
Torah _ was written in Hebrew.
His Jewish texts were:
* _Commentary on the Mishna _ (Hebrew _Pirush Hamishnayot_, Arabic
_Kitab al-Siraj_), written in Judeo-Arabic. This was the first full
commentary ever written on the entire Mishnah, 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 the Torah").
* The Introduction to Tractate _Avot_ (popularly called _The Eight
Chapters_) is an ethical treatise.
Sefer Hamitzvot _ (trans. _The Book of Commandments_). In this
Maimonides lists all the 613 mitzvot traditionally contained in
Torah (Pentateuch). He describes fourteen shorashim (roots or
principles) to guide his selection.
* Sefer Ha'shamad (letter of Martydom)
Torah _, also known as _Sefer Yad ha-Chazaka_, a
comprehensive code of Jewish law;
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
* _Teshuvot_, collected correspondence and responsa , including a
number of public letters (on resurrection and the afterlife , on
conversion to other faiths, and _Iggereth Teiman _ – addressed to
the oppressed Jewry of Yemen ).
* _Hilkhot ha-Yerushalmi_, a fragment of a commentary on the
Jerusalem Talmud, identified and published by
Saul Lieberman in 1947.
Maimonides wrote ten known medical works in
Arabic that have been
translated by the Jewish medical ethicist
Fred Rosner into
* _The Art of Cure – Extracts from Galen_ (Barzel, 1992, Vol. 5)
is essentially an extract of
Galen '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
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
* _Treatise on Poisons and Their Antidotes_ (in Rosner, 1984, Vol.
1) is an early toxicology textbook that remained popular for
* _Regimen of Health_ (in Rosner, 1990, Vol. 4; Hebrew: הנהגת
הבריאות) is a discourse on healthy living and the mind-body
* _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
(1805, 1822, 1833, 1828), 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 Arabic
philosophers such as
Avicenna and, above all,
Al-Farabi , "the Second
Master," the "First Master" being
Aristotle . In his work devoted to
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 Kafih maintained
that it is by
Maimonides and newly translated it to Hebrew (as _Beiur
M'lekhet HaHiggayon_) from the Judeo-Arabic.
Iggeret Teman (_Epistle to Yemen_)
* Golden age of
Jewish culture in
* ^ "
Maimonides - Jewish philosopher, scholar, and
* ^ "Hebrew Date Converter - 14th of Nisan, 4895 - Hebcal Jewish
* ^ "Hebrew Calendar".
* ^ "Hebrew Date Converter - 14th of Nisan, 4898 - Hebcal Jewish
* ^ Goldin, Hyman E. _Kitzur
Shulchan Aruch – Code of Jewish
Law_, Forward to the New Edition. (New York: Hebrew Publishing
* ^ "H-Net".
* ^ "
Maimonides Islamic Influences". _Plato_. Stanford.
* ^ "Isaac Newton: "Judaic monotheist of the school of
Maimonides"". Achgut.com. 2007-06-19. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
* ^ "Maimonides". _Random House Webster\'s Unabridged Dictionary _.
* ^ Maimonides: Abū ʿImrān Mūsā ibn ʿUbayd Allāh
* ^ A Biographical and Historiographical Critique of Moses
Maimonides Archived May 24, 2013, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ S. R. Simon (1999). "
Moses Maimonides: medieval physician and
scholar". _Arch Intern Med_. 159 (16): 1841–5. PMID 10493314 . doi
* ^ Athar Yawar Email Address (2008). "Maimonides's medicine". _The
Lancet_. 371 (9615): 804. doi :10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60365-7 .
* ^ Davidson, pp. 6–9, 18. If the traditional birth date of 14
Nisan is not correct, then a date in 1136 or 1137 is also possible.
* ^ Joel E. Kramer, "
Moses Maimonides: An Intellectual Portrait,"
p. 47 note 1. In Kenneth Seeskin, ed. (September 2005). _The Cambridge
Companion to Maimonides_. ISBN 9780521525787 .
* ^ 1138 in Stroumsa, _
Maimonides in His World: Portrait of a
Mediterranean Thinker_, Princeton University Press, 2009, p. 8
* ^ Sherwin B. Nuland (2008), _Maimonides_, Random House LLC, p. 38
* ^ "
Maimonides biography - Jewish philosopher, scholar,
and physician". Retrieved 2015-06-04.
Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph , _Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah_
Jerusalem 1962, p. ק; but in PDF p. 109 (Hebrew)
Abraham Zacuto , _Sefer Yuchasin_,
Cracow 1580 (Hebrew), p. 261
in PDF, which reads: "... I saw in a booklet that the Ark of God, even
Moses b. Maimon, of blessed memory, had been taken up (i.e.
euphemism for "had died"), in the year ,965 anno mundi (= 1204/5 CE)
in Egypt, and the
Jews wept for him – as did the Egyptians –
three days, and they coined a name for that time of year, , 'there was
wailing,' and on the seventh day , the news reached Alexandria, and on
the eighth day, Jerusalem, and in
Jerusalem they made a great public
mourning and called for a fast and public gathering, where it was
that the prayer precentor read out the admonitions, 'If you shall walk
in my statutes ' (Leviticus 26:3-ff.), as well as read the concluding
verse , 'And it came to pass that Samuel spoke to all of
Israel ,' and
he then concluded by saying that the Ark of God had been taken away.
Now after certain days they brought up his coffin to the Land of
Israel, during which journey thieves encountered them, causing those
who had gone up to flee, leaving there the coffin. Now the thieves,
when they saw that they had all fled, they desired to have the coffin
cast into the sea, but were unable with all their strength to uproot
the coffin from the ground, even though they had been more than thirty
men, and when they considered the matter, they then said to themselves
that he was a godly and holy man, and so they went their way. However,
they gave assurances to the
Jews that they would escort them to their
destination, and so it was that they also accompanied him and HE WAS
BURIED IN TIBERIAS."
* ^ Stroumsa, _
Maimonides in His World: Portrait of a Mediterranean
Thinker_, Princeton University Press, 2009, p.65
* ^ Strousma, _
Maimonides in His World_, pp.66–67
* ^ Abraham Heschel, _Maimonides_ (New York: Farrar Strauss, 1982),
Chapter 15, "Meditation on God," pp. 157–162.
* ^ _A_ _B_ 1954 _Encyclopedia Americana_, vol. 18, p. 140.
* ^ _A_ _B_ A.K. Bennison; M.A. Gallego García (2008). "Jewish
Trading in Fez on the Eve of the Almohad Conquest" (PDF).
* ^ Y. K. Stillman, ed. (1984). "Libās". _Encyclopaedia of Islam
_. 5 (2nd ed.). Brill Academic Publishers. p. 744. ISBN 90-04-09419-9
* ^ "Jewish Virtual Library". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved
* ^ Stroumsa (2009), _
Maimonides in His World_, p.59
* ^ Seder HaDoros (year 4927) quotes
Maimonides as saying that he
began writing his commentary on the Mishna when he was 23 years old,
and published it when he was 30. Because of the dispute about the date
of Maimonides's birth, it is not clear which year the work was
* ^ Davidson, p. 29.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Goitein, S.D. _Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders_,
Princeton University Press, 1973 (ISBN 0-691-05212-3 ), p. 208
* ^ Cohen, Mark R. _Poverty and Charity in the Jewish Community of
Medieval Egypt_. Princeton University Press, 2005 (ISBN 0-691-09272-9
), pp. 115–116
* ^ The "India Trade" (a term devised by the Arabist S.D. Goitein)
was a highly lucrative business venture in which Jewish merchants from
Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East imported and exported
goods ranging from pepper to brass from various ports along the
Malabar Coast between the 11th–13th centuries. For more info, see
the "India Traders" chapter in Goitein, _Letters of Medieval Jewish
Traders,_ 1973 or Goitein, _India Traders of the Middle Ages,_ 2008.
* ^ Goitein, _Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders_, p. 207
* ^ Cohen, _Poverty and Charity in the Jewish Community of Medieval
Egypt_, p. 115
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Julia Bess Frank (1981). "
Moses Maimonides: rabbi
or medicine" . _The
Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine_. 54 (1):
79–88. PMC 2595894 _. PMID 7018097 .
* ^ A_ _B_ _C_
Fred Rosner (2002). "The Life of
Moses Maimonides, a
Prominent Medieval Physician" (PDF). _Einstein Quart J Biol Med_. 19
* ^ Gesundheit B, Or R, Gamliel C, Rosner F, Steinberg A (April
2008). "Treatment of depression by
Maimonides (1138–1204): Rabbi,
Physician, and Philosopher" (PDF). _Am J Psychiatry_. 165 (4):
425–428. PMID 18381913 . doi :10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07101575 .
* ^ Abraham Heschel, _Maimonides_ (New York: Farrar Strauss, 1982),
Chapter 15, "Meditation on God," pp. 157–162, and also pp.
178–180, 184–185, 204, etc. Isadore Twersky, editor, _A Maimonides
Reader_ (New York: Behrman House, 1972), commences his "Introduction"
with the following remarks, p. 1: "Maimonides's biography immediately
suggests a profound paradox. A philosopher by temperament and
ideology, a zealous devotee of the contemplative life who eloquently
portrayed and yearned for the serenity of solitude and the spiritual
exuberance of meditation, he nevertheless led a relentlessly active
life that regularly brought him to the brink of exhaustion."
* ^ _
Responsa Pe’er HaDor_, 143.
* ^ Such views of his works are found in almost all scholarly
studies of the man and his significance. See, for example, the
"Introduction" sub-chapter by Howard Kreisel to his overview article
Moses Maimonides," in _History of Jewish Philosophy_, edited by
Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman, Second Edition (New York and
London: Routledge, 2003), pp. 245–246.
* ^ Click to see full English translation of Maimonides\'s "Epistle
* ^ The comment on the effect of his "incessant travail" on his
health is by Salo Baron, "
Moses Maimonides," in _Great Jewish
Personalities in Ancient and Medieval Time_, edited by Simon Noveck
(B'nai B'rith Department of Adult Jewish Education, 1959), p. 227,
where Baron also quotes from Maimonides's letter to Ibn Tibbon
regarding his daily regime.
* ^ _The Life of Maimonides_ jnul.huji.ac.il, Jewish National and
* ^ hsje.org Amiram Barkat, "The End of the Exodus from Egypt"
Archived 2011-07-17 at the
Wayback Machine ., _Haaretz_ (Israel), 21
* ^ אגרות הרמב"ם מהדורת שילת
* ^ Sarah E. Karesh; Mitchell M. Hurvitz (2005). _Encyclopedia of
Judaism_. Facts on File. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-8160-5457-2 .
* ^ H. J. Zimmels (1997). _Ashkenazim and Sephardim: Their
Relations, Differences, and Problems as Reflected in the Rabbinical
Responsa_ (Revised ed.). Ktav Publishing House. p. 283. ISBN
* ^ Isidore Twersky, _Introduction to the Code of Maimonides
Yale Judaica Series, vol. XII (New Haven and London:
Yale University Press, 1980). passim, and especially Chapter VII,
"Epilogue," pp. 515–538.
* ^ This is covered in all histories of the Jews. E.g., including
such a brief overview as Cecil Roth, _A History of the Jews_, Revised
Edition (New York: Schocken, 1970), pp. 175–179.
* ^ D.J. Silver, _Maimonidean Criticism and the Maimonidean
Controversy, 1180–1240_ (Leiden: Brill, 1965), is still the most
* ^ David Hartman, _Maimonides:
Torah and Philosophic Quest_
(Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1976), p. 98.
* ^ On the extensive philosophical aspects of Maimonides's halakhic
works, see in particular Isidore Twersky's _Introduction to the Code
Maimonides (Mishneh Torah)_,
Yale Judaica Series, vol. XII (New
Haven and London:
Yale University Press, 1980). Twersky devotes a
major portion of this authoritative study to the philosophical aspects
of the Mishneh
* ^ The Maimunist or Maimonidean controversy is covered in all
Jewish philosophy and general histories of the Jews. For
an overview, with bibliographic references, see Idit Dobbs-Weinstein,
"The Maimonidean Controversy," in _History of Jewish Philosophy_,
Second Edition, edited by Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman (London
and New York: Routledge, 2003), pp. 331–349. Also see Colette Sirat,
_A History of Jewish
Philosophy in the Middle Ages_ (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1985), pp. 205–272.
* ^ Mercedes Rubio (2006). _Aquinas and
Maimonides on the
possibility of the knowledge of god_.
Springer-Verlag . ISBN
978-1-4020-4720-6 . doi :10.1007/1-4020-4747-9_2 .
* ^ Vivian McAlister, _Maimonides's cooling period and organ
Canadian Journal of Surgery 2004; 47: 8 - 9)
* ^ "The Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith". _www.chabad.org_.
* ^ See, for example:
Marc B. Shapiro . _The Limits of Orthodox
Theology: Maimonides' Thirteen Principles Reappraised_. Littman
Library of Jewish Civilization (2011). pp. 1–14.
* ^ Siegelbaum, Chana Bracha (2010) _Women at the crossroads : a
woman\'s perspective on the weekly
Torah portion_ Gush Etzion:
Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin. ISBN 9781936068098 page 199
* ^ Last section of Maimonides's Introduction to Mishneh Torah
* ^ "Avkat Rochel ch. 32".
Moses Maimonides, _The Commandments, Neg. Comm. 290_, at
269–71 (Charles B. Chavel trans., 1967).
* ^ Leslie, Donald. _The Survival of the Chinese Jews; The Jewish
Community of Kaifeng_. Tʻoung pao, 10. Leiden: Brill, 1972, p. 157
* ^ Pollak, Michael. _Mandarins, Jews, and Missionaries: The Jewish
Experience in the Chinese Empire_. The Jewish Publication Society of
America, 1980, p. 413
* ^ Pollak, _Mandarins, Jews, and Missionaries_, pp. 297–298
* ^ "Hebrew Source of Maimonides\'s Levels of Giving with Danny
Siegel\'s translation" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-09-19.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "The Guide to the Perplexed". World Digital Library.
Retrieved 22 January 2013.
Maimonides (2007). _The Guide to the Perplexed_. BN
* ^ Joseph Jacobs. "
Moses Ben Maimon". Jewish Encyclopedia.
* ^ Shlomo Pines (2006). "
Maimonides (1135–1204)". _Encyclopedia
of Philosophy_. 5: 647–654.
Isadore Twersky (2005). "Maimonides, Moses". _Encyclopedia of
Religion_. 8: 5613–5618.
* ^ Joel E. Kramer, "
Moses Maimonides: An Intellectual Portrait,"
p. 45. In Kenneth Seeskin, ed. (September 2005). _The Cambridge
Companion to Maimonides_. ISBN 9780521525787 .
* ^ Rudavsky, T. (March 2010). _Maimonidies_. Singapore:
Wiley-Blackwell. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4051-4898-6 .
* ^ "Guide for the Perplexed, on". Sacred-texts.com. Retrieved
* ^ See: Maimonides's _Ma'amar Teḥayyath Hamethim_ (Treatise on
the Resurrection of the Dead), published in _Book of Letters and
Responsa_ (ספר אגרות ותשובות),
Jerusalem 1978, p. 9
(Hebrew). According to Maimonides, certain
Jews in Yemen had sent to
him a letter in the year 1189, evidently irritated as to why he had
not mentioned the physical resurrection of the dead in his _Hil.
Teshuvah_, chapter 8, and how that some persons in Yemen had begun to
instruct, based on Maimonides's teaching, that when the body dies it
will disintegrate and the soul will never return to such bodies after
Maimonides denied that he ever insinuated such things, and
reiterated that the body would indeed resurrect, but that the "world
to come" was something different in nature.
* ^ Commentary on the Mishna, Avot 5:6
* ^ "Oath and Prayer of Maimonides". Library.dal.ca. Retrieved
* ^ "
Maimonides – His Thought Related to Ecology in The
Religion and Nature".
* ^ Evans, Whitney (January 3, 2015). "
Jews look for ways to keep
their heritage alive". Salt Lake City, Utah. Deseret News. Retrieved 5
January 2015. Part of
Rabbi Zippel's work is to help educate each Jew
about his or her unique importance. "Every individual is obligated to
look at oneself and say to him or herself, 'The entire universe was
created for my sake,'" Zippel said, paraphrasing the Jewish
philosopher Maimonides. "Not in terms of arrogance, God forbid, but on
the contrary, in terms of both liability and responsibility. … The
world was created for my sake. It is up to me to get the job done."
* ^ Rubenstein, Mindy (December 9, 2014). "Worldwide Celebration:
Completing Maimonides’s Mishneh
Torah Worldwide Celebration:
Completing Maimonides’s Mishneh Torah". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
Shared with them that they had the opportunity to learn the whole
Torah,” said Bruk, co-director of
Chabad Lubavitch of Montana. "They
persevered and made it through." In fact, the four men—the rabbi and
three community members—committed to studying a chapter a day for
three years to get through the oral and written Torah, all the mitzvot
in detail, along with hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and
children around the world who also chose to take on this monumental
* ^ David MOrris. "Major Grant Awarded to Maimonides". _Florida
Jewish Journal_. Archived from the original on July 30, 2007.
* ^ "
Harvard University Press:
Maimonides after 800 Years : Essays
Maimonides and his Influence by Jay M. Harris". Hup.harvard.edu.
* ^ Shelly Paz (8 May 2008) Tourism Ministry plans joint project
with Morocco, Spain. _The
* ^ Kehot Publication Society, Chabad.org.
* ^ Volume 5 translated by Barzel (foreword by Rosner).
* ^ Title page, TOC.
* ^ "כתבים רפואיים - ג (פירוש לפרקי
אבוקראט) / משה בן מימון (רמב"ם) / ת"ש-תש"ב -
* ^ Maimonides. _Medical Aphorisms (Treatises 1-5 6-9 10-15 16-21
Brigham Young University , Provo -
* ^ "כתבים רפואיים - ב (פרקי משה ברפואה)
/ משה בן מימון (רמב"ם) / ת"ש-תש"ב - אוצר
* ^ "כתבים רפואיים - ד (ברפואת הטחורים) /
משה בן מימון (רמב"ם) / ת"ש-תש"ב - אוצר
* ^ Title page, TOC.
* ^ "כתבים רפואיים - א (הנהגת הבריאות) /
משה בן מימון (רמב"ם) / ת"ש-תש"ב - אוצר
* ^ Title page, TOC.
* ^ Abraham Heschel, _Maimonides_. New York: Farrar Strauss, 1982
p. 22 ("at sixteen")
* ^ Davidson, pp. 313 ff.
* ^ "באור מלאכת ההגיון / משה בן מימון
(רמב"ם) / תשנ"ז - אוצר החכמה".
* _ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain :
Joseph Jacobs ,
Isaac Broydé , The Executive
Committee of the Editorial Board, and Jacob Zallel Lauterbach
Moses Ben Maimon". In Singer, Isidore ; et al. Jewish
Encyclopedia _. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. CS1 maint: Multiple
names: authors list (link )
* Uriel Barzel (1992). _Maimonides\'s Medical Writings: The Art of
Cure Extracts_. 5. Galen:
Maimonides Research Institute.
* Davidson, Herbert A. (2005). _
Moses Maimonides: The Man and his
Works_. Oxford University Press.
Rabbi Yaakov (2008). _Shemonah Perakim: The Eight
Chapters of the Rambam_.
Targum Press .
* Fox, Marvin (1990). _Interpreting Maimonides_. Univ. of Chicago
Julius Guttman (1964). David Silverman, ed. _Philosophies of
Judaism_. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America.
Moshe Halbertal (2013). _Maimonides: Life and Thought_. Princeton
University Press. * David Hartman (1976). _Maimonides:
Philosophic Quest_. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1982). _Maimonides: The Life and Times of
a Medieval Jewish Thinker_. New York: Farrar Strauss.
Isaac Husik (2002) . _A History of Jewish Philosophy_. Dover
Publications, Inc. Originally published by the Jewish Publication of
Aryeh Kaplan (1994). "
Maimonides Principles: The Fundamentals of
Jewish Faith". _The
Aryeh Kaplan Anthology_. Mesorah Publications,
* Leaman, Daniel H.; Leaman, Frank; Leaman, Oliver (2003). _History
of Jewish Philosophy_ (Second ed.). London and New York: Routledge.
See especially chapters 10 through 15.
* Kellner, Menachem (1986). _Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought_.
London: Oxford University press.
* Kohler, George Y. (2012). "Reading Maimonides's
Philosophy in 19th
Century Germany". _Amsterdam Studies in Jewish Philosophy_. Springer.
* Kraemer, Joel L. (2008). _Maimonides: The Life and World of One of
Civilization's Greatest Minds_. Doubleday .
Fred Rosner (1984–1994). _Maimonides's Medical Writings_. 7
Maimonides Research Institute. (Volume 5 translated by Uriel
Barzel; foreword by Fred Rosner.)
* Seidenberg, David (2005). "
Maimonides – His Thought Related to
Ecology". _The Encyclopedia of
Religion and Nature_. Continuum Press.
* Shapiro, Marc B. (1993). "
Maimonides Thirteen Principles: The Last
Word in Jewish Theology?". _The
Torah U-Maddah Journal_. Yeshiva
University . 4.
* Shapiro, Marc B. (2008). _Studies in
Maimonides and His
Interpreters_. Scranton (PA): University of Scranton Press.
* Sirat, Colette (1985). _A History of Jewish
Philosophy in the
Middle Ages_. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. See chapters 5
Leo Strauss (1988). _Persecution and the Art of Writing_.
University of Chicago Press. reprint
* Strauss, Leo (1974). Shlomo Pines, ed. _How to Begin to Study the
Guide: The Guide of the Perplexed - Maimonides_ (in Arabic). 1.
University of Chicago Press.
* Hart Green, Kenneth (2013). _
Leo Strauss on Maimonides: The
Complete Writings_. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
* Stroumsa, Sarah (2009). _
Maimonides in His World: Portrait of a
Mediterranean Thinker_. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-13763-3
Isadore Twersky (1980). "Introduction to the Code of Maimonides
(Mishneh Torah". _
Yale Judaica Series_. New Haven and London: Yale
University Press. XII.
* Twersky, Isadore (1972). I Twersky, ed. _A
Maimonides Reader_. New
York: Behrman House.
* Gerrit Bos (2007). _Maimonides. Medical Aphorisms Treatise 1-5
(6-9, 10-15, 16-21, 22-25)_. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University
* Gerrit Bos (2002). _Maimonides. On
Asthma (vol.1, vol.2)_. Provo,
Brigham Young University Press.
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