Medieval Jewish philosopher and theologian
Mosheh ben Maimon משה בן מימון, called Moses Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn, or RaMBaM (רמב"ם – Hebrew acronym for "Rabbi Mosheh Ben Maimon"), was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the most prolific and followed Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire (present-day Spain) on Passover Eve, 1135, and died in Egypt on 20th Tevet, December 12, 1204. He was a rabbi, physician and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt.
Maimonides, also known as Moses Ben Maimon, was born in Cordoba, the center of Jewish learning and Islamic culture. There is disagreement about his date of birth. It is widely stated to be 1135, however other sources give the date as 1138, based on recent research. His was born into a family of rabbinic scholars and his father was his first and most important teacher. Even at the age of 16, Maimonides showed a marked interest in theology, writing a paper on the proper linguistic usage of theological terms.
After being persecuted by the puritanical Almohades during a time of great political upheaval in Spain, Maimonides and his family fled to Fostat in Egypt. He was a great leader of the Jewish community in Egypt, and because rabbis were not paid in that time, he trained to become a physician. Thanks to his intellectual ability he quickly rose to be one of the most influential physicians of his time, and became the official doctor to Saladin, the ruler of Egypt.
However, it is his commentary on Jewish texts that mark him out as one of the most influential and important Jews in history. He wrote three major essays on Jewish law, the most famous being 'The Guide for the Perplexed', and each of them is still regarded as hugely important in Jewish philosophy. This monumental work laid the foundation for all subsequent Jewish philosophic inquiry known as Chakirah, and stimulated centuries of philosophic Jewish writing.
Maimonides, living in the religious melting pot of North Africa, was hugely influenced by all the faiths surrounding him. The Arab and Greek ideas he was exposed to at the time probably made him among the most tolerant of religious leaders. He did not believe that true prophecy was confined to only the Jews, but rather stressed a difference in the degree of responsibility.
He was one of the few Jewish leaders whose teachings also influenced the non Jewish world during that period, and Christian leaders, such as Saint Thomas Aquinas, referred to him in writings as 'Rabbi Moses'. He was successful in bringing four cultures (GrecoRoman, Arab, Jewish, and Western) together in one person, and in doing so, remains one of the most influential religious philosophers of the intellectual world.
Works by Moses Maimonides
In one of the greatest works of Jewish thought, Rabbi Maimonides explores the relationship between philosophical knowledge and the teachings of the Torah. He discusses the concept of God and explains how God should be described according to the Torah. Maimonides also spends a significant amount of time exploring the structure and characteristics of the universe. Here, it is important to note that Maimonides wrote in a time before the discoveries of science, so his Aristotelian worldview is framed by his philosophical and theological commitments. Maimonides also considers several mystic passages in the Torah in an attempt to challenge traditional Jewish accounts of these passages. His teachings are relevant to both Jewish and Christian communities and have influenced many writers since his time. In addition, this translation offers helpful background information regarding the life of Maimonides and his original Arabic text.
Popularity is calculated by comparing this book's number of views to our most commonly read book. Popularity is calculated by comparing this book's number of editions to the book with the largest number of editions.