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(mīmŏn`ĭdēz) or

Moses ben Maimon

(mī`mən), 1135–1204, Jewish scholar, physician, and philosopher, the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, b. Córdoba, Spain, d. Cairo. He is sometimes called Rambam, from the initials of the words Rabbi Moses ben Maimon. His organization and systemization of the corpus of Jewish oral law, is called the Mishneh Torah [the Torah Reviewed], known in English as the Strong Hand, and is still used as a standard compilation of halakahhalakah
or halacha
[Heb.,=law], in Judaism, the body of law regulating all aspects of life, including religious ritual, familial and personal status, civil relations, criminal law, and relations with non-Jews.
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. He also produced a number of discourses on legal topics; a work on logic; a treatise on the calendar; and several medical books, including an important work on hygiene. His great philosophical work is the Moreh Nevukhim (1190, tr., Guide for the Perplexed, 1963), written in Arabic, in which he explained the esoteric ideas in the Bible, formulated a proof of the existence of God, expounded the principles of creation, and elucidated baffling metaphysical and religious problems. The Moreh Nevukhim, which reflects Maimonides's great knowledge of Aristotelian philosophy and attempts to reconcile it with the tenets of Jewish theology, dominated Jewish thought, helped introduce Aristotle to medieval Christian philosophers, and has exerted a profound influence upon Christian thinkers.


See biographies by S. Zeitlin (2d ed. 1955), A. J. Heschel (1981), and M. Halbertal (2013); studies by J. Melber (1968), M. Fox (1990), and S. B. Nuland (2005).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Moses ben Maimon). Born Mar. 30, 1135, in Córdoba; died Dec. 13, 1204, in Fustat, near Cairo. Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages.

In 1148, Maimonides left Spain because of the Almohad dynasty’s persecution of Jews; he lived in Morocco and Palestine, settling in Egypt in 1165. In 1187 he became a court physician to Sultan Saladin of Cairo. Maimonides’ chief philosophical work, Guide of the Perplexed, was published in Arabic in Egypt in 1190 and subsequently translated into Hebrew and Latin (a Russian translation is in S. N. Grigorian’s Iz istoriifilosofii Srednei Azii i Irana 7-12 vv., 1960).

Maimonides is the most outstanding representative of Jewish philosophy of the Middle Ages. He based his system on the teachings of Aristotle as interpreted by Arab thinkers. By synthesizing revelation and speculation, the Bible and Aristotle, Maimonides went beyond the limits of orthodoxy; his rationalism and “purification” of truth from miracle brought him the enmity of the adherents to religious tradition. He exerted an influence on the development of Scholasticism in the 13th-15th centuries, particularly influencing the medieval Aristotelians Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1940. Pages 454-57.
Moses ben Maimon: Sein Leben, seine Werke und sein Einfluss, vols. 1-2. Leipzig, 1908-14.
Bamberger, F. Das System des Maimonides. Berlin, 1935.
Sarachek, J. Faith and Reason: The Conflict Over the Rationalism of Maimonides. Williamsport, Pa., 1935.
Baeck, L. Maimonides. Diisseldorf, 1954.
Silver, D. J. Maimonidean Criticism and Maimonidean Controversy, 1180-1240. Leiden, 1965.
Zac, S. Maimonide. Paris, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


also called Rabbi Moses ben Maimon. 1135--1204, Jewish philosopher, physician, and jurist, born in Spain. He codified Jewish law in Mishneh Torah (1180)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Some Maimonidean scholars believe that Maimonides essentially believed in the eternity of the world.
These interpretations are wide-ranging: an allegory for God's relationship to the people of Israel in the course of history; the allegorized union of the active and material intellects in Maimonidean epistemology; a symbol for the union of Malkhut and Shekhinah in Zoharic theosophy (or the soul and God in the mystical conceptions of devekut); and a paradigm for the liturgical personification of Shabbot as the divine Bride (see Pope [1977, 89-112, 153-79] for a useful overview of the variety of literal and non-literal Jewish interpretations).
(76) See, e.g., LESNICK, supra note 5, at 158 (citing Seth Kreimer's view that Jewish tradition teaches an obligation to those who are not fortunate); Jose Faur, Law and Hermeneutics in Rabbinic Jurisprudence: A Maimonidean Perspective, 14 CARDOZO L.
Take as an example the Thirteen Articles of the Maimonidean faith: it is a rational definition of the reality of Judaism.
Botwinick argues most impressively that there is external evidence showing Hobbes's "duplication" of Maimonidean negative theology and certain shared patterns of argument.
The Maimonidean argument amounts to a rejection of both fundamentalism and supercilious secularism.
Botwinick argues that Thomas Hobbes appropriates key Maimonidean motifs, thereby extending the scope and power of skeptical doctrine.
Three of the central chapters of the book are taken up with various aspects of the error view of idolatry, in particular the way in which the Enlightenment in effect pushed Maimonidean arguments against folk religion a stage further, making out that all positive statements about God involved error (p.
in order to ensure the stability of the social order."(44) The Maimonidean monarch possesses wide powers with respect to the preservation of society, especially with regard to the offense of bloodshed which Maimonides regards as the gravest threat to civilized life.(45) Commentators on Maimonides have emphasized the existence of a link between the monarch's powers in this area and the Noahide laws in their role as the moral baseline of Jewish law.
His topics are a Hebrew philosopher in medieval Provence, (Jewish) philosophy as a way of life: Kaspi's intellectual project, Kaspi as an interpreter of Maimonides and Maimonidean interpreter, the Republic in Hebrew: Kaspi and Platonic political thought, and rationalistic messianism and the vicissitudes of history.
Some Remarks on Guide of the Perplexed Part 1 Chapter 73," in Maimonidean Studies, ed.
The traditional Christian association of Judaism with carnality produced the apologetic agenda of "spiritualizing" or "intellectualizing" Judaism in Jewish Hellenistic and Maimonidean philosophy and in Wissenschaft des Judentums, which, as Seidman asserts, attempted to legitimate its place in the German academy by being "hyperphilological" and privileging philosophical and theological dimensions in Jewish culture and history ("Carnal Knowledge," 116).