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Maimonides

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Many important characters have emerged throughout history, some of them have even played an important role in the field of religion . One of these figures, remembered today, is Maimonides , a philosopher , writer , doctor and theologian of Spanish Jewish origin who quickly gained prestige and fame especially in the Hebrew communities, who called him by the name of Rambam .

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Personal information

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  • When was he born: In the year 1138
  • Where he was born: Córdoba, Spain
  • When he died: 12/13/1204
  • Where he died: Fustat, Egypt

Who was Maimonides?

Maimonides is considered the most important figure of Judaism in medieval times . A renowned philosopher , scholar, and physician who was seen as the head of the entire Jewish community that stood among all the Hebrew peoples.

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  • Biography of Maimonides
  • Maimonides thought
  • Theories
  • Contributions
  • Importance
  • Works of Maimonides
  • Phrases

Biography of Maimonides

His real name was Moisés ben Maimon and he was born in 1135 , in Córdoba at the end of what was known as the golden age of Jewish culture. His paternal family was very distinguished, descended from rabbinical judges and community leaders. His mother’s family was more humble, and his mother died giving birth.

Since he was a child, he dedicated himself to carrying out biblical and talmudic studies in Córdoba and also studied science and philosophy as well as Islamic culture. He was able to study the Torah thanks to his father. In the year 1148, the Almohad Caliphate managed to conquer Córdoba because what the Maimonides family chose was exile. For a few years, they lived in the southern part of Spain until they managed to settle in Morocco, from where they also had to go into exile.

In 1168 he decided to move to Cairo , and there he continued his studies in a small synagogue that still bears his name. He had an important role in the rescue of many Jews who were imprisoned during the siege of King Amalarico . In 1171 , he was appointed as the leader of the Jewish community located in Egypt and had a very important role as such. He died a 12 December 1204 in Cairo and according to tradition, was buried in the courtyard of the synagogue in the study hall Bet Midrash, to later be transferred to Tiberias. This place is currently known as the Tomb of Maimonides and is located on the western coast of the Sea of ​​Galilee located in Israel .

Maimonides thought

His completely philosophical thought was based mainly on the Hebrew approach , Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism . For Maimonides, the existence of God could be demonstrated and that free creation was entirely reasonable. For this reason, he thought that creation was a kind of unlimited divine manifestation whose sole purpose was creation itself. He believed in the worldview of the celestial spheres which were dominated and guided by separate intelligences.

For him, faith and reason were not opposites when Scripture could be interpreted allegorically. Everything related to science , philosophy and the Scriptures had different natures but at the same time they coincided. He did not agree with the idea that philosophy could not be carried with faith and firmly believed in the existence of a higher being. He thought that philosophy did not have the ability to achieve the truths that were given through Revelation , a thought that was also adopted by many Christian philosophers .

In his ideas, there was the presence of ten different intelligences , all pure and most of them were governed by the movement made by the celestial spheres and others by the intellect . For Maimonides, man only possessed a passive type of intellect which was fundamental for his learning.

Theories

Maimonides’ theories were based mainly on thirteen different principles of faith, which were necessary for him. These were:

  • The existence of God .
  • God was indivisible and unique .
  • God had spirituality and incorporeality .
  • The eternity of God.
  • Only God was to be worshiped .
  • God’s revelation was given through the prophets .
  • Moses was the most important of the prophets.
  • The Torah had been delivered into the hands of Moses on Mount Sinai.
  • The Torah had immutability as the Law of God.
  • God was aware of all the actions of man.
  • The good deeds were rewards and bad deeds punishment of evil.
  • The Judaic Messiah would come.
  • The resurrection of those who had died.

Contributions

Among the main contributions of Maimonides we mention the following:

  • He provided a clearer and general treatise on different Jewish beliefs based primarily on Scripture.
  • He redefined Judaism by organizing Jewish thought, adjusting it to his own ideas of logic and order.
  • He showed the importance of understanding that faith must always be consistent with reason , a contribution that is still maintained today.
  • He contributed his thirteen tenets of faith to Jewish beliefs .
  • He established through his works a conciliation between faith and reason .

Importance

Maimonides was a man of great importance because he was the one who managed, through his writings, to have a major impact on the Jewish , Muslim and ecclesiastical way of thinking of his time. He was a man who rejected blind faith and who sought a way to give explanations based on rational and also logical evidence . He was the one who managed to summarize all the information that was in the Talmud creating practical and organized decisions.

Works of Maimonides

Some of his most important works were the following:

  • Mishneh Torah : a work written in Hebrew dedicated to collecting and displaying a type of timeless tradition, in other words, the ability of man to adapt to each moment. Four scientific editions of this text have been printed, all important and relevant.
  • The Guide of the Perplexed : this is considered one of his most important books mainly within the Jewish community and in it, he tries to create a compatibility between the Jewish religion and Aristotle and the Neoplatonic and Muslim Greek philosophers.
  • Medical Works I: book where he spoke about different ailments and remedies showing his conception of medicine.
  • Maimonides . Writings and teachings : from this work the Jewish intellectual movement that took place during the 13th and 14th centuries managed to emerge and which managed to spread throughout Spain and the south of France . In this bora he distinguished three different groups of beings that had been created: minerals, plants and living beings composed of matter, spheres and stars that had a permanent shape and beings that had shape but did not have matter, in this case the Angels.
  • Astray guide .

Phrases

Some important phrases mentioned by Maimonides were the following:

  • He who knows how to swim can extract pearls from the depths of the sea; he who does not know, would drown. For this reason, only properly educated people should take risks.
  • Friendship is more intense and frequent between parents, children and relatives. Only true brotherhood, perfect love, and mutual help can be found between members of a family.
  • On some occasions, the quality of the action depends on the intention of the person who executes it; because several things are useful for the judgment of an individual but it can be superfluous for others.
  • Those actions that serve a purpose and achieve it are useful.
  • None of the prohibitions in the Torah are as difficult to follow as forbidden unions and illicit sexual relations.

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