24 Pages


Moses Maimonides is the Latinized name of Moses ben Maimon, known in rabbinical literature as ‘Rambam’ from the acronym for Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon. Maimonides was born into a line of distinguished rabbis and scholars in Cordoba, which was then part of Muslim Spain. As a result of religious persecution the Maimon family eventually left Cordoba in 1148. There is little accurate record of them and their wanderings until they reappear in Fez, Morocco in 1160. Here Maimonides began work on Sira¯j, his commentary on the Mishnah. As far as we can tell, the five years that the Maimon family spent in Fez were a time of relative peace and security. All this changed in 1165 in the face of renewed persecutions and forced conversions. Rather than face execution, Moses Maimonides and family once again emigrated, eventually settling in Fostat, the Old City of Cairo – which was to become Maimonides’ final home.