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Rabbi Moshe ben Maimo was born in Cordoba, Spain, on th R e on he 14th of Nissa Erev Pesa in 4895 (1135 C.E.1 His fathe an, ach, 1). er was a dayan, judge, in the city. Cordo was a ve wealthy c w e oba ery city where there was much To w w orah learning g. When the Ram W mbam was 1 some fan 13, natic Islamist took over the ts ci and gave the Jews a c ity e choice, conv vert, leave or die. The r Rambams fa R amily left the city and liv in the mo e ved ountains for r se even years ru unning away from the A y Almohads. Th Rambam and he m his father con ntinued to lea Torah ev when the were hidi in arn ven ey ing th mountains. he His famil settled in Fez, Morroc but had to leave there as well. Th travelled to Israel but had ly co o e hey t to leave to go to Alex t xandria, Egy The Ram ypt. mbam settled in Foostat. d Yissacha Zevulum ar m The Ram mbam had a brother, Dav who was a merchant . He promise to suppor the Ramba b vid, s ed rt am and his family in exc fa change for ha of his sha in all the Torah that h learned. T allowed the alf are he This d Rambam to write his commentar on the Mis m s ry shnah, the P Peirush HaM Mishnayos, wh opened up hich d the Mishnah to the Je who cou not learn Mishnah by themselves ews uld n y s. Tragedy and a cha y ange of tafk kid The Ram mbams fathe wife and two children died in 116 In 1171, h brother D er, t n 66. his David drown ned when his ship sank in a storm. Th Rambam had to supp ort himself a his broth s n he and hers family. He became a doctor and worked day and night helping peop who came to him. He became the y h ple e e e doctor of Saladin, the sultan of Egypt and Sy f e E yria. Every d he had to care for Sa day, o aladins man ny wives and all their pr roblems. At night, when he returned home, he ha to help al the many d ad ll people who came to see him and ask for med w dical and per rsonal advice He becam the head o the e. me of Egyptian Jewish com n mmunity. The Rambam writes: e w
I dwell at Fostat, and the su ultan resides at Cairo [abou a mileandah away].... My duties to the a ut half o su ultan are very heavy. I am obliged to vis him every day, early in the morning, and when he or y sit n e an of his child ny dren or any of the inmates of his harem are indispose I dare not quit Cairo, b m ed, t but must stay durin the greater part of the day in the pala It also fre m ng r d ace. equently happ pens that one of th two royal officers fall si and I mus attend to th healing. H he o ick, st heir Hence, as a ru I leave for ule, r Cairo very earl in the day, and even if nothing unusu happens, I do not return to Fostat un C ly n ual n ntil th afternoon. Then I am alm dying with hunger. . . I find the an he most w ntechamber fi illed with peo ople, bo Jews and gentiles, nobles and comm people, ju oth mon udges and bai iliffs, friends and foes-a m mixed multitude who await the tim of my retur m me rn.

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I dismount from my animal, wash my hands, go forth to my patients and entreat them to bear with me while I partake of some slight refreshment, the only meal I take in the twentyfour hours. Then I go forth to attend to my patients, and write prescriptions and directions for their various ailments. Patients go in and out until nightfall, and sometimes even, I solemnly assure you, until two hours or more in the night. I converse with and prescribe for them while lying down from sheer fatigue; and when night falls I am so exhausted that I can scarcely speak. In consequence of this, no Israelite can have any private interview with me, except on the Sabbath. On that day the whole congregation, or at least the majority of the members, come to me after the morning service, when I instruct them as to their proceedings during the whole week; we study together a little until noon, when they depart. Some of them return, and read with me after the afternoon service until evening prayers. In this manner I spend that day.

The Rambam died in 20th of Tevet in 4965 (1204 C.E.) at the age of 69. In Fostat, both Jews and Moslems mourned for him for three days. In Yerushalayim, special funeral services were held and the Jews fasted. The Rambam had asked to be buried in Eretz Yisrael and he was buried in Tiveria. On his grave it says . , From Moshe (Rabeinu) to Moshe (ben Maimon) no has ever arisen like Moshe. Caring for his community through his Sefarim The Rambam always tried to help his fellow Jews learn Torah and keep Mitzvos. He first wrote his Peirush HaMishnayos to help Jews learn Mishnayos when they were being persecuted and could not spend time learning Torah. When he heard that Jews were being killed rather than to pretend to be a Muslim, he wrote a very important letter called the Igeres Hashmad that helped the Jews know they could do Teshuva and should not be killed. He wrote another letter, the Igeres Teiman, when the Jews of Yemen were being persuaded to become Muslem. One Jew started telling them to become Muslim. The Rambams letter helped them have the courage to keep the Torah and Mitzvos. The Rambam wrote some very important sefarim to teach Jews how to serve Hashem and keep all the halachos. One sefer was called the Sefer haMitzvos. In it he lists all 613 Mitzvos. The Rambam also wrote the Mishneh Torah, also called the Yad Hachazaka, which compiled all the laws from the Torah She Baal Peh, even the ones having to do with life after Mashiach into 14 volumes (Gematria Yad). Before it was written, if a Jew wanted to learn about Shabbos, he would have to go to many places in the Gemara to figure out what he should do. With this sefer, he could he had to look in only one place. Every word in the Mishneh Torah must be studied since it was written so carefully. Talmidei Chachamim even learn from the order of the halachos. The Rambam also wrote the Moreh Nevuchim. The Muslims were very excited by the way the Greeks thought. The Rambam wrote the ideas a Jew is supposed to believe. He wrote it in Arabic so that all Jews could learn it.