Born into a distinguished family in medieval Cordoba, Spain, the young Moses Maimonides was quickly recognized by his teachers for his outstanding intellectual abilities and extraordinary versatility. At the age of twelve, when his peaceful world was shattered by war and persecution and his family was forced into exile, his religious and secular studies continued. Despite the years of wandering and the harsh conditions, he also developed into a writer and wrote extensively until the end of his life.
After years of wandering and relatively short stays in Morocco and Israel, Maimonides and his family settled in Egypt. The Jewish community quickly recognized his genius, and after completing his important book, the Mishneh Torah, he was recognized internationally as the chief religious and legal authority of the entire Jewish world. He produced many books on diverse subjects such as philosophy, law, religion, and medicine that are considered extremely important to this day by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Despite experiencing loss and controversies, Maimonides rose to eminence as both the official head of the Jewish community in Cairo and the private physician to the sultan and his court.
His world was full of contradictions. A man who abhorred excess of any kind, Maimonides nevertheless lived as a member of a glittering society. Cairo of that time was full of art, music, literature, elegant fashions, priceless jewelry, and sophisticated food. He moved among the sultan’s wealthy advisors and the elegant ladies of the royal harem during the day, and among the Jewish scholars in the evening. He was accused of supporting corporal punishment for wives, and at the same time, people gasped at his revolutionary defense of women’s rights.
His fame brought controversy that is still raging—eight hundred years after his death. At certain times his books were banned and even burned at the stake. But no one could ever deny that his work was that of a brilliant innovator and scholar who could reconcile religious traditions with science and philosophy like no one else.
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– Normally, I tend not to read historical type of books but there was something about Moses that grabbed my attention. He is know for his intelligence and thoughts that are etched in history.
– Considering that my husband is Jewish, I really connected with this book. There were many times that I would catch myself reading passages to my husband. I got a better understanding about Judaism and he was able to connect with his religion.
– I highly recommend this book for anyone that loves historical reads. I will definitely adventure into this genre more often now.
Ilil Arbel is the author of a number of fiction and non-fiction books, including biographies,
memoirs, novels, and mythology/folklore. She has also written articles, short stories, and
Arbel has a Ph.D. in the field of mythology and folklore but has also devoted much study
to her special interest in Jewish history, biography, legends, and myths. She is
currently engaged in writing the biography of Hillel the Elder, the first century B.C. leader
and religious scholar.
Dr. Arbel was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has lived and studied in Tel Aviv, Paris, and New
York and currently resides in Manhattan.
Title: Moses: Son of Maimon
Author: Ilil Arbel
Book Genre: Historical Biography
Publisher: 21st Publishing
Release Date: Feb 12, 2015
Tour hosted by: Virtual Book Tour