Public Domain
Image source: Public Domain
  • Faith: Judaism
  • Profession: Scholar and Author
  • Lived: 1135-December 1204 (Late Medieval)
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Known for: Preeminent medieval Jewish scholar
  • Fun Fact: Maimonides and his family moved repeatedly while fleeing the Islamic conquest of Spain.
  • Fun Fact: There is evidence that Maimonides was forced to pretend to convert to Islam and live secretly as a Jew while living in a conquered area.
  • Fun Fact: 

Maimonides was born in Cordoba, Spain in the 1130's. When he was a teenager, Muslim fundamentalists conquered Spain and forced many Jews and Christians to convert. Maimonides family fled repeatedly, but evidence suggests that eventually they were forced to pretend to convert to Islam to save their own lives. In response to this, Maimonides composed his Iggeret ha-shamad, the Letter on Forced Conversions, stating that Jews who had been forced to fake conversion under threat of death had not betrayed God. Years later, Maimonides fled to Israel and moved from there to Egypt where he becaem Ra'is al-Yahud, the head of Egypt's Jews and wrote a number of books including the Mishneh Torah, which is considered to be the greatest Jewish work since the Talmud, and "The Guide to the Perplexed," which stressed the importance of intellect in religious life.

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