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From Andalusia to Cairo: The Life, Works and Thought of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (RaMBaM)

Hosted By: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)

Alas, it is impossible to overstate Moses Maimonides’ influence on Judaism. At the height of the Islamic enlightenment, Moses was born (1138) in Cordoba, Spain to Maimon the judge. His family fled a decade later when the tolerant Islamic regime was overthrown by a fanatic sect. Finally settling in Cairo, Maimonides served as physician to the Sultan, Saladin, during the Christian Crusades in the Land of Israel. The product of high Islamic culture and deep Jewish learning, Maimonides transformed Jewish literature and Jewish thought. He systematized, codified, and rationalized the Jewish traditions which he had inherited. In shocking ways, he turned Judaism into a religion. This four-week course will immerse us in the family, life, times, works, and thought of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (RaMBaM). We’ll travel from the poetry-infused life of Andalusia to the medical clinic RaMBaM ran outside of Cairo. We’ll look at his commentary, code, philosophy, and letters. Finally, we’ll see how his son’s attraction to Sufi mysticism was both predictable and an uncanny precursor to post-Enlightenment Judaism. 4-Part Series with Rabbi Dr. Shai Cherry

Nov 15: Part 1, RaMBaM’s Milieu
Nov 22: Part 2, David ben Maimon: Grief, Evil, and Providence
Nov 29: Part 3, The Goal of Life and the Means Thereto
Dec 6: Part 4, Mitzvot, Mysticism, & Avraham Maimuni with Shai Cherry”

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