Abraham ben-Moses ben-Maimon

   Egyptian community leader. Abraham, the only son of MAIMONIDES, was born when his father was fifty-one years of age and had already written most of his great works. On his father’s death in 1204, he was appointed nagid (head of the community) although he was only eighteen. The office gave Abraham the right to appoint judges and to punish offenders. He introduced several reforms. The use of the cherem (‘ban’) was forbidden unless agreed upon by three leading members of the community. Fines collected from offenders were to be paid to the poor or to the synagogue fund. In the synagogue service, Abraham abolished the custom of placing important members of the congrega tion with their faces to the community and their backs to the Ark, because he felt this showed lack of respect to the Torah scrolls. He also tried to introduce the habit, like the Moslems, of full prostration on the floor in the synagogue. He was less successful in making this a generally accepted custom.
   When the great controversy over Maimonides’ work broke out in France, Abraham sent a strongly worded rebuke in which he defended his father’s rationalism, although he himself tended to take a mystical approach to Judaism. He wrote Kifayat al-Abidin (‘Comprehensive Guide to the Servants of God’), which dealt with the Jewish religion and its forms, and attacked mechanical piety. Like his father, he was a physician, and worked in a hospital established by the Arab ruler Saladin.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ABRAHAM BEN MOSES BEN MAIMON — (1186–1237), theologian, exegete, communal leader, mystical pietist, and physician. Little was known about him prior to the discovery of the cairo genizah , which has preserved many of his writings, in part autographic. Born in Fustat, Egypt, on… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ABRAHAM BEN HILLEL (Ben Nissim) OF FOSTAT — (Egypt; d. 1223), scholar, poet, and physician. Abraham is probably identical with Abraham the Pious (he Ḥasid or he Ḥaver) referred to frequently by his friend abraham b. moses b. maimon in his writings. In 1167 Abraham b. Hillel, Maimonides,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon (Maimon, Abraham ben Moses) — (1186 1237)    Egyptian rabbinic scholar. He succeeded his father as head of the Egyptian Jewish community. His Comprehensive Guide for the Servants of God, is an encyclopaedic work on the Jewish faith …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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