Abraham ben-Moses ben-Maimon

(1186–1237)
   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:

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