web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Rambam


Tales of the Gaonim-logo

On the twentieth day of Teves we mark the 808th yahrzeit of Rabeinu Moshe ben Maimon, the Rambam (Maimonides). The Rambam (Maimonides) lived from 1135 to 1204. His scholarly works are world-renowned and it is about him that we say, “From Moses to Moses there never arose so great a person as Moses.”

The Rambam was gifted in the study of science, philosophy and medicine. It was in this latter field that his fame spread throughout the Arab world. So much so, that the Sultan of Egypt commanded him to appear in his court. Recognizing the Rambam’s brilliance, the Sultan wanted to appoint him as a minister.

The Sultan had seven categories of ministers, each in charge of a special branch of science and each an expert in his field. The categories were listed as follows: Literature, Philosophy, Geometry, Numerology, Astrology, Music and Medicine.

Appointed Court Physician

The Sultan realized that the Rambam’s knowledge far surpassed that of his ministers and was not sure to what position he should appoint him. The Rambam requested that he be allowed to serve the Sultan directly and be responsible for his health. The plan found favor in the Sultan’s eyes and he appointed the Rambam as court physician.

This immediately evoked bitter antagonism and hatred from all the ministers, especially the leading physicians of the empire. A non-believer, a Jew dared to attain such a high office in the personal life of the Sultan! Soon a plan was set in motion to trap Rambam and cause him to lose favor in the eyes of the king.

The Plot

It came to pass that the king became ill. The Rambam prepared a medicinal potion for the king to drink. However, the ministers bribed one of the trusted servants to put a powerful poison into the medicine. This same scoundrel was then told to warn the Sultan that the Jewish physician was prepared to kill the king by poisoning his medicine. He was told that Rambam had joined forces with the Sultan’s enemies and was promised a rich reward for this dastardly act.

The Sultan was overwrought. He could not believe it of his most trusted physician. However, when the Rambam appeared with his medicine, the Sultan ordered the medicine to be given to a dog. One sip and the dog died.

The Sultan was angry. He would not listen to the Rambam’s pleas that it was the doings of his court enemies. The Sultan condemned the Rambam to death.

“However,” said the Sultan, “because of your years of loyal service, I will grant you the choice of choosing the manner of your death!”

The Plan

The Rambam begged for three days grace to plan his death with his disciples. It was granted. The Rambam immediately went home, gathered his pupils around him and told them of his plan.

“I will permit my enemies, the court physicians, to sever every artery in my body and, in this way, they will be convinced that I must bleed to death,” explained Rambam. “However, due to their ignorance, they will overlook one of the main arteries near the heart. This artery will contain enough blood to enable me to live a while, although my pulse may appear to have stopped. Rush me home and give me the following herbs and medicines and stop the bleeding. With G-d’s help I will survive.”

The Rambam returned to the court and offered his plan of death to the Sultan. The court physicians gleefully accepted it. In the presence of the Sultan, they severed all of the Rambam’s arteries and watched him bleed to death. Feeling no pulse or heartbeat, they allowed the students to remove the Rambam’s body. The pupils obeyed their master’s instructions and within a few days the Rambam was recuperating.

The Sultan was overwhelmed when he saw the Rambam walk into his chambers. Now he was convinced that the Rambam was innocent. He accused the court physicians of the dastardly plot on both his and the Rambam’s lives.

The Contest

“Only in one way can you convince me of your superiority over the Rambam,” said the Sultan. “I will arrange a contest. You will all prepare poison and put it in each other’s cup. The person who will not die will be the winner, and it will be G-d’s sign that he is the innocent one.”

The enemies of the Rambam were frightened. They pleaded with the Sultan. “He is one and we are many,” they said. “Therefore permit us to drink last and he should be the first to drink our potion.”

The Sultan agreed. The Rambam then requested a few days time to prepare himself. When his pupils heard of this new edict, they rend their garments, fasted and prayed to Hashem.

Every day for one week, the Rambam began tasting various poisons to accustom his body to them. On the day of the contest, the Rambam drank a powerful antidote, which would line his stomach with preventative acids and thus delay the effect of the poisons. He also instructed his pupils to give him other antidotes immediately after swallowing the poison.

Just as the Rambam planned, he escaped unharmed from the deadly effects of the poison. The Sultan and the court were amazed at this miracle and he was loudly applauded. Now it was the Rambam’s chance to revenge himself upon his enemies. He prepared a strong poison and his enemies were forced to swallow it. Immediately the deadly poison took effect and 10 ministers and physicians died.

The fame of the Rambam spread to the four corners of the world and he was revered and honored throughout the land.

The Rambam’s Demise

At the age of 70, this great leader in Israel, known as the great eagle, from whose fount glowed forth the rays of wisdom and knowledge, died.

All the Jews of Egypt where the Rambam lived declared a three-day period of mourning and let it be known that the year 1240 was to be known as the year of misery. On the seventh day after his petira, news reached Alexandria and on the eighth day it reached Yerushalayim. In Yerushalayim a great day of mourning was called, a day of fasting and prayer.

After many days, the aron of the Rambam was carried from Egypt to Israel. On the way a band of marauders descended on the group and out of fear the convoy dispersed. The band consisted of thirty thieves who approached the coffin of the Rambam and tried to lift it. But to their chagrin they couldn’t budge it. Nor could they open it up. Even though they made a concentrated effort the coffin remained unmoved.

They soon realized that the occupant of the coffin was a holy man and they called back the Jews and apologized for their behavior. They formed a convoy and accompanied the coffin to to Tiverya where the Rambam was buried alongside of the sages, Rabi Yochanan and Rabi Kahana. The band of thieves repented and they became pious people, known as the Baal Tishivniks.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Rambam”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a government meeting.
Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

He followed her advice and, before departing, the rabbanim offered him a bracha. “Aba Yudin, may the Lord return your wealth, for all the kind deeds you do.”

In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

“When I asked why she cried so much she said she came from a very religious home and feared she would be sold to a non-Jew and forced to convert.

Know that from. the day I began to recite the holy name of God, I have always loved Shabbos

And so the enemy burst into the Sanctuary and set up a stand on the Temple Mount.

By means of a clever pretext, they succeeded in getting Rabi Yitzhak aboard a ship and sailed it down the river.

When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.

One winter morning a terrible blizzard raged, the weather dropped to below zero, and the woman became desperately ill.

Entering the city he visited the cattle market and saw two parei adumah untouched by any harness.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

He followed her advice and, before departing, the rabbanim offered him a bracha. “Aba Yudin, may the Lord return your wealth, for all the kind deeds you do.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/the-rambam/2012/01/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: