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He was a Jew living in a Muslim world, a rationalist living in a time of superstition. He gives us a portrait of Maimonides that makes his life, his times, and his thought accessible to the general reader as they have never been before. Jerome Groopman, author of The Anatomy of Hope "Nuland writes sympathetically, one Jewish doctor considering this most extraordinary of Jewish doctors.

His book is a guide for those perplexed by Maimonides, as well as those ignorant of him. Maimonides By Sherwin B. Nuland By Sherwin B. About Maimonides Sherwin B.

From the Hardcover edition. Also in Jewish Encounters Series. Also by Sherwin B. See all books by Sherwin B. Inspired by Your Browsing History. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. The most interesting parts of this book focus on Maimonides the physician as opposed to Maimonides the religious leader, where Nuland's discussion is a bit too sparse here and there. Maimonides known to most Jews as Rambam did not develop new medical knowledge, but wrote ten books synthesizing existing medical knowledge in a clear and concise way, and even occasionally criticizing the Greco-Roman masters whose works dominated medieval medicine.

By the low standards of the Middle Ages, this passed for genius. Nuland links Rambam's religious and medical careers by pointing out that in both areas, Rambam focused heavily on codifying existing knowledge in ways that would be easy for the public to use. Nuland also engages in interesting speculation about a variety of other issues, including: Why were Jews so likely to be doctors in the Middle Ages?

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Nuland asserts that a Christians were uninterested in medicine because they were more ascetic, b because priests could not take employment as doctors, the Christian talent pool for medicine was artificially diminished and c because Jews' wealth could easily be taken away, Jews had a strong incentive to seek portable skills as opposed to investing in fixed assets such as land.

Why was Rambam so uninterested in accommodating or discussing competing religious views? Nuland speculates that because of Judaism's dire condition in those days beset in persecution in some places and the temptation of assimilation into Islam in more tolerant places Rambam may have felt the need to "circle the wagons" by encouraging as much uniformity as possible.

Why did Rambam who generally opposed Messianic speculation suggest in his letter to Yemenite Jews that prophecy might return in ? Nuland suggests that Rambam may have been trying to defang Messianic fever by setting a date so far in advance that he could not be disproven during his lifetime. One person found this helpful.

Maimonides (Jewish Encounters)

Nuland's books are well worth reading. However, it was extremely intriguing and informative. It gave a fascinating insight into both the cultural circumstances of that historical period, as well as into the personality and genius of a unique person. I believe that the author's special gift is to take complex and confusing information and synthesize it into a form which is not only meaningful but fun to read.

I am reading Nuland's books more for inspiration and enjoyment than for anything else, and I have been extremely blessed by all of them.

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Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Five stars because fairly short, readable, and informative about a Giant figure of early medicine who contributed much to the ethics and personal commitment to healing his community's spiritual and physical malaise in an inspiring way.

Jewish Encounters Series

I knew little of him but his name until reading this book. I found this book to be a beautifully written inspiration and historical description. It is very easy to read. I use this book as a gift for our physician trainees at our hospital as an award for professionalism. I highly revomend this book for those interested in Jewish history as well as the history of medicine.

I've been working with undergrads for 5 years and have tried a new book on Maimonides every year. Finally, I've found the perfect book.

Maimonides by Sherwin B. Nuland |

This is a biography and review of the RamBam's writings written by a Physician. Maimonides as a jurist, a physician and a Torah scholar and rabbi comes alive in this stellar book. Excellent overview of Maimonides life and work. See all 25 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 7 months ago.

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