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The great scholar Maimonides, Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, passed away on the 20th of Tevet in the year 1204. This year, that corresponds with Friday, January 17, 2020.

Maimonides, known in Hebrew as Rambam, is considered to be the greatest thinker and halakhic figure in the history of the Jewish world. Born in 1135 in Cordova, Spain, he grew up hiding from the fierce Muslim Almohads in the mountains and caves of the region. During that time, he showed remarkable understanding of Torah and Talmud. His love of Torah combined with his knowledge of healing and natural medicine, the sciences, mathematics, astronomy – as well as the works of the classical philosophers, began to shape the destiny of his life.

“The Great Eagle” of Jewish scholarship, Maimonides wrote Perush Ha-Mishnayot – his commentary on the Mishnah, which included the Thirteen Principles of Faith, before he was 30. He is best known for his epic Mishna Torah, with 14 volumes of the laws of the Torah, and The Guide to the Perplexed – as a spiritual and philosophical treatise.

Watch these videos and learn more about the Rambam and his life. The above documentary is available only in Hebrew, but the following talks are in English.

History lessons by Rabbi Berel Wein: