A synagogue, is a Jewish or Samaritan house of worship. Synagogues have a large place for prayer and may have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices; some have a separate room for Torah study, called the בית מדרש beth midrash "house of study". Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh reading and assembly. Halakha holds. Worship can be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together. However, halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan. In terms of its specific ritual and liturgical functions, the synagogue does not replace the long-since destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. Israelis use the Hebrew term beyt knesset "house of assembly". Ashkenazi Jews have traditionally used the Yiddish term shul in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews use the term kal. Spanish Jews call the synagogue Portuguese Jews call it an esnoga. Persian Jews and some Karaite Jews use the term kenesa, derived from Aramaic, some Mizrahi Jews use kenis.
Some Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative Jews use the word "temple". The Greek word synagogue is used in English to cover the preceding possibilities. Although synagogues existed a long time before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, communal worship in the time while the Temple still stood centered around the korbanot brought by the kohanim in the Temple in Jerusalem; the all-day Yom Kippur service, in fact, was an event in which the congregation both observed the movements of the kohen gadol as he offered the day's sacrifices and prayed for his success. During the Babylonian captivity the men of the Great Assembly formalized and standardized the language of the Jewish prayers. Prior to that people prayed as they saw fit, with each individual praying in his or her own way, there were no standard prayers that were recited. Johanan ben Zakai, one of the leaders at the end of the Second Temple era, promulgated the idea of creating individual houses of worship in whatever locale Jews found themselves.
This contributed to the continuity of the Jewish people by maintaining a unique identity and a portable way of worship despite the destruction of the Temple, according to many historians. Synagogues in the sense of purpose-built spaces for worship, or rooms constructed for some other purpose but reserved for formal, communal prayer, existed long before the destruction of the Second Temple; the earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of early synagogues comes from Egypt, where stone synagogue dedication inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BCE prove that synagogues existed by that date. More than a dozen Jewish Second Temple era synagogues have been identified by archaeologists in Israel and other countries belonging to the Hellenistic world. Any Jew or group of Jews can build a synagogue. Synagogues have been constructed by ancient Jewish kings, by wealthy patrons, as part of a wide range of human institutions including secular educational institutions and hotels, by the entire community of Jews living in a particular place, or by sub-groups of Jews arrayed according to occupation, style of religious observance, or by the followers of a particular rabbi.
It has been theorized that the synagogue became a place of worship in the region upon the destruction of the Second Temple during the First Jewish–Roman War. The popularization of prayer over sacrifice during the years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE had prepared the Jews for life in the diaspora, where prayer would serve as the focus of Jewish worship. Despite the possibility of synagogue-like spaces prior to the First Jewish–Roman War, the synagogue emerged as a stronghold for Jewish worship upon the destruction of the Temple. For Jews living in the wake of the Revolt, the synagogue functioned as a "portable system of worship". Within the synagogue, Jews worshipped by way of prayer rather than sacrifices, which had served as the main form of worship within the Second Temple; the Samaritan house of worship is called a synagogue. During the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, during the Hellenistic period, the Greek word used in the Diaspora by Samaritans and Jews was the same: proseucheµ.
The oldest Samaritan synagogue discovered so far is from Delos in the Aegean Islands, with an inscription dated between 250 and 175 BCE, while most Samaritan synagogues excavated in the wider Land of Israel and ancient Samaria in particular, were built during the 4th-7th centuries, at the end of the Roman and throughout the Byzantine period. The elements which distinguish Samaritan synagogues from contemporary Jewish ones are: Alphabet: the use of the Samaritan script Orthography; when the Samaritan script is used, there are some Hebrew words which would
A lection called the lesson, is a reading from scripture in liturgy. The custom of reading the books of Moses in the synagogues on Sabbath is a ancient one. Since the prophetic books were written after the books of Moses, readings from them began and were common at the time of Jesus; this element in synagogue worship was taken over with others into the Christian divine service, as may be gathered from passages in the gospels such as St Luke 4:16–20 and 16:29. During early Christianity, readings began to be made from the writings of the Apostles and evangelists as the New Testament canon developed. Mention of this is found within the New Testament itself, for example in Colossians 4:16 and in First Thessalonians 5:27; the oldest manuscripts of the Gospels have marginal marks, sometimes actual interpolations, which can only be accounted for as indicating the beginnings and endings of liturgical lessons. From the 2nd century onwards references multiply, though the earlier references do not prove the existence of a fixed lectionary or order of lessons, but rather point the other way.
Justin Martyr, describing divine worship in the middle of the 2nd century says: "On the day called Sunday all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, the memoirs of the Apostles, or the writings of the Prophets are read as long as time permits". Tertullian about half a century makes frequent reference to the reading of Holy Scripture in public worship; the canons of Hippolytus, written in the first half of the 3rd century says, "Let presbyters and readers, all the people assemble daily in the church at time of cockcrow, betake themselves to prayers, to psalms and to the reading of the Scriptures, according to the command of the Apostles, until I come attend to reading". There are traces of fixed lessons coming into existence in the course of the 3rd century. Origen refers to the Book of Job being read in Holy Week. In the 4th century are such references are frequent. John Cassian states that throughout Egypt the Psalms were divided into groups of twelve, that after each group there followed two lessons, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, implying but not stating that there was a fixed order of such lessons just as there was of the Psalms.
St Basil the Great mentions fixed lessons on certain occasions taken from Isaiah, Proverbs, St Matthew and Acts. From Chrysostom, Augustine both state that Genesis was read in Lent and Jonah in Passion Week, the Acts of the Apostles in Eastertide, lessons on the Passion on Good Friday, lessons on the Resurrection on Easter Day. In the Apostolic Constitutions a service is described, required of the church. First come two lessons from the Old Testament by a reader, the whole of the Old Testament being made use of except the books of the Apocrypha; the Psalms of David are to be sung. Next the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul are to be read; the four Gospels are to be read by a deacon or a priest. Whether the selections were ad libitum or according to a fixed table of lessons is not mentioned; the Third Council of Carthage forbade anything but Holy Scripture to be read in church. This rule has been adhered to so far as the liturgical epistle and gospel, occasional additional lessons in the Roman Missal are concerned, but in the divine office, on feasts when nine lessons are read at matins, only the first three lessons are taken from Holy Scripture, the next three being taken from the sermons of ecclesiastical writers, the last three from expositions of the day's gospel.
Nothing in the shape of a lectionary is extant older than the 8th century, though there is evidence that Claudianus Marnercus made one for the church at Vienna in 450, that Musaeus made one for the church at Marseille ca. 458. Gospel Book Lector
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction between interpreting. A translator always risks inadvertently introducing source-language words, grammar, or syntax into the target-language rendering. On the other hand, such "spill-overs" have sometimes imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched target languages. Translators, including early translators of sacred texts, have helped shape the languages into which they have translated; because of the laboriousness of the translation process, since the 1940s efforts have been made, with varying degrees of success, to automate translation or to mechanically aid the human translator. More the rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated "language localization"; the English word "translation" derives from the Latin word translatio, which comes from trans, "across" + ferre, "to carry" or "to bring".
Thus translatio is "a carrying across" or "a bringing across": in this case, of a text from one language to another. The Germanic languages and some Slavic languages have calqued their words for the concept of "translation" on translatio; the Romance languages and the remaining Slavic languages have derived their words for the concept of "translation" from an alternative Latin word, itself derived from traducere. The Ancient Greek term for "translation", μετάφρασις, has supplied English with "metaphrase" —as contrasted with "paraphrase". "Metaphrase" corresponds, in one of the more recent terminologies, to "formal equivalence". Speaking, the concept of metaphrase—of "word-for-word translation"—is an imperfect concept, because a given word in a given language carries more than one meaning. "metaphrase" and "paraphrase" may be useful as ideal concepts that mark the extremes in the spectrum of possible approaches to translation. Discussions of the theory and practice of translation reach back into antiquity and show remarkable continuities.
The ancient Greeks distinguished between paraphrase. This distinction was adopted by English poet and translator John Dryden, who described translation as the judicious blending of these two modes of phrasing when selecting, in the target language, "counterparts," or equivalents, for the expressions used in the source language: When appear... graceful, it were an injury to the author that they should be changed. But since... What is beautiful in one is barbarous, nay sometimes nonsense, in another, it would be unreasonable to limit a translator to the narrow compass of his author's words:'tis enough if he choose out some expression which does not vitiate the sense. Dryden cautioned, against the license of "imitation", i.e. of adapted translation: "When a painter copies from the life... he has no privilege to alter features and lineaments..."This general formulation of the central concept of translation—equivalence—is as adequate as any, proposed since Cicero and Horace, who, in 1st-century-BCE Rome and cautioned against translating "word for word".
Despite occasional theoretical diversity, the actual practice of translation has hardly changed since antiquity. Except for some extreme metaphrasers in the early Christian period and the Middle Ages, adapters in various periods, translators have shown prudent flexibility in seeking equivalents—"literal" where possible, paraphrastic where necessary—for the original meaning and other crucial "values" as determined from context. In general, translators have sought to preserve the context itself by reproducing the original order of sememes, hence word order—when necessary, reinterpreting the actual grammatical structure, for example, by shifting from active to passive voice, or vice versa; the grammatical differences between "fixed-word-order" languages and "free-word-order" languages have been no impediment in this regard. The particular syntax characteristics of a text's source language are adjusted to the syntactic requirements of the target language; when a target language has lacked terms that are found in a source language, translators have borrowed those terms, thereby enriching the target language.
Thanks in great measure to the exchange of calques and loanwords between languages, to their importation from other languages, there are few concepts that are "untranslatable" among the modern European languages. A greater problem, however, is translating terms relating to cultural concepts that have no equivalent in the target language. For full comprehension, such situations require the provision of a gloss; the greater the contact and exchange that have existed between two languages, or between those lang
The Peshitta is the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition. The consensus within biblical scholarship, though not universal, is that the Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated into Syriac from Hebrew in the 2nd century AD, that the New Testament of the Peshitta was translated from the Greek; this New Testament excluding certain disputed books, had become a standard by the early 5th century. The five excluded books were added in the Harklean Version of Thomas of Harqel. However, the 1905 United Bible Society Peshitta used new editions prepared by the Irish Syriacist John Gwynn for the missing books; the name'Peshitta' is derived from the Syriac mappaqtâ pšîṭtâ meaning'simple version'. However, it is possible to translate pšîṭtâ as'common', or'straight', as well as the usual translation as'simple'. Syriac is a dialect, or group of Eastern Aramaic, originating around Edessa, it is written in the Syriac alphabet, is transliterated into the Latin script in a number of ways, generating different spellings of the name: Peshitta, Peshittâ, Pshitta, Pšittâ, Fshitto.
All of these are acceptable. There is no full and clear knowledge of the circumstances under which the Peshitta was produced and came into circulation. Whereas the authorship of the Latin Vulgate has never been in dispute every assertion regarding the authorship of the Peshitta and its time and place of its origin, is subject to question; the chief ground of analogy between the Vulgate and the Peshitta is that both came into existence as the result of a revision. This, has been strenuously denied, but since Hort maintained this view in his Introduction to New Testament in the Original Greek, following Griesbach and Hug at the beginning of the 19th century, it has gained many adherents; as far as the New Testament writings are concerned, there is evidence and increased by recent discoveries, for the view that the Peshitta represents a revision, fresh investigation in the field of Syriac scholarship has raised it to a high degree of probability. The designation, "Peshito," has given rise to dispute.
It has been applied to the Syriac as the version in common use, regarded as equivalent to the Greek "koiné" and the Latin "Vulgate". The word itself is a feminine form, meaning "simple", as in "easy to be understood", it seems to have been used to distinguish the version from others which are encumbered with marks and signs in the nature of a critical apparatus. However, the term as a designation of the version has not been found in any Syriac author earlier than the 9th or 10th century; as regards the Old Testament, the antiquity of the version is admitted on all hands. The tradition, that part of it was translated from Hebrew into Syriac for the benefit of Hiram in the days of Solomon is a myth; that a translation was made by a priest named Assa, or Ezra, whom the king of Assyria sent to Samaria, to instruct the Assyrian colonists mentioned in 2 Kings 17:27-28, is legendary. That the translation of the Old Testament and New Testament was made in connection with the visit of Thaddaeus to Abgar at Edessa belongs to unreliable tradition.
Mark has been credited in ancient Syriac tradition with translating his own gospel and the other books of the New Testament into Syriac. What Theodore of Mopsuestia says of the Old Testament is true of both: "These Scriptures were translated into the tongue of the Syriacs by someone indeed at some time, but who on earth this was has not been made known down to our day". F. Crawford Burkitt concluded that the translation of the Old Testament was the work of Jews, of whom there was a colony in Edessa about the commencement of the Christian era; the older view was that the translators were Christians, that the work was done late in the 1st century or early in the 2nd. The Old Testament known to the early Syrian church was that of the Palestinian Jews, it contained the same number of books. First, there was the Pentateuch Job, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Proverbs, Ruth, the Song of Songs, Ezra, Isaiah followed by the Twelve Minor Prophets and Lamentations, Daniel. Most of the Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament are found in the Syriac, the Wisdom of Sirach is held to have been translated from the Hebrew and not from the Septuagint.
Of the New Testament, attempts at translation must have been made early, among the ancient versions of New Testament scripture, the Syriac in all likelihood is the earliest. It was at Antioch, the capital of Syria, that the disciples of Christ were first called Christians, it seemed natural that the first translation of the Christian Scriptures should have been made there; the tendency of recent research, goes to show that Edessa, the literary capital, was more the place. If we could accept the somewhat obscure statement of Eusebius that Hegesippus "made some quotations from the Gospel according to the Hebrews and from the Syriac Gospel," we should have a reference to a Syriac New Testament as early as 160–180 AD, the time of that Hebrew Christian writer. One thing is certain, the earliest New Testament of the Syriac church lacked not only the Antilegomena – 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John and the Apocalypse – but the whole of the Catholic Epistles; these were at a date translated and received into the Syriac Canon of the New Testament, as the qu
Chapters and verses of the Bible
The Bible is a compilation of many shorter books written at different times by a variety of authors, assembled into the biblical canon. Since the early 13th century, most copies and editions of the Bible present all but the shortest of these books with divisions into chapters a page or so in length. Since the mid-16th century editors have further subdivided each chapter into verses - each consisting of a few short lines or sentences. Sometimes a sentence spans more than one verse, as in the case of Ephesians 2:8–9, sometimes there is more than one sentence in a single verse, as in the case of Genesis 1:2; as the chapter and verse divisions did not appear in the original texts, they form part of the paratext of the Bible. The Jewish divisions of the Hebrew text differ at various points from those used by Christians. For instance, in Jewish tradition, the ascriptions to many Psalms are regarded as independent verses or parts of the subsequent verses, making 116 more verses, whereas established Christian practice treats each Psalm ascription as independent and unnumbered.
Some chapter divisions occur in different places, e.g. Hebrew Bibles have 1 Chronicles 5:27–41 where Christian translations have 1 Chronicles 6:1–15. Early manuscripts of the biblical texts did not contain the chapter and verse divisions in the numbered form familiar to modern readers. In antiquity Hebrew texts were divided into paragraphs that were identified by two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Peh פ indicated an "open" paragraph that began on a new line, while Samekh ס indicated a "closed" paragraph that began on the same line after a small space; these two letters begin the Hebrew words open and closed, are, open פ and closed ס. The earliest known copies of the Book of Isaiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls used parashot divisions, although they differ from the Masoretic divisions; the Hebrew Bible was divided into some larger sections. In Israel the Torah were divided into 154 sections so that they could be read through aloud in weekly worship over the course of three years. In Babylonia it was divided into 54 sections so it could be read through in one year.
The New Testament was divided into topical sections known as kephalaia by the fourth century. Eusebius of Caesarea divided the gospels into parts that he listed in canons. Neither of these systems corresponds with modern chapter divisions. Chapter divisions, with titles, are found in the 9th century Tours manuscript, Paris Bibliothèque Nationale MS Lat. 3, the so-called Bible of Rorigo. Archbishop Stephen Langton and Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro developed different schemas for systematic division of the Bible in the early 13th century, it is the system of Archbishop Langton. While chapter divisions have become nearly universal, editions of the Bible have sometimes been published without them; such editions, which use thematic or literary criteria to divide the biblical books instead, include John Locke's Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul, Alexander Campbell's The Sacred Writings, Daniel Berkeley Updike's fourteen-volume The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, Richard Moulton's The Modern Reader's Bible, Ernest Sutherland Bates's The Bible Designed to Be Read as Living Literature, The Books of the Bible from the International Bible Society, Adam Lewis Greene's five-volume Bibliotheca, the six-volume ESV Reader's Bible from Crossway Books.
Since at least 916 the Tanakh has contained an extensive system of multiple levels of section and phrasal divisions that were indicated in Masoretic vocalization and cantillation markings. One of the most frequent of these was a special type of punctuation, the sof passuq, symbol for a full stop or sentence break, resembling the colon of English and Latin orthography. With the advent of the printing press and the translation of the Bible into English, Old Testament versifications were made that correspond predominantly with the existing Hebrew full stops, with a few isolated exceptions. Most attribute these to Rabbi Isaac Nathan ben Kalonymus's work for the first Hebrew Bible concordance around 1440; the first person to divide New Testament chapters into verses was Italian Dominican biblical scholar Santi Pagnini, but his system was never adopted. His verse divisions in the New Testament were far longer than those known today. Robert Estienne created an alternate numbering in his 1551 edition of the Greek New Testament, used in his 1553 publication of the Bible in French.
Estienne's system of division was adopted, it is this system, found in all modern Bibles. Estienne produced a 1555 Vulgate, the first Bible to include the verse numbers integrated into the text. Before this work, they were printed in the margins; the first English New Testament to use the verse divisions was a 1557 translation by William Whittingham. The first Bible in English to use both chapters and verses was the Geneva Bible published shortly afterwards in 1560; these verse divisions soon gained acceptance as a standard way to notate verses, have since been used in nearly all English Bibles and the vast majority of those in other languages. (Nevertheless, some Bibles have removed the verse numbering, including the ones noted above that removed chapter numbers.
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k
Moses ben Maimon known as Maimonides and referred to by the acronym Rambam, was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. In his time, he was a preeminent astronomer and physician. Born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1135 or 1138, he worked as a rabbi and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt, he died in Egypt on December 12, 1204, whence his body was taken to the lower Galilee and buried in Tiberias. During his lifetime, most Jews greeted Maimonides' writings on Jewish law and ethics with acclaim and gratitude as far away as Iraq and Yemen. Yet, while Maimonides rose to become the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, his writings had vociferous critics in Spain. Nonetheless, he was posthumously acknowledged as among the foremost rabbinical decisors and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprises a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship, his fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law.
He is sometimes known as "ha Nesher ha Gadol" in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah. Aside from being revered by Jewish historians, Maimonides figures prominently in the history of Islamic and Arab sciences and is mentioned extensively in studies. Influenced by Al-Farabi and his contemporary Averroes, he in his turn influenced other prominent Arab and Muslim philosophers and scientists, he became a prominent polymath in both the Jewish and Islamic worlds. His full Hebrew name is Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, whose acronym forms "Rambam", his full Arabic name is Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin Maimūn bin ʿUbaidallāh al-Qurtabī, or Mūsā bin Maymūn for short. In Latin, the Hebrew ben becomes the Greek-style patronymic suffix -ides, forming "Moses Maimonides". Maimonides was born in Córdoba during what some scholars consider to be the end of the golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula, after the first centuries of the Moorish rule. At an early age, he developed an interest in sciences and philosophy.
He read those Greek philosophers accessible in Arabic translations, was immersed in the sciences and learning of Islamic culture. Though the Gaonic tradition in its North African version, formed the basis of his legal thought, some scholars have argued in the 21st century that Muslim law, including Almohad legal thought had a substantial influence. Maimonides was not known as a supporter of mysticism, although a strong intellectual type of mysticism has been discerned in his philosophy, he expressed disapproval of poetry, the best of which he declared to be false, since it was founded on pure invention. This sage, revered for his personality as well as for his writings, led a busy life, wrote many of his works while travelling or in temporary accommodation. Maimonides studied Torah under his father Maimon, who had in turn studied under Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash, a student of Isaac Alfasi. A Berber dynasty, the Almohads, conquered Córdoba in 1148, abolished dhimmi status in some of their territories.
The loss of this status left the Jewish and Christian communities with conversion to Islam, death, or exile. Many Jews were forced to convert, but due to suspicion by the authorities of fake conversions, the new converts had to wear identifying clothing that set them apart and made them subject to public scrutiny. Maimonides's family, along with most other Jews, chose exile; some say, that it is that Maimonides feigned a conversion to Islam before escaping. This forced conversion was ruled invalid under Islamic law when brought up by a rival in Egypt. For the next ten years, Maimonides moved about in southern Spain settling in Fez in Morocco. During this time, he composed his acclaimed commentary on the Mishnah, during the years 1166–1168. Following this sojourn in Morocco, together with two sons, he sojourned in the Holy Land, before settling in Fustat, Egypt around 1168. While in Cairo, he studied in a yeshiva attached to a small synagogue. In the Holy Land, he prayed at the Temple Mount, he wrote that this day of visiting the Temple Mount was a day of holiness for him and his descendants.
Maimonides shortly thereafter was instrumental in helping rescue Jews taken captive during the Christian King Amalric's siege of the Egyptian town of Bilbays. He sent five letters to the Jewish communities of Lower Egypt asking them to pool money together to pay the ransom; the money was collected and given to two judges sent to Palestine to negotiate with the Crusaders. The captives were released. Following this triumph, the Maimonides family, hoping to increase their wealth, gave their savings to his brother, the youngest son David ben Maimon, a merchant. Maimonides directed his brother to procure goods only at the Sudanese port of ‘Aydhab. After a long arduous trip through the desert, David was unimpressed by the goods on offer there. Against his brother's wishes, David boarded a ship for India, since great wealth was to be found in the East. Before he could reach his destination, David drowned at sea sometime between 1169 and 1177; the death of his brother caused Maimonides to become sick with grief.
In a letter, he wrote: The greatest misfortune that has befallen me during my entire life—worse than anything else—was the demise of the saint, may his memory be blessed, who drowned in the Indian sea