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Maimonides Maimonides Maimonides

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Moses Maimonides was a Renaissance man before there was a Renaissance: a great physician who served a sultan, a dazzling Torah scholar, a community leader, a daring philosopher whose greatest work---The Guide for the Perplexed----attempted to reconcile scientific knowledge with faith in God. He was a Jew living in a Muslim world, a rationalist living in a time of superstit ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Schocken Books Inc (first published October 4th 2005)
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Grady McCallie
Years ago, perhaps in college, I read part of the Guide of the Perplexed. In one passage, the author - Moses Maimonides (1138 - 1204) - presents the striking image of silver filigree encasing a golden apple, offering it as a metaphor for the way good writing, beautiful in its own right, cradles an even more valuable substantive message. [ed: note that this is wrong - see the comment thread below] As I read other parts of the Guide, I often felt I could perceive only the filigree, while the golde ...more
I really appreciated Nuland's assertion that no matter how brilliant he was, Maimonides was a medieval physician bound by the knowledge of his time. While Heschel wrote of him as a man whose true passion was the life of the mind, Nuland spends more time discussing the exigencies of life that made the Rambam turn to medicine to earn a living after his brother David's death. Still, it is hard to get a sense of the real person when these biographers' basic approach to their subject is "we are not w ...more
Nov 30, 2009 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: book club
This was a brief look into life in the Middle Ages.
I'm reading a biography of Maimonides. Who? WTF? (I'm rating it three stars because I'm not done yet.)

He was a tenth century Jewish scholar, perhaps the most important Talmudic scholar in history. He lived in Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, all over. In those days Jews kept on the move because a place could turn Hitlerish pretty fast. He was Sephardic, meaning swarthy, and spoke Arabic. He was a great Jewish Aristotelian scholar as well. His writing imposed rationality on belief, searching for
Our study group at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, having completed reading the Mishnah over the past decade is embarking on a mission to read Rambam's epic work, Mishneh Torah. This biography of Maimonides by Sherwin Nuland was selected as introductory material. By a physician, about a physician, it is well written, interesting and very readable. New info: The Physician's Prayer commonly attributed to Maimonides apparently was not composed by him, after all.
A fascinating look at a man who invigorated, intrigued. exasperated people. A good introduction to some of his thoughts. Knowing his background and understanding the setting and time of his writings gives me a greater understanding of Jewish writings.
Sam Berner
A really handy introduction to Rambam as a physician and a human being, ahead of his time, humane and yet still very medieval. None of the humbug that you usually get about him in the other biographies. Maybe because it is written by another doctor?
This is a great introduction for the non-technical Jewish reader and non Jewish general to one of the greatest minds the world has ever produced.
Feb 07, 2009 Jegdsw rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in jewish history
An interesting book about both Maimonides as doctor and philosopher and the time he lived in. Author writes extremely well.
Owen Margolis
Intense work written by a physician. Fascinating
Joe Wright
Now I know why Khedron wants to be a doctor.
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Sherwin Nuland was an American surgeon and author who taught bioethics and medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. He was the author of The New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winning How We Die, and has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic, Time, and the New York Review of Books.

His NYTimes obit:
More about Sherwin B. Nuland...
How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter The Doctors' Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis Leonardo da Vinci: A Life Doctors: The Biography of Medicine How We Live

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