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Maimonides, Abraham ben Moses

(1,322 words)

Author(s): Joaquín Lomba
Abraham (Abū ʾl-Munā Ibrāhīm) ben Moses ben Maymon (1186–1237), the only son of Moses Maimonides, was born in Fustat, Egypt. As a child he was meek and humble, with excellent virtues—sharp intelligence and a kind nature. His father devoted loving care to his education, and he was clearly a person of enormous erudition in both Jewish and secular, scientific literature. In 1204, at the age of only seventeen or eighteen, he was appointed leader (Ar. raʾīs al-yahūd; Heb. nagid ) of the Jewish community in Egypt upon the death of his father. In part, perhaps, because of his you…

Ibn Paqūda, Baḥya (Abū Isḥāq) ben Joseph

(1,857 words)

Author(s): Joaquín Lomba
Baḥya (Abū Isḥāq) ben Joseph ibn Paqūda was born around 1040, probably in Saragossa, and was a dayyan of its Jewish community, but nothing is known about his life. He was called “the pietist” (Heb. he-ḥasid) and “the master” (Heb. ha-zaqen) and was obviously a man of broad culture. He was a liturgical poet ( payṭan), and a number of his piyyuṭim have been preserved in the Sephardi and Italian rites and in the Cairo Geniza. A Neoplatonic work in Judeo-Arabic entitled On the Essence of the Soul (Ar. Kitāb Maʿānī al-Nafs), attributed to an author named Baḥya, was once thought to be by Ib…