Imaginary 18th-century depiction of Maimonides
The dominion of the Almohad Caliphate at its greatest extent, c. 1200
Maimonides' house in Fez, Morocco
Monument in Córdoba
Bas relief of Maimonides in the United States House of Representatives.
The Tomb of Maimonides in Tiberias
Depiction of Maimonides teaching students about the 'measure of man' in an illuminated manuscript.
The title page of The Guide for the Perplexed
Plaque of Maimonides at Rambam Medical Center, Haifa
Manuscript page by Maimonides. Judeo-Arabic language in Hebrew letters.
The original manuscript of the Commentary on the Mishnah, handwritten by Musa bin Maymun in Judeo-Arabic in a Rashi script.

Medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages.

- Maimonides

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Abu Nasr Al-Farabi known in the West as Alpharabius; (c.

An Iranian stamp with Al-Farabi's imagined face
Al-Farabi on the currency of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Drawing of a musical instrument, a shahrud, from al-Farabi's Kitāb al-mūsīqā al-kabīr
Gerard of Cremona's Latin translation of Kitab ihsa' al-'ulum ("Encyclopedia of the Sciences")
Pages from a 17th-century manuscript of Al-Farabi's commentary on Aristotle's metaphysics

He is credited with preserving the original Greek texts during the Middle Ages via his commentaries and treatises, and influencing many prominent philosophers, such as Avicenna and Maimonides.

Oral Torah

According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law (, lit. "Oral Law") are those purported laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the Written Torah (, lit. "Written Law"), but nonetheless are regarded by Orthodox Jews as prescriptive and given at the same time.

A modern translation of Rashi's commentary on the Chumash, published by Artscroll
Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg's Haketav VeHaKabbalah deals with the relationship between the written and oral Torah
A relief depicting the development of the Oral Law at Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv

Belief that at least portions of the Oral Torah were transmitted orally from God to Moses on Mount Sinai during the Exodus from Egypt is a fundamental tenet of faith of Orthodox Judaism, and was recognized as one of the Thirteen Principles of Faith by Maimonides.

Jewish ethics

Ethics of the Jewish religion or the Jewish people.


Notably, Maimonides offers a Jewish interpretation of Aristotle (e.g., Nicomachean Ethics), who enters into Jewish discourse through Islamic writings.

Torah study

Study of the Torah, Hebrew Bible, Talmud, responsa, rabbinic literature and similar works, all of which are Judaism's religious texts.

Rabbis debating the Talmud, 1870
A historic painting of Jews studying Torah
Students in the Mir Yeshiva, Jerusalem studying Talmud as a chavrusa
A Torah class in Jerusalem
Rabbis engaged in Talmud study, early 20th century
A Shiur being given by the Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Har Etzion
Rabbi and his students in Moscow, Russia
Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut

Maimonides said that Christians, who believe in the divinity of Scriptures, would at best come to believe in the Jewish interpretation and at worse cause no harm, so the prohibition does not apply to them.

Abraham Zacuto

Spanish astronomer, astrologer, mathematician, rabbi and historian who served as Royal Astronomer to King John II of Portugal.

Page from Almanach Perpetuum

However, in a similar vein to other giants of the Jewish faith, such as Saadia Gaon, Maimonides and the Vilna Gaon, he followed the extremely old Jewish custom (believed to have begun in the Babylonian captivity) of being buried as close to Jerusalem as possible.


Esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought in Jewish mysticism.

Jewish Kabbalists portrayed in 1641; woodcut on paper. Saxon University Library, Dresden.
Kabbalistic prayer book from Italy, 1803. Jewish Museum of Switzerland, Basel.
Latin translation of Gikatilla's Shaarei Ora
The Ark of the Covenant in Solomon's Temple was the seat for God's presence. Ezekiel and Isaiah had prophetic visions of the angelic heavenly Chariot and Divine Throne
Grave of Rabbi Akiva in Tiberias. He features in Hekhalot mystical literature, and as one of the four who entered the Pardes
The grave of Shimon bar Yochai in Meron before 1899. A Talmudic Tanna, he is the mystical teacher in the central Kabbalistic work, the Zohar
The 13th-century eminence of Nachmanides, a classic rabbinic figure, gave Kabbalah mainstream acceptance through his Torah commentary
The leading scholars of Safed in 16th-century invigorated mainstream Judaism through new legal, liturgical, exegetical and Lurianic-mythological developments.
Synagogue Beit El Jerusalem. Oriental Judaism has its own chain of Kabbalah
The 16th-century Maharal of Prague articulated a mystical exegesis in philosophical language
Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, a leading Italian kabbalist, also wrote secular works, which the Haskalah see as the start of modern Hebrew literature
The Vilna Gaon, 18th-century leader of rabbinic opposition to Hasidism—a Kabbalist who opposed Hasidic doctrinal and practical innovations
Synagogue of the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism, in Medzhybizh (Ukraine). It gave a new phase to Jewish mysticism, seeking its popularisation through internal correspondence.
The Kabbalist (c. 1910–1920), portrait of an Hasidic man in Jewish religious clothing performed by the Austro-Hungarian Jewish painter Isidor Kaufmann (Jewish Museum, New York)
Metaphorical scheme of emanated spiritual worlds within the Ein Sof
Scheme of descending Sephirot in three columns, as a tree with roots above and branches below
In the 16–17th centuries Kabbalah was popularised through a new genre of ethical literature, related to Kabbalistic meditation
Amulet from the 15th century. Theosophical kabbalists, especially Luria, censored contemporary Practical Kabbalah, but allowed amulets by Sages
Joseph Karo's role as both legalist and mystic underscores Kabbalah's spiritualisation of normative Jewish observance
Building on Kabbalah's conception of the soul, Abraham Abulafia's meditations included the "inner illumination of" the human form
16th-century graves of Safed, Galilee. The messianic focus of its mystical renaissance culminated in Lurianic thought.
Title page of first printed edition of the Zohar, main sourcebook of Kabbalah, from Mantua, Italy in 1558
Golden age of Spanish Judaism on the Knesset Menorah, Maimonides holding Aristotle's work
Kabbalah mysticism on the Knesset Menorah, which shared some similarities of theory with Jewish Neoplatonists
Tikkun for reading through the night of Shavuot, a popular Jewish custom from the Safed Kabbalists
A version of Lekhah Dodi song to welcome the Shabbat, a cross denomination Jewish custom from Kabbalah

The Theosophical or Theosophical-Theurgic tradition of Theoretical Kabbalah (the main focus of the Zohar and Luria) seeks to understand and describe the divine realm using the imaginative and mythic symbols of human psychological experience. As an intuitive conceptual alternative to rationalist Jewish philosophy, particularly Maimonides' Aristotelianism, this speculation became the central stream of Kabbalah, and the usual reference of the term "kabbalah". Its theosophy also implies the innate, centrally important theurgic influence of human conduct on redeeming or damaging the spiritual realms, as man is a divine microcosm, and the spiritual realms the divine macrocosm. The purpose of traditional theosophical kabbalah was to give the whole of normative Jewish religious practice this mystical metaphysical meaning

Jewish philosophy

Jewish philosophy (פילוסופיה יהודית) includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or in relation to the religion of Judaism.

Artist's depiction, sculpture of Maimonides
Ceuta, North African Spain
Ottoman Empire welcomed Jews expelled from Spain & Portugal
Baruch Spinoza
Martin Buber
Hermann Cohen

Samuel ibn Naghrillah, Hasdai ibn Shaprut, and Moshe ben Hanoch founded the Lucena Yeshiva that produced such brilliant scholars as Isaac ibn Ghiyyat and Maimon ben Yosef, the father of Maimonides.

Sephardi Jews

Sephardi Jews (יהדות ספרד, ; Djudíos Sefardíes), also known as Sephardic Jews or Sephardim, and referred to by modern scholars as Hispanic Jews,

Statue of the Sephardic philosopher Maimonides, in Córdoba, Spain
Jewish Festival in Tetuan, Alfred Dehodencq, 1865, Paris Museum of Jewish Art and History
Sephardi Jewish couple from Sarajevo in traditional clothing (1900)
A 1902 Issue of La Epoca, a Ladino newspaper from Salonica (Thessaloniki)
19th-century Moroccan Sephardic wedding dress.
First Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Shearith Israel (1656–1833) in Manhattan, New York City
Emma Lazarus, American poet. Born into a large New York Sephardi family.
Sephardi family from Misiones Province, Argentina, circa 1900.
The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (in the year 1492) by Emilio Sala Francés
Dedication at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem written in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and Judeo-Spanish
13th-century depiction of a Jew and Muslim playing chess in Al-Andalus
Observing the Havdalah ritual, 14th-century Spain
A representation of the 1506 Jewish Massacre in Lisbon.
Interior of the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam, c. 1680
Execution of Mariana de Carabajal in Mexico City, daughter of Francisca Nuñez de Carabajal, in 1601 by the Santo Oficio.
A young woman weeps during the deportation of Jews of Ioannina (Greece) on 25 March 1944.

Although the millennia-long established latter groups did not originally have ancestry from the Jewish communities of Iberia, the majority of them were influenced by the Sephardi style of liturgy, law, and customs from the influence of Maimonides; many Iberian Jewish exiles later sought refuge in those pre-existing Jewish communities over the course of the last few centuries, resulting in a conflation of terms.

Anno Mundi

Calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history.

A Jewish gravestone using the Year After Creation (Anno Mundi) chronology, found just outside the Rotunda of Thessaloniki
Inscription in Ballybough Cemetery, Ireland, indicating Anno Mundi 5618 (AD 1857)
The inscription over the Bevis Marks Synagogue, City of London, gives a year in Anno Mundi (5461) and Anno Domini (1701).

The new system reached its definitive form in 1178 when Maimonides completed the Mishneh Torah.

Isaac Alfasi

Maghrebi Talmudist and posek (decider in matters of halakha - Jewish law).

The most famous of his many students is Rabbi Judah Halevi, author of the Kuzari; he also taught Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash (the Ri Migash), who was in turn a teacher of Rabbi Maimon, father and teacher of Maimonides (Rambam).