Quotations by Maimonides


If I had omitted setting down something of that which has appeared to me as clear, so that the knowledge would perish when I perish, as is inevitable, I should have considered that conduct as extremely cowardly with regard to you and everyone who is perplexed. It would have been, as it were, robbing one who deserves the truth of the truth, or grudging an heir his inheritance. And both those traits are blameworthy.

Maimonides
Maimonides (1135-1204) Spanish Jewish philosopher, scholar, astronomer, physician [Moses ben Maimon, Rambam, רמב״ם]
Guide for the Perplexed, Part 3, Introduction (c. 1190) [tr. Pines (1963)]
    (Source)

Alternate translation:

But if, on the other hand, I were to abstain from writing on this subject, according to my knowledge of it, when I die, as I shall inevitably do, that knowledge would die with me, and I would thus inflict great injury on you and all those who are perplexed. I would then be guilty of withholding the truth from those to whom it ought to be communicated, and of jealously depriving the heir of his inheritance. I should in either case be guilty of gross misconduct.
[tr. Friedlander (1895)]

Added on 28-Jun-22 | Last updated 28-Jun-22
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Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen. They are utter fools who accept a thing as convincing proof simply because it is in writing.

Maimonides
Maimonides (1135-1204) Spanish Jewish philosopher, scholar, astronomer, physician [Moses ben Maimon, Rambam, רמב״ם]
Iggeret Teman, “Responsa”
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of charity than any other positive commandment because charity is the sign of a righteous man, the seed of Abraham our Father.

Maimonides
Maimonides (1135-1204) Spanish Jewish philosopher, scholar, astronomer, physician [Moses ben Maimon, Rambam, רמב״ם]
Mishneh Torah [Repetition of the Torah] / Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka [The Strong Hand], Book 7 “Seeds [Sefer Zeraim],” ch. 10, #1 (1180)
    (Source)

As quoted in Isadore Twersky, ed., A Maimonides Reader (1972), and the most common English translation. Alternate translation:

We must be especially careful to observe the mitzvah of tzedakah, more so than any other positive mitzvah, for tzedakah is a sign of the righteous [tzadik] lineage of Abraham, our father.
[tr. Meszler (2003)]

More discussion of the connotations of the Hebrew tzedakah that are not covered by the English charity here: Tzedakah - charity in the Jewish tradition - BJE
Added on 17-Jun-22 | Last updated 17-Jun-22
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It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of man. On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of something else.

Maimonides
Maimonides (1135-1204) Spanish Jewish philosopher, scholar, astronomer, physician [Moses ben Maimon, Rambam, רמב״ם]
The Guide for the Perplexed (1190)
Added on 26-Nov-08 | Last updated 26-Nov-08
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It is of great advantage that man should know his station, and not erroneously imagine that the whole Universe exists only for him.

Maimonides
Maimonides (1135-1204) Spanish Jewish philosopher, scholar, astronomer, physician [Moses ben Maimon, Rambam, רמב״ם]
The Guide for the Perplexed, 3.12 (AD 1190) [tr. M Friedlander (1904)]
Added on 15-Dec-09 | Last updated 15-Dec-09
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