Maimonides' personality and concept of his life's mission perfectly fit into this sublime saying of King Solomon. The Hebrew term "Neshamah," as defined by the great 15th century physician and exegete Ovadia Ben Ya'akov Sforno, denotes a vivifying soul, a divine light illuminating the body's inward parts and organs. The verse thus implies that the versatility of man's mind is but an image of the versatility of the Almighty, so that man may aspire to the highest intellectual levels. So did Maimonides. Rabenu Moses Ben Maimon. man of G-d, Rabbi, philosopher, astronomer and eminent physician. Imbued with the love of Torah and the love of the people, he considered life sacred and the soul, the breath of life, as man's divine endowment. G-d fearing, merciful to the suffering. Maimonides walked in the ways of the L-rd, devoting day and night to the divine dictum, the preservation of life and the healing of the body and soul. Thanks to his unrelenting drive to fully grasp the eternal truth of the Scriptures, the source of all wisdom, he reached the loftiest heights possible in the study and practice of the art of healing, so that today, 850 years after his birth, Maimonides' medical writings may well be termed as writings of enduring worth and a blessing to all mankind.
by Fred Rosner, M.D.
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