Archive for November 14th, 2009

Maimonides’ famous Responsa on “Converting for the sake of marriage”

Maimonides once wrote in his Responsa about a certain Jewish man who was living with a non-Jewish maid-servant. The man was suspected of having a sexual liaison with this woman.  The Beit Din found out about this–what was the man to do? Remove the woman from his house?

In response to this question, the Rambam stated that technically according to the law, the woman should be forced out–period. After it learned of his wrongdoings, the ...

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Maimonides’ Practical Advice: On Feigning Apostasy . . .

Maimonides’ famous Iggerot Hashmad (“A  Letter Concerning Apostasy”) was written in the year 1160 during a time when Almohades Muslims were forcing people everywhere to recite the Muslim Creed. Failure to comply meant execution.

One rabbinical scholar in Fez, Morocco exclaimed that any Jew who publicly uttered the Moslim confession–regardless whether they in truth practiced Judaism incognito—could no longer be considered a Jew. Outraged by this rabbi’s insensitive rabbinical response, Maimonides wrote a letter, where he demonstrates how this Moroccan rabbi  ...

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