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Cairo Genizah : Letter

Moses Maimonides

Cairo Genizah

<p style='text-align: justify;'>A letter to Maimonides with his handwritten reply. The writer states that he has acquired a rudimentary knowledge of philosophy but needs an instructor to make further progress. Having read part of Maimonides’ Guide - and finding that he has not entirely understood it - the writer asks if he can either meet with Maimonides or with someone else that Maimonides recommends. He also asks for dietary recommendations that will help him in his pursuit of knowledge. Maimonides’ reply is gracious but firm: he is exhausted, frail, and ill, and has no time or energy to meet with the writer. He may, however, see his correspondent on Šabbat at the house of study. He recommends the writer eat almonds, raisins, and date honey. The letter may date to the latter part of Maimonides’ life, but may well date to an earlier period. As Kraemer (1990: 92) notes, Maimonides occasionally invoked ill health and fatigue to deter visitors and preserve his privacy.</p>

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