Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why the RAMBAM is buried in Tiberias


In 1204, the Rambam (Maimonides) died in Egypt but he is buried in Tiberias (northern Israel). Despite some existing disputes about his grave, whether it is really in Tiberias or in Egypt, there are different stories about how his dead body ended up in Tiberias in order to bet buried there.

One story says that when the Rambam felt that he would soon pass away, he called his students together and asked them to put his dead body on a camel and just let it walk wherever it wanted. The students were supposed to follow the camel and bury the dead body of the Rambam where the camel stopped and didn't want to go any further.

And this is what happened: The Rambam passed away, the students put his dead body onto the back of a camel and the camel started walking. Somehow it walked up all the way to Safed (Zfat) and only stopped walking near the grave of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai

This is one of the reasons why the Rambam is buried in Tiberias.

Walking up to the Rambam's grave in Tiberias.

Photo: Miriam Woelke



The burial story itself:

Iggeret Rabbi Yosef Sofer from Zfat (Safed)

Additional Source:

"Mekomot Kedushim ve'Kivrei Zaddikim
be'Galil - מקומות קדושים וקברי צדיקים בגליל"

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