Love of the Land

For the week ending 13 January 2007 / 23 Tevet 5767

Yad Rambam A Name with Two Meanings

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Near Ramleh in western Eretz Yisrael is a settlement called Yad Rambam.

While the second half of its name is a reference to the great Torah scholar Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon (Maimonides), the first part has a double meaning. The Hebrew word yad, which is applied to the names of other places in the country, is used in the sense of a monument (as in the Yad Avshalom of Shmuel II 18:18). But in regard to Rambam it has another meaning as well.

The most famous of all of Rambam's many works is his massive compilation of all Torah Law formally titled Mishneh Torah. Because it contains 14 volumes it is also referred to as Yad Hachazakah (literally "The Powerful Hand") because the numerical value of the Hebrew word yad is 14.

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