Thursday, April 17, 2014
"When We Resolved To Take Communal Affairs Into Our Hands, We Discovered A Serious Evil In The Midst Of Our Community!"
A Rabbinical Decree (g'zeirah) to the Jewish community in Cairo in the year 1167, believed to have been written by Maimonides, anonymously, as his first act as a Jewish leader.
"In times gone by, when storms and tempests threatened us, we used to wander about from place to place; but by the mercy of the Almighty we have now been enabled to find here a resting place. On our arrival, we noticed to our great dismay that the learned were disunited; that none of them turned his attention to the needs of the congregation.
We therefore felt it our duty to undertake the the task of guiding the holy flock, of inquiring into the condition of the community, of "reconciling the hearts of the fathers to their children," and of correcting their corrupt ways.
The injuries are great, but we may succeed in effecting a cure, and - in accordance with the words of the prophet - "I will seek the lost one, and that which has been cast out I will bring back, and the broken one I will cure" (Michah iv, 6).
When we therefore resolved to take management of the communal affairs into our hands, we discovered the existence of serious evil in the midst of the community, etc...."