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Letter to the King of Morocco

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By the Grace of G-d
21 Iyar, 5745
(12th of May, 1985)
Brooklyn, N.Y.

His Royal Majesty King Hassan II
King of Moroccan Kingdom
The Royal Palace
Rabat

Greeting and Blessing:

I have the honor and pleasure of extending to your Majesty sincere greetings and prayerful wishes in connection with the 850th Birthday of the illustrious Teacher and Sage, famed Physician and Philosopher, universally known as Maimonides and — by the acronym of his Hebrew name, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon — Rambam.

MAIMONIDES’ birthday on the 14th of Nissan, ca. 4895 (1135), has been the occasion of world-wide celebrations in all free countries along with Jewish communities everywhere, including the historic Jewish community in your Majesty’s blessed land. Your Majesty and all Moroccans have cause for particular affinity with this historic commemoration, since it is in your land, and in the city of Fez, that Maimonides with his family found refuge from religious intolerance. In Fez, Maimonides had the opportunity to advance his knowledge of medicine in cooperation with prominent Arab physicians, which stood him in good stead when he eventually settled afterwards in Cairo and was appointed personal physician to Sultan Saladin and the royal family. Under the patronage of the Sultan, Maimonides was able to continue writing his celebrated works in Arabic and in Hebrew that won him a prominent place among mankind’s most illustrious sons of all times.

It is highly gratifying to be able to draw a parallel between the gracious attitude of the Royal family to Maimonides in Maimonides’ time and the contemporary Jewish position under your Majesty’s gracious reign, continuing the tradition of your illustrious father, his Majesty King Mohammed V, of blessed memory.

Indeed, in this conducive atmosphere, our cultural emissaries in conjunction with the Jewish communities of Morocco, headed by our outstanding spiritual and lay leaders, first and foremost our most esteemed friend, a man of extraordinary dedication and accomplishment, Mr. David Amar, President of the Jewish Community of Casablanca, and Secretary General of the Council, of the Jewish Communities of Morocco — have been able to establish and operate a series of praiseworthy educational and cultural institutions that have over the years produced eminent scholars and spiritual leaders who are a credit to their native country, the communities in which they were born and educated.

The Jewish citizens, as all citizens of Morocco, have been blessed indeed with an illustrious Monarch, whose wisdom and benevolence are coupled with unshakable commitment to the principles of liberty and democracy with personal dedication to the well-being of all citizens and inhabitants of The Land of the Farthest West.

May G-d continue to bestow His generous blessings on your Majesty and royal family, and all the people of Morocco, for a full measure of health and prosperity, both materially and spiritually.

May I be permitted to conclude on the perception with which Maimonides opens and closes his opus magnum, Mishne Torah, to the effect that the knowledge of G-d is the basis of mankind’s future; the ideal world in which there is no jealousy nor animosity among individuals and nations, but only peace, justice and benevolence under One G-d.

With esteem and blessing

M. Schneerson

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