Meir Abraham ben Todros HaLevi Abulafia (ibn Kalonymus), RaMaH
|Also Known As:||"Ramah", "הרמ"ה", "RaMaH", "Yad Rama"|
|Birthplace:||Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain|
|Death:||Died in Malta|
Son of Todros ben Kalonymus (Abulafia?), Nasi of Provence
|Managed by:||Private User|
About Meir Abraham ben Todros HaLevi Abulafia, RaMaH
Abulafia (Arabic: أبو العافية, Abou l-Afiyya or Abu l-Afia, Hebrew: אבולעפיה, Abulafia) is a surname whose etymological origin is Arabic.
The romanized version of the surname is most commonly Abulafia. Other variations also exist, mostly in English transliterations, including:
Aboulafia, Abolafia, Abouelafia, Aboulafiya, Abulafiya, Aboulafiyya.
Etymologically, the surname is derived from the Arabic words أبو (Abu or Abou; literally "Father" but also carrying the meaning "Owner")' plus the definite article الـ (al or el, or simply l if the preceding word ends with a vowel, to which it attaches itself; meaning "the") and عافية (Afiyya or Afia; literally "Health/Wellbeing" but also carrying the meaning "Power"). Together they form "Abou l-Afiyya" or "Abu l-Afia" (in Medieval Spanish rendered as a single word "Abulafia"), meaning "Father [of] the Health/Wellbeing" or "Owner [of] the Power".
Meʾir ben Ṭodros Abulafia (ca. 1170–1244), known as the Rama, was a Talmud commentator, thinker, and poet who lived in Toledo. He was the scion of a wealthy and scholarly family, the son of Todros ben Judah, to whom the physician Judah ben Isaac dedicated his poem, The Conflict of Wisdom and Wealth, published in 1214.
In his thirties he was already one of the three appointed rabbis on the Toledo Beth Din (one of the other two was Joseph ibn Migash's son, Meir). As the Spanish kings gave the Jews more self-rule, Rabbi Abulafia played a substantial role in establishing ritual regulations for Spanish Jewry. He was also the head of an important yeshiva in Toledo. He was so highly esteemed in Toledo that on his father's death in 1225 the latter's honorary title of Nasi (prince) was applied to him.
He is well known for beginning the first Maimonidean Controversy over the Guide for the Perplexed while the Rambam (Maimonides) was still alive. Outraged by Maimonides' apparent disbelief in physical resurrection of the dead, Abulafia wrote a series of letters to the French Jews in Lunel. To his shock and disappointment, they supported the Rambam. When his younger contemporary, Ramban, wanted to renew the controversy thirty years later, Rabbi Abulafia refused to participate. Rabbi Abulafia was also opposed to the study of philosophy.