Maimonides’ tomb, located in central Tiberias, has become one of the most important Jewish pilgrimage sites in Israel.
Considered among the greatest sages of the Jewish people whose analytical abilities are admired to this day, Maimonides, known as the Rambam (the acrostic of his name), was also a physician to the Muslim ruler Saladin. He composed a special healers’ prayer, the Jewish equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath, which physicians often make a point of visiting the tomb to recite.
Maimonides died in Cairo in 1204 and his remains were later re-interred in Tiberias. The walkway to the tomb is symbolic – seven columns on either side are inscribed with the names of the 14 chapters of his famed codification of the Mishnah, the Mishneh Torah, and a stream of water flows along the sides. (Maimon, his father’s name, comes from the Hebrew word "mayim" – water.)
A large metal structure over the tomb complex symbolizes a crown, indicating the great respect accorded Maimonides in Jewish tradition.