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Alberto ibn Maymun (World of Sultans)

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Albert ben Maimon
אלברט בן מימון
ألبرت بن ميمون
Jewish shofar
Born October 12, 1872
Órgiva, Andalusia
Died June 5, 1968
Cordoba, Andalusia
Education Jerusalem Yeshiva
Occupation Rabbi, military leader, revolutionary
Years active 1935-1969
Religion Judaism
Alberto Joseph ibn Maymun (Hebrew: אלברטו יוסף אבן מימון Alberto Yosef ben Maimon, Arabic: البرتو يوسف بن ميمون Albirtu Yusuf ibn Maymun, born October 12, 1872), also known by his temple name and title Rabbi Yisrael ben Maimon (Hebrew: הרב ישראל בן מימון) and his Spanish name Alberto José de Maimon or his Hellenized and Latinized name Albert Maimonides was an Andalusian Sephardic Jewish military leader, politician, astronamer and rabbi who was the local leader of the Jewish Community of the Alpujarras and later succeeded his uncle Solomon ibn Maymun as the national leader of the Jewish Community of Andalusia.

Alberto ibn Maymun hailed from the prominent Ibn Maymun family of Andalusia, a predominantly Sephardic Jewish family. In 1932, he joined the Royal Andalusian Forces, becoming a member of the 3rd Recruitment Division in Al-Qurtubah where he would promote and recruit young Andalusians to join the armed forces during the reign of Sultan Omar I. During the Moorish Civil War fought between the Royal Andalusian Forces and underground socialist militants, he eventually reached the position of a Recruitment Officer. He would spearhead the military propaganda movement against the socialists. During World War II he fought against the invading Spanish forces supported by Nazi Germany, he led the Maymun Battalions of the army's Southern Command, which consisted mostly of Jewish Andalusians, that fought and protected both Jewish and non-Jewish villages in Andalusia. He is regarded as being the main mastermind behind the decisive Andalusian victories in the southern parts. That, along with Allied support, would provide the foundation for Andalusia's eventual victory against the Spaniards.

After the war, Alberto ibn Maymun became the Political Speaker of Andalusia. 

Childhood

Alberto ibn Maymun's full Hebrew name is Rabbi Alberto ben Maimon (Hebrew: הרב אלברטו בן מימון) was born in Órgiva, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in the Alpujarras Mountain region of the southern Iberian Peninsula. His full Arabic name is Abu Sulaiman Albirtu Yusuf ibn Maymun al-Uwrajifi (Arabic: أبو سليمان ألبرت يوسف بن ميمون آل أورجيفا). He was fluent in Judeo-Arabic, Mozarabic, Spanish and had working knowledge of Hebrew.

His father, David ibn Maymun was a silversmith and a banker. His mother operated a kosher bakery and restaurant, where he spent his childhood working with since his father was often in Cordoba doing business.

His uncle, Solomon ben Obadiah ibn Maymun (whom he would name his first-born son after)  was the chief rabbi of the Andalusian Jewish Community. Born into observant Jews, Alberto's mother would take him to Solomon's home and local Yeshiva many times to do weekly Torah studies where he studied and learned Hebrew. His was also taught Judeo-Arabic, to write spoken Arabic and Spanish in the Hebrew alphabet. He picked up on Andalusi Arabic sometime in poetry school.

Rise to Rabbinate

Alberto ibn Maymun had been destined to live a religious life. At the age 14, his family made a visit to Ottoman Palestine in the city of Jerusalem, where he lived for approximately two years before returning to Andalusia.

Eventually, his uncle was relocated to Al-Ishbiliya and he succeeded Solomon to become the local chief Rabbi to the Jewish communities of the Alpujarras Region of Andalusia. He had contact with other Jewish leaders in Spain, as well as those in Morocco and Egypt.

In 1922, his uncle passed away and he succeeded him as the national chief rabbi of the Jewish Communities of Andalusia.

World War II

During the World War II, Alberto ibn Maymun, now a Recruiting Officer, had received notice from Royal Army Scouts that Spanish forces alike were beginning to attack Jewish villages in the Alpujarras Region as a result of Nazi Germany supporting the Spaniards. Therefore, Maymun made a concentrated effort to convince as much Sephardic Jews and Moorish peoples to join the Royal Andalusian Forces.

Andalusians enlisted by the thousands, nearly tripling the size of the Royal Andalusian Forces, who would emerge to have Western Europe's third largest military, and the largest military in the Iberian Peninsula.

General of the Maymun Battalions

In 1941, Spain invaded Andalusia. The northern regions of Andalusia was one of the very first to be invaded, however Spaniards launched their aerial lightning bull attacks on Granada and the surrounding regions.

Sultan Omar II saw Alberto as a key asset to the defense of Andalusia. Alberto led the war propaganda against Spain for the time-being, until he opted to join combat against the Spaniards. He returned to southern Al-Andalus. In the Alpujarras Region, he formed the Free Shofar Maymun Army, a Jewish militant group in Andalusia meant at protecting their villages and communites from the invading Spaniards, in case the Spanish ground invasion ever got that far south.

Ibn Maymun would lead the Alpujarras Battalions of the Royal Andalusian Forces' Southern Command.

In 1943, the Spaniards began stepping foot into southern Al-Andalus. Alberto installed leaders, and he himself, would sound the shofar in his hometown of Órgiva, while the Jewish and even Moorish leaders would do the same for their villages.

The southern armed resistance in Al-Andalus decisively stopped the failing Spanish invasion.

In the end of 1943, the Royal Andalusian Forces had begun going on the offensive, which began to really take shape in 1944.

Out of help for his country, Alberto ibn Maymun stated to both Jewish soldiers and Jewish militants that the fight was not finished, and ordered many divisions and units of the Southern Command to go assist those of the Central and Northern Commands, since they had suffered the brunt of the Spanish invasion.

Many Andalusians of the Southern Command took part in the Toledo-Jaén Offensive Operation, that pushed the Spaniards back north of the Anna River and liberated Albacete, which the Royal Andalusian Forces had previously lost to the Spaniards in 1941.

Legacy

Alberto ibn Maymun is one of Andalusia's national heroes as a result of his heroic feat during Andalusia's war against Spain.

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