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According to the Mishna (Sotah 9:12), the Shamir wasn't extinct until the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash. Incidentally, there is no mention of the Shamir in Rambam. Ever the rationalist, Rambam doesn't believe in demons (which were associated with the Shamir). He held that it was okay to quarry and cut the stones outside the Beis Hamikdash area, ...


An article by the Campus Rabbi of Bar Ilan University states: In his commentary to the Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 1,3), Maimonides states that the Jews in the Second Temple period fasted on Tishah B'av. This was not a copier’s error. Indeed, In the fifth chapter of Hilchot Ta'aniot, halachah 5, after Maimonides listed the four fast days ...

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