A physician friend pointed out to me the Rambam's "physician's oath" (it doesn't look like an oath per se, but that's what it's called), which begins (in English):

The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all time; may neither avarice nor miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies of truth and philanthropy could easily deceive me and make me forgetful of my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children. [...] Full text at Wikipedia.

The lone source on that page leads to an article with non-specific citations, including the Guide for the Perplexed. But the Guide is a big document. Further, some say that this is a later text, not from the Rambam at all.

Was this text written by the Rambam? If so, where can I find it in its original form?

  • From the document referenced on wikipedia: "There is a companion prayer that is also attributed to the “Jew of the Millennium,” but this may actually have been written by the 18th century German physicianscholar, Marcus Herz." It seems that the OU article you linked to is speaking about the Prayer attributed falsely Rambam, which is not the same as the "Oath of Rambam" in the Wikipedia article.
    – Michoel
    Dec 11, 2012 at 1:10
  • Also the Wikipedia linked to document cites as it's source "Oath and Prayer of Maimonides, Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital 1917; 28:260-1, which seems to be online here, thought it does not add much.
    – Michoel
    Dec 11, 2012 at 1:13
  • Ah. So the "oath", which reads more like a prayer, isn't what the OU refers to as the "prayer", which is a separate text. Thanks for the clue. So the present text is possibly in the Guide...somewhere. Dec 11, 2012 at 3:03
  • I highly doubt that the oath appears anywhere in Rambam's Guide for the Perplexed - it's quite out of scope for a work on philosophy.
    – Michoel
    Dec 11, 2012 at 3:07
  • Why would it be thought that Marcus Herz wrote the prayer? There must be a valid reason for why it was first associated with the Rambam.
    – user2167
    Dec 11, 2012 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


This text was not authored by Maimonides. Upon the original author's request it first appeared as a Hebrew translation, from the original German, in a journal called 'Ha-me'asef' (המאסף - May 10, 1790, Berlin 242ff.; complete issue here). The piece was titled "Prayer For The Doctor..." and explicitly reads "authored by Sir, Hofrath and Professor, [Markus] Herz".


There is no factual evidence supporting this oath being written by the Rambam. It is not mentioned in any of his famous writings.

See here for the discussion of who the actual author may be.

  • 1
    Isn't that the link cited already in the question?
    – Double AA
    Dec 11, 2012 at 18:38
  • could be,i didnt check the link,but if it is then whats the question? there is no source from the Rambams writings.
    – sam
    Dec 11, 2012 at 18:42
  • @sam, the article at your link (same text, different link from the one in the question) doesn't actually quote the prayer it's refuting, so I can't tell if it's talking about the same text. Dec 11, 2012 at 19:19

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