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Someone told me that the Rambam when he was young was hard of understanding

Is there a reputable source confirming this?
How can I find it?

What I found so far.

לא הצטיין בשום תכונה מיוחדת. לא הייתה לו נטייה ללימודים, וכל מה שלמד- לא נקלט בראשו. קשה הבנה היה וקשה תפיסה

From http://cms.education.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/F7CA73FE-1416-45D3-B4C4-6AB75566EC85/123043/chomer_reka.doc

closed as off-topic by DonielF, mbloch, Alex, sabbahillel, רבות מחשבות Apr 2 '18 at 13:19

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about Judaism within the scope defined in the help center. Note that not all questions about the Hebrew language, about history or news of the Jewish people, about Jewish individuals, or about the State of Israel are necessarily about Judaism." – DonielF, mbloch, Alex, sabbahillel, רבות מחשבות
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    For the benefit of readers, it should be noted that the quote is (a) directly preceded by "כך מספרת האגדה" ("as the story/legend goes"), (b) it's from a story who's source is given there as "מאיר אוריין, המורה לדורות, הוצאת מוסד הרב קוק, ירושלים , עמ' 27", and (c) that it is brought as part of a collection of such stories about the Rambam (and not as part of his biography). – Tamir Evan Mar 28 '18 at 12:46
  • @TamirEvan thank you it is page 25(27) here otzar.org/wotzar/book.aspx?148851 – hazoriz Mar 28 '18 at 12:52
  • Can you define "reputable source"? – Yishai Mar 28 '18 at 13:10
  • @Yishai the more trustworthy (in your opinion) the source the better – hazoriz Mar 28 '18 at 13:19
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    It's unclear to me that this question is on-topic as about Judaism. – msh210 Mar 28 '18 at 16:52
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The source for this story seems to be Shalshelet Hakabbala (p. 104 here). He says he heard it from an old man who saw it written in an old book.

The relevant part of the story is:

וזה הרמב"ם היה קשה ההבנה מאד ומעט רצון היה לו בלמוד

This Rambam was very hard of understanding, and had little desire to learn.

The story is quoted almost verbatim in Seder Hadorot (source found by hazoriz).

The book Hamore Ladorot by Me'ir Oryan (source located by Tamir Evan) quotes the legend, but judges that the true core of the story is probably limited to the part of the story about the Rambam going to learn from Rabbi Yosef Ibn Migash, implying that in his view the line about the Rambam being hard of understanding might have been an embellishment.

  • It's worth noting that Seder Hadorot is generally not considered a reputable source of historical information. Indeed, the whole section on Rambam seems to be replete with errors. See here: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/80153/3388 – Chaim Mar 29 '18 at 23:25
  • @Chaim If you can find a better source for the statement, you can post it. I never wrote that the claim was true, and if anything, implied the opposite. – b a Mar 30 '18 at 6:41

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