Rambam: Shipwreck and a New Profession
Even in today’s day and age a storm at the sea can be pretty scary, but shipwrecks are not very common, considering how sturdily our ships are built. But this was not the case in the olden days.
Consider this sad episode from the life of the Rambam, Rabbi Moshe the son of Maimon (1138-1204):
The Rambam was a “silent business partner” with his brother, Dovid. Rabbi Moshe invested his money, and Dovid would buy and sell precious jewels from India. The jewelry business was quite successful and the Rambam had plenty of time to write his important Torah books. Until… one day, the jewels were no longer available at the port in Egypt. Dovid bravely boarded a ship for India, hoping to buy the diamonds at the source.
But… Oh no! In a dreadful, fierce storm, the ship sank and Dovid drowned. This event shook the world of the Rambam. Not only did he lose his dear brother whom he had taught Torah and loved dearly, the Rambam also lost his means for a livelihood and had to open shop as, you guessed it… a doctor.