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The fifth Book of Maimonides' great codification of ancient Jewish law and ritual sets forth the rule and exercise of holy living as prescribed by divine ordinance. It comprises three treatises: laws concerning illicit intercourse, laws concerning forbidden food, and laws concerning the making of animal flesh fit for human consumption. Maimonides stresses the disciplinary intent of the laws, which counteract the worldly tendency to regard pleasure as the purpose of man's existence. Chastity and temperance are seen as higher disciplines intended by divine revelation. Yale Judaica Series, 16.
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The fifth Book of the Code was named by Maimonides the Book of Holiness, and he appropriately took for his text the Psalmist's verse Order my footsteps by Thy word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me (Ps. 119:133).
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