Folio. Full brown cloth with gold lettering on spines. Engraved vignette on each title-page. Decorative tailpieces in first volume. Scarce 18th century edition of this extremely important work in Judaism. Indeed the Mishneh Torah is the only Medieval-era work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws that are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in existence. Its title is an appellation originally used for the Biblical book of Deuteronomy, and its subtitle, "Book of the Strong Hand," derives from its subdivision into fourteen books: the numerical value fourteen, when represented as the Hebrew letters Yod (10) Dalet (4), forms the word yad ("hand"). Maimonides intended to provide a complete statement of the Oral Law, so that a person who mastered first the Written Torah and then the Mishneh Torah would be in no need of any other book. Contemporary reaction was mixed, with strong and immediate opposition focusing on the absence of sources and the belief that the work appeared to be intended to supersede study of the Talmud. Maimonides responded to these criticisms, and the Mishneh Torah endures as an influential work in Jewish religious thought. According to several authorities, a decision may not be rendered in opposition to a view of Maimonides, even where he apparently militated against the sense of a Talmudic passage, for in such cases the presumption was that the words of the Talmud were incorrectly interpreted. Likewise: "One must follow Maimonides even when the latter opposed his teachers, since he surely knew their views, and if he decided against them he must have disapproved their interpretation. The Mishneh Torah was compiled between 1170 and 1180 (4930-4940), while Maimonides was living in Egypt, and is regarded as Maimonides' magnum opus. Some age-wear on bindings with spines and edges darkened and rubbing along joints. Head and tail of spine of first volume slightly chipped. Modern endpapers. Previous owner's contemporary inscription on each title-page. Contemporary rubber stamps on title-pages of second and third volume. Title-pages of first and third volume repaired along edges. First half of first volume heavily foxed, then sporadic and minor foxing throughout. Light damp-staining throughout second volume, with pages partly rippled. Light damp-staining on very first pages of third volume. Text in Hebrew. Bindings and interior in overall good to good+ condition. R. Moses Maimonides (Rambam) was a 12th century Jewish philosopher and halachic legal scholar. A highly controversial figure, both during his lifetime and after his death, but generally acknowledged as the preeminent Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba, Spain but fled as a child from the Almohad persecution. He eventually settled in Egypt where he served as a rabbi, physician and philosopher. His fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah, his only work not in Arabic, still carries canonical authority, particularly within the Yemenite Jewish community, as the codification of Talmudic law. His other work includes a commentary on the Mishnah entitled Kitab al-Siraj, Kitab al-Fara'I, a book on precepts, and the philosophical work Dalalat al-Ha'irin, known in Hebrew as the Moreh Nevukhim, The Guide to the Perplexed. The major premise is an attempted philosophical/theological reconciliation of the Hebrew Bible and Greek knowledge. This work came to play a central role in all subsequent major controversies over philosophy within the Jewish community during the Middle Ages. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Mishneh Torah : hu ha-Yad ha-hazakah : `im ...
Publisher: Bi-defus Yisrael bar Avraham
Publication Date: 1741
Edition: Later printing.
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