St. Petersburg: [Russian Government], 1850. First edition. Hardcover. 1 of 5 volumes. 8vo. 524pp. Quarter cloth over paper covered boards. Printed on high quality cotton rag. This rare abridged edition of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah was commissioned by the Czarist Russian government as an attempt to reform the Jewish educational system. This project was carried out under the supervision of Dr. Leon (Aryeh Leib) Mandelstamm Five volumes were issued, with this first volume being the only one just in German, the other four in Hebrew and German. (OCLC has no listings for this volume and only one listing for vol. 4.)
Contains excerpts from the following chapters:
-In die Grundsätze der Lehre [Core Principles]
-die Sittenlehre [Morals and Ethics]
-das Studium des Gesetzes [The Study of the Law]
-den Götzendienst und der Heiden Gesetze betreffend [Concerning Idol Worship and the Pagans' Laws]
-die Lehre von der Buße [Teachings of Repentance]
Also contains the tractate on blessings with annotations and errata at end. Text is in German.
Age wear to binding. Binding starting to split alongside spine at bottom, but still attached. Water marks to title page and first 50 pages at top right corner. Writing still clearly readable. Minor browning and rippling throughout, with creasing to title page. Overall in good condition. g. Item #20268
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 due to Almohad persecution of Jews. 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 and explaining away anthropomorphic and antropopathic terms in the Bible. This work came to play a central role in all subsequent major controversies over philosophy within the Jewish community during the Middle Ages.