Berlin: Printed by Julius Sittenfeld, 1862. Hardcover. Elephant Folio. Original spotted leather with debossed vignette and decorative ruling on cover. Blue endpapers. Title page printed in red and black with engraved vignette. With commentaries by Vidal Yom Tov of Tolosa, Abraham ben David of Posquières, Joseph ben Ephraim Karo, Shem Tov ben Abraham Ibn Gaon, Meir, ha-Kohen, Abraham Hiyya de Boton, Judah ben Samuel Rosanes, Nehemiah Trebitsch, and Nahman Avraham Goldberg.
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 not need to refer to any other legal text. 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 when he differed from the understanding of the 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. However, despite his stature in Yemen and the Sephardic world, the Rabbinic authorities from the 13th century onwards did not base their legal rulings and interpretations of Halicha on Maimonides. The Mishneh Torah was compiled between 1170 and 1180 (4930-4940), while Maimonides was living in Egypt, and is regarded as Maimonides' magnum opus.
Text in Hebrew. Bindings with mostly light wear along edges with small chips, some scuffing of covers and lightly rubbed. Volume three with two inch crack at lower front joint and chip at head of spine. Volume four with one and a half inch closed tear at head of spine. Few bookworm holes at lower foredge of first few pages of volume one. Brief inked notes on endpapers. bindings in overall good, interiors in very good condition. g to vg. Item #47726