Dyhernfurth [Brzeg Dolny]/ Fürth: Printed by Yosef Mayah/ Itzak Ben Yehuda Leib, [1809-1814] / [ca.1767]. Hardcover. Large folios and elephant folios. Vol.1:  157 leaves. Vol.2:  243  leaves. Vol.3:  166 leaves. Vol.4:  169 leaves. All leaves double-sided. Re-bound in period dark brown leather. Some volumes with blind-stamped motifs on the spine. Vol.2 with gilt stamped lettering on the spine. A mixed set containing the entirety of the 14 books of Maimonides' foundational work on Jewish law, The Mishneh Torah, in four volumes. Volumes 1, 2, and 4 are taken from the edition printed 1809-1814, in Dyhernfurth (present day Brzeg Dolny, Poland) by Yosef Mayah, while vol.3 is taken from the edition printed ca. 1765-1767 in Fürth, Bavaria by Itzhak Ben Yehuda Leib.
The first volume contains the first three books of the Mishneh Torah: Ha-Madda (Knowledge), Ahavah (Love [of God]), Zemanim (Times). The second volume contains the next two books: Nashim (Women) and Kedushah (Holiness). The third volume contains the next five books: Hafla'ah (Separation), Zera'im (Seeds), Avodah (Divine Service), Korbanot (Offerings) and Taharah (Ritual Purity). The fourth volumes contains the final four books: Sefer Nezikim (Torts), Sefer Kinyan (Acquisition), Sefer Mishpatim (Civil Laws) and Sefer Shoftim (Judges).
The first and fourth volumes (both from the Yosef Mayah set) contain copperplate-engraved title pages. The second volume contains a small engraved publisher's device, and the third volume contains decorative woodcut lettering and the publisher's device on the title page. Text throughout printed in Hebrew in a multi-column format, in various font sizes, with some in Rashi script. On most pages, the original text of the Mishneh Torah is surrounded by numerous important historical commentaries on the work in smaller text. These are: "Maggid Mishneh" by Vidal of Tolosa, "Hasagot Ha-Ravad" (a harsh criticism by the famous Rabbi Abraham ben David aka Rabad), "Kessef Mishneh" by Joseph Karo, "Migdal Oz" by Shem Tov ben Abraham ibn Gaon, "Haggahot Maimuniyyot" by Meir HaKohen (which adds an Ashkenazi perspective), Lehem Mishneh by Abraham Hiyya de Boton and Mishneh la-Melek by Judah ben Samuel Rosanes. The titles of each of the separate books of the work are surrounded by simple decorative borders, with a few instances of woodcut tailpieces throughout the volumes.
The Mishneh Torah, written and compiled between the years 1170 -1180, is widely considered Maimonides' magnum opus, and is among the most comprehensive and influential works ever written on Jewish law. The work encompasses and discusses the entire gamut of Jewish religious observance and is divided into 14 books. It is further subdivided into a total of 84 sections, organized according to broad categories based on practices and observances. As a novel concept, it was Maimonides intention with the work to create and compile a complete overview of the Jewish oral law, as taken from the original biblical text and ultimately rendered through the intervening years of Talmudic debate into a form that was easily interpretable, concise and clear. The work was meant for the widest possible readership and was intended to be the ultimate word on all aspects of Jewish law, so that in theory, someone would only need to master the original biblical text and this work, in order to gain a full and correct understanding of any Jewish law or observance. In that case no other legal text would need to be sought. Although his previous works were written in Judeo-Arabic, Maimonides chose to write this text in Talmudic Hebrew. As the author had brevity in mind, he did not endeavor to include sources or included Talmud arguments in the Mishneh Torah, and simply renders final decisions on the law in each instance. Although somewhat controversial in its initial reception, the work has in the centuries since become among the most important works in the study of Rabbinic interpretation of the biblical text, and the Jewish oral laws which are derived from that text. As an example of its importance, a modern and widely held Rabbinic opinion holds the idea that during study of the text one must trust and listen to the opinion of Maimonides, even in instances when he seems to contradict the previous Talmudic interpretation, as one should assume that he indeed was very aware of these instances, and is intentionally reflecting on the failures or mistakes in the interpretation of those previous scholars. The work's historical subtitle "Yad ha-Hazakah" (meaning "strong hand") derives from the Hebrew numerals 10 and 4 - for the fourteen books of the work- which when translated to their phonetic meaning spell the word for "hand".
Text in Hebrew.
All bindings protected in sealed laminated clear plastic. Bindings with some rubbing, chipping, bumping, stains and/or scratches to covers and extremities. Staining to the edges of book blocks. A few of pages throughout the volumes have in text and/or marginal markings or notes (as well as interior covers and endpapers). A few pages contain minor repairs, creases or minor to light stains and foxing. Bindings relatively tight overall. Volume 1 with title page and endpapers reinforced along the gutters, with the title page re-backed to reinforce some tearing and loss of image along the left side. Volume 2 with new front endpapers and some light foxing to the title page. Volume 3 with come creasing, light foxing along the edges and some stains to the title page. Vol.4 with title page re-backed along the left side, with some minor loss of image along the left side. The book block of volume 4 has been rebound upside down. Bindings in good- to good, interiors in good to very good-. g- to vg-. Item #48124
Hebrew title: משנה תורה. הוא היד החזקה
Publisher: יוסף מייא/איצק בן יהודה ליב