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Without Red Strings and Holy Water : Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah

ISBN: 978-1-936235-48-3

Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2017

Объем (стр):178


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Maimonides was one of the greatest Jewish personalities of the Middle Ages: a halakhist par excellence, a great philosopher, a political leader of his community, and a guardian of Jewish rights. In 1180 C.E., Maimonides composed his Halakhic magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah, which can be described without exaggeration as the greatest code of Jewish law to be composed in the post-Talmudic era, unique in scope, originality and language. In addition to dealing with an immense variety of Jewish law, from the laws of Sabbath and festival observances, dietary regulations, and relations between the sexes to the sacrificial system, the construction of the Temple, and the making of priestly garments, the Mishneh Torah represents Maimonides’ conception of Judaism. Maimonides held that the version of Judaism believed in and practiced by many pious Jews of his generation had been infected by with pagan notions. In the Mishneh Torah, he aimed at cleansing Judaism from these non-Jewish practices and beliefs and impressing upon readers that Jewish law and ritual are free from irrational and superstitious practices. Without Red Strings or Holy Water explores Maimonides’ views regarding God, the commandments, astrology, medicine, the evil eye, amulets, magic, theurgic practices, omens, communicating with the dead, the messianic era, midrashic literature, and the oral law. Without Red Strings or Holy Water will be of interest in to all who are interested in the intellectual history of Judaism.


Preface 9
Chapter One. The Mishneh Torah 12
Chapter Two. God 35
Chapter three. The Commandments 56
Chapter four. Magic: Demons and Evil Spirits 74
Chapter five. Dangerous Practices 93
Chapter six. Astrology 101
Chapter seven. Medicine 106
Chapter eight. Communicating with the Dead 111
Chapter nine. The Messianic Era 119
Chapter ten. The Oral Law 126
Postscript 139
Appendix. another look at the mishneh torah 148
Bibliography 158
Index 165
About the author 178

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