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Facsimile of the Mishneh Torah, Sefer ha-Mada (Book of Knowledge), the laws of hiring, and the laws of borrowing and depositing, from the manuscript at Oxford University Library, Ms. Heb. D. 32, fol. 47-56. The text is written in Maimonides' own hand and contains his own glosses.

Jerusalem: Ofeq Institute, 1997.

Judaica Collection, Sterling Memorial Library


Igeret Teman ha-nikrah Petah Tikvah (Epistle to Yemen called Gate of Hope) Hanau, 1715.

The epistle was written by Maimonides in about 1172 C.E. to the Jewish community of Yemen that had written to him requesting advice and guidance at a time of persecution and upheaval. His response gave them hope and encouragement and Yemenite Jewry has maintained a special bond with Maimonides to this day.

Judaica Collection, Sterling Memorial Library



Igrot u-she'elot u-teshuvot (Epistles and inquiries and responsa)
Amsterdam: printing house of Solomon Proops, 1712
Maimonides corresponded with Jewish religious and communal leaders throughout the world. He was constantly receiving questions concerning Jewish legal issues and matters relating to the governance of the community. This book includes a selection of his correspondence and legal responsa.

Judaica Collection, Sterling Memorial Library





 

 

 

 

 

 

Tractatus Rabbi Moysi de regimine sanitatis ad soldanum regem (Tractate of Rabbi Moses concerning a regimen of health for a…king)
[Augustae Vindelicorum (Augsburg), 1518]
Most of Maimonides' medical and philosophical works were translated from Arabic--the language in which he wrote when not dealing with rabbinic matters-- into Latin. He was thus widely read in the Western world as well as in Moslem lands. The book deals with matters of diet, hygiene and psychological well-being and was intended for the Egyptian ruler, Afdal Nur al-Din Ali, who suffered from depression and other ailments.

Medical Historical Library















Mishneh Torah. Helek sheni (2nd. Part)
Venice: Alvise Bragadini, 1550.
The beauty and majesty of this edition do not give any hint of the controversy and ultimate tragedy that surround it. Jews were not allowed to own printing presses in Venice but non-Jews were willing and even eager to print Jewish texts in part because it was good business. The Venetian patrician, Alvise Bragadini, printed his edition of the Mishneh Torah in 1550 with the annotations of Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen of Padua (ca. 1482-1565). That year another and competing edition of the Code was printed by the Venetian nobleman Marco Antonio Giustiniani. The rivalry between the two grew so fierce and bitter that the case was brought to Pope Julius III for arbitration, with disastrous consequences. The Pope issued a Bull banning the printing of Hebrew books and ordering the confiscation and burning of those already in existence. Beginning in Rome and extending to the towns and cities of northern Italy Hebrew books were gathered in the town squares and publicly burned. It would be another ten years before Hebrew books would be printed again in Venice. Giustiniani, who had instigated the quarrel, was in the interim forced out of business. Bragadini survived and resumed Hebrew printing with the death of the Pope and the end of the ban.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library




Ugolini, Blasio, b. ca. 1700
Thesaurus antiquitatum sacrarum …in quibus veterum Hebraeorum mores, leges, instituta, ritus sacri, et civiles illustrantur… (Thesaurus of sacred antiquities in which are illustrated the customs, laws, institutions, sacred and civil rites of the ancient Hebrews…)
Venice, apud J. G. Herthz, 1744-69.
This 34-volume work of which volume 2 is here on display is an anthology of various works on Judaism in Latin or in Latin translation. Many Christian Hebraists as well as classic rabbinic texts are represented in this massive work. Among the many illustrations included is one shown above of Maimonides. Though it is completely imaginary (we have no way of knowing what he looked like), it has become the conventional portrait of the sage and appears on the cover of the standard notebook that has been used by generations of children in Hebrew school.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library


Manuscript of the Mishneh Torah. Sefer Zemanim (Book of the Seasons)
Al-Sud, Yemen: 1386
Written in a square Yemenite hand, this manuscript is remarkable both for the beauty of the writing and its splendid state of preservation. The binding while modern, is also representative of Yemen, where cotton cloth is often used to cover the sides.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

 


Hurwitz, Judah ha-Levi, d. 1797.
Gan eden ha-ma'amin (Garden of Eden of the Believer)
Amsterdam: 1765 or 66
The work is part of a composition on Jewish ethics based on Maimonides' 13 principles of faith. The beautifully laid out pages contain statements by the author concerning his work in poetic form. The first letter of each word on the page to the right makes up an acrostic of the author's name, Yehuda.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

 

 



Manuscript of the Mishneh Torah,Sefer ha- Mada and Sefer Zemanin (Books of Knowledge and Seasons)
Tripoli, Lebanon: 1502
The manuscript written in a cursive hand is open to the beginning of the section on the laws of Passover.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

 

 

 

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