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Type: Code of Law

The Mishneh Torah

Rabbi Moses Maimonides

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  • Maimonides' Mishneh Torah

  • CommentaryCommentaries

  • Glosses of the Ravad
  • Kesef Mishneh
  • Maggid Mishneh
  • Lehem Mishneh
  • Hagahot Maimuniot
  • Migdal 'Oz
  • Mishneh La-Melekh
  • Navigational AidsNavigational Aids

  • Page Numbers
  • Volume Names
  • Topics and Chapters
  • Chapter Headings
  • Cross-References to Other Codes

  • Sample Text in TranslationSample Text in Translation

    Title(s)

    "Mishneh Torah" ("The Second Law") is the name used in the Bible itself to designate the book of Deuteronomy, which is a kind summary or review of the rest of the Torah. Maimonides' Mishneh Torah was intended to be a summary of the entire body of Jewish religious law.

    The Mishneh Torah is sometimes referred to as the Yad Ha-Hazaqah, "the mighty arm." This is a play on the numerological value of the Hebrew word for arm, "yad," which is 14, equal to the number of volumes in this code.

    The author actually referred to the book as "Sefer Mehoqeq" ("The Book of Legislation"), a title which is rarely employed.

    Dates

    The author lived from 1135 to 1204. He spent ten full years compiling the Mishneh Torah, which he continued to revise throughout his lifetime.

    Author

    Moses Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, usually referred to in Hebrew by the acronym "RaMBa"M) was one of the towering figures in medieval intellectual and religious life. In addition to his law code, he excelled in the fields of philosophy, science, medicine, exegesis and communal leadership.

    Though born in Spain, in his youth his family fled religious persecution, settling in Egypt.

    Maimonides' literary output includes: a work on philosophical logic; an Arabic commentary to the Mishnah; an enumeration of the 613 precepts of the Torah; the Mishneh Torah law code; the Arabic philosophical treatise The Guide of the Perplexed; and many letters and responsa addressed to various Jewish communities.

    Place

    Fustat (now Cairo), Egypt.

    Description

    The Mishneh Torah is composed in Rabbinic Hebrew, after the style of the Mishnah. It is divided up into fourteen general sections (similar to the "orders" of the Mishnah), each of which is further subdivided into books (like tractates), and then into numbered chapters and laws.

    Some of the distinctive features of the Mishneh Torah are the following:


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