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ness. For a man to be perfect, he must combine in himself science and action, that is, the knowledge of truth with the practice of virtue. This is what not only our prophets, but the ancient philosophers taught us, and it will be found more detailed in my exposition of the Ethics of the Fathers.' Throughout the law you find this precept, Learn and then practice.' It inculcates that knowledge precedes action, for knowledge leads to actions, while they do not lead to knowledge.'
Knowledge, in Maimonides's opinion, is power. This truth he fully proved in his very nunerous, profound, and original writings, which have constituted a new era in his nation's religion and literature. Respecting him, Justiniani thus writes: “Fuit auctor iste candidus, minimeque superstitiosus ; plus certe veritati addictus quam næniis importunis neotericorum Judæorum. Percipies porro illum quæ sunt religionis religiose, quæ philosophica philosophice, quæ Talmudica talmudice; ac deinum quæ sunt divina tractare.” Ānd Clavering, Bishop of Peterborough, says: of Maimonides had ever flourished, and will flourish forever.” He compares him to Thomas Aquinas, and Abravanel to Scotus. “The latter," says the Bishop, “over-subtilly sought for arguments in everything, and often tires his reader instead of convincing him; but Maimonides, who is more solid, more nervous and strong, is contented to produce a small number of convincing reasons.
Ten years later, he composed the “Yad Hachazakah, seu manus fortis quam fecit Moses in conspectu Israel,” which is an abstract from the Talmud, containing only the resolutions or decisions made therein on every case, without the descants, disputes, fables, and other trash under which they lay buried in that vast load of rubbish. This work, says Dr. Prideaux, “is one of the completest digests of law that was ever made; I mean, not as to matter, but in respect only of the clearness of the style and method in which it is composed, the filthy mass of dirt from under which he dug it, and the comprehensive manner in which he hath digested the whole. Others among them (the Israelites) have attempted the like work, but none have been able to exceed or come nigh him herein. And for this and other of his writings, he is very deservedly esteemed the best author among them."
This complete pandect of Judaic, civil, and common law, consists of fourteen books, being the work of twelve years. It is written in very pure Hebrew, and in an easy and elegant style. It was first published at Soncino, A. D. 1490, folio. Republished at Venice, 1521, three volumes, folio; and at Amsterdam, dated A.M. 5461, four volumes, folio. Selections from it have also been published in Hebrew and English, with notes, by Bernard, in a book entitled, “The Main Principles of the Creed and Ethics of the Je ws, exhibited in selections from the ad Hachazakah of Maimonides, with a literal English translation, copious illustrations from
the Talmud, &c.” Cambridge, 1832, 8vo. The order of this book is as follows, viz. :
I. The book of Knowledge, containing five treatises : 1. Foundation of the law; 2. Ethical rules ; 3. On the study of the law; 4. On idolatry; 5. On repentance.
II. The book of Love, containing six treatises ; treating of the various devotional rites and ceremonies, such as the reading of the Shemaa Israel, of the wearing of the phylacteries, the fringes, &c.
III. The book of the Seasons, containing ten treatises; treating of the Sabbath and festivals, and the rites and ceremonies connected therewith.
IV. The book about Women, containing five treatises; treating of marriage, divorce, and all relations connected with or growing out of the state of marriage.
V. The book of Holiness, containg three treatises; treating of the acts that are derogatory to the dignity of the Israelite, as the partaking of prohibited food, &c.
VI. The book of uncommon Things, containing four treatises ; treating of oaths, vows, and the like.
VII. The book about Seeils, containing seven treatises ; treating of the produce of the suil, and the various laws connected therewith.
VIII. The book of Service, containing nine treatises; treating of the temple and its vessels, the (livine service, the daily and additional sacrifices, and every other circumstance connected with these matters.
IX. The book about Sacrifices, containing six treatises; treating of those sacrifices that are brought on occasions other than those mentioned in the foregoing look.
X. The book of Purification, containing eight treatises ; treating of things contact with which renders unclean, and also of the mode of purification.
XI. The book of Damages, containing five treatises ; treating of all kinds of damages and their compensation.
XII. The book of Property, containing five treatises; treating of the modes of conveying property, and of partnership, and of other circumstances growing
out of these relations. XIII. The book of Judgments, containing five treatises ; treating of all kinds of trusts, loans, &c.
XIV. The book of Judges, containing five treatises ; treating of the sanhedrim, witnesses, rebels, kings, wars, and other relations connected with these subjects.*
In the preface to the whole work, Maimonides very ingeniously
* For the benefit of the Christian student, we will subjoin a catalogue of those parts of this work which had been translated and published in Latin.
De Fundamentis Legis cum vers. lat. et notis Juncto Textu heb. Amst., 1638; and
fixed the number 613 as being the exact number of the precepts contained in the Pentateuch ; answering to the nuinbers of 248 bones and 365 sinews in the body of man ; calling upon man to worship his Creator with his whole body and soul.
The whole of this work is to be translated into German. Two parts of it have already been published at Königsberg, 1816, '7, '8. Its title is as follows: «Das Grosse Werk Maimûnis in Deutscher
without the text, Moses Maimonidæ Theoremata de Principiis Juris Divini. Amst., 1680; by W. H. Vorst.
Canones Ethici Mos. Maimonides cum vers. lat. et cum notis uberioribus. Amist., 1610 and 1653; by G. Genz.
De Studio Legis, cum vers. lat. et notis. Oxford, 1705 ; by Bp. R. Clavering.
Latina Interpretatio Tractatus Talmud Torah, Mos. Vaimon. Strasburg, 1705; by J. Ulmann.
De Idololatria, cum vers. lat. et notis, along with his father's work, De Theologia Gentilium. Amst., 1642, 1066, and 1700; by D. Voss. The same work. by J. B. Carpzov.
De Pænitentia, cum vers. lat. et notis. Cantabrig, 1631 ; by G. N.
The same work, without text and notes: llelmstädt, 1651 ; by J. Ililpert. Ib. cum vers. lat. et notis : Oxford, 1705; by Bp. R. (lavering. Ib. cum vers. lat. et specimen observationum philol. in V. T. Strasburg, 1705 ; by J. Ulmann.
De Lectione Shemaa. Leipzig, 17033 ; by L. D. Vollhagen.
De Phylacteriis, schedis, et de libro Legis, lat. convers. cum notis. IIarran, 1705 ; by J. H. van Bashuysen.
De Peniculamentis Sacris, cum vers. lat. et notis. Ff. a. M. 1710; by J. H. May.
Tr. de Circumcisione, cum vers. lat. Strasburg, 1661; by S. Schmid. Ib., Königsburg, 1705 ; by Ch. Walther.
Tr. de Festo Expiationis, cum rers. lat. Paris, 1667; by L. C. de Veil.
Tr. de Fermento Expurgando et massa non Fermentata Tempore Paschali, cum vers. lat. Paris, 1667; by L. C. de Veil.
Tr. de Siclis, hebr. et lat. cum annotationibus. Leyden, 1718 and 1727 ; by J. Esgers.
Tr. de Consecratione Novilunii, cui vers. lat. Paris, 1669 ; by L. C. de Veil. Without the text, Amst., 1701. It is also to be found in Ugolino's Thesaurus, vol. xvii. Venice, 1744.
Novilunii Initiatio, ad Mentem Talınudistarum, pro Festis Judæorum determinandis, parandoque ipsorum Calendario a Rabb. Mose Maimonide. Jena, 1703 ; by H. B. Witter.
Tr. de Jejuniis, hebr. et lat. Leipzig, 1662; by J. B. Carpzov. Ib., Paris, 1667; by L. C. de Veil.
Tr. de Matrimonio Ebræorum Caput Decimum, &c. Jena, 1746 ; by J. F. Flirt. The whole treatise, De Matrimonio s. Maritatione, hebr. et lat.; by L. C. de Veil. Paris, 1673.
Tr. de Repudiatione Caput Primum, hebr. et lat. Jena, 1718; by J. J. Sonnenschmid.
Tr. de Prohibito Congressu et Incestu, caput xiii et xiv. Oxford, 1679; by H. Prideaux.
Tr. de Cibis Prohibitus, latine dedit sine textu hebr. cum notis. IIafr., 1722–24, by M. Wöldlike.
Tr. de Juramentis, lat. cum notis diffusis. IIeidelberg, 1672; by J. F. Mieg. Ib., Leyden, 1706; by J. C. Dittmar.
Tr. de Æstimatione rerum et personarum et de anathemate ac devotione ad usum sacrum, hebr. et lat. Ultraj., 1720-23; by II. Langenes.
Tr. de Heterogeneis non Jungendis aut Ferendis, caput 1-3, hebr. et lat. Upsala, 1713; by L. Hellman. Caput 4-5, by M. 0. Beronius. Upsala, 1714; et caput vi; ib., 1727.
Tr. de portione Pauperibus Relinquenda, hebr. et lat. Oxford, 1679; by II. Prideaux.
Tr. de Primitiis Offerendis et Donis Sacerdotum, bebr. et lat., usque ad caput vii incl.
Uebersetzung u. d. T. Mischine-Tora in 14 Büchern, das gesammte Jüd., theol., philos., ethische und rituelle Gesetzesgebiet umfassend, by E. Soloweiczyk.
Several IIebrew scholars have promised, from time to time, to favour the literary world with an English version of this work, but none of them has redeemned his pledge.
In the following extracts from his ethical rules, we will let Maimonides speak for himself as to the soundness and sublimity of the precepts, and the correctness of the views therein detailed.
Having, in the first section, allverted to the different passions, tempers, and (lispositions of mankind, and laid down, as a general rule, that extremes are to be avoided, and that moderation in everything is the duty of man, he proceeds to say:
"SEC. 2. There are, however, some dispositions in which it is wrong to pursue even a middle course, but the contrary extreme to which is at once to be embraced, as, for instance, pride. It is unlawful to balance between pride and humility ; but duty commands us to be as humble as possible. It is not sufficient to be merely meek, but man ought to be truly humble. To teach this, the sacred Scriptures relate concerning Moses, Now the man Moses was very meck, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.' Numb. xii, 3.
“ In like manner man ought entirely to avoid wrath. If circumstances require a man to evince his displeasure, even then he must only assume the semblance of anger, without harbouring the reality. The way of the righteous is, if they are insulted, they retort not; they hear themselves reviled, and answer not; they rejoice amidst their sufforings; and to them
Upsala, 1694–5; by G. Peringer. Ib. caput quartum, hebr. et lat. cum notis. Leyden 1702; by J. R. Cramer.
Tr. de Anno Septimo et Jubileo, hebr. et lat. cum notis. Ff. a. M. 1708 ; by J. II. Mai (fil.)
Tr. de Domo Electa s. Sanctuario, lat. ; by L. de Chapello,—to be found in Ugolino's Thesaurus, vol. viii. Venice, 1741.
Liber de Ministerio Sacro, lat. convert. et brevibus notis atque iconographia Templi illustravit. Paris, 1678; by L. C. de Veil.
Liber de Sacrificiis, lat. convert. cum notis. London, 1683, and Amst., 1701 ; by L. C. de Veil.
Tr. de iis, qui non tenentur habere sacrificium expiationis, cum vers. lat. et notis. Hafn., 1711 ; by P. S. Aarhus.
Tr. De Vacca Rufa, lat. cum notis. Amst., 1711; by A. Ch. Zeller.
Tr. de Luctu et Lugentibus, lat. Leipzig, 1666. Ff. a. M. 1691; by M. Geier. It is also to be found in Ugolino's Thesaurus, vol. xxxiii. Venice, 1741.
Tr. de Regibus et corum Bellis, hebr. et lat. cum_notis. Rutter., 1699; by M. Leydecker. Ib., capita 8–10. Oxford, 1679; by H. Prideaux. Ib., capita 11-12. Paris, 1572 ; by G. Genebrard. Ib., cap. 11, hebr. et lat. Upsala, 1692; by G. Peringer.
The Book of Knowledge is also translated into Spanish, entitled, “Tratado de Moralidad y Regimiento de la Vida, di Rabbinu Mose de Egypto, por Dav. de Lara.” Hamburg, 1662.
may be applied the language of Deborah, “Let them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.' Judges v, 31.
“ Man should make it a rule not to be loquacious, and only to speak what the occasion absolutely requires. Even in teaching the law, or any science, let the words be few, but their meaning comprehensive. The rule is, let your instruction be concise. Many words with little meaning is folly. Thus Solomon says, 'A fool's voice is known by multitude of words. Eccles. v, 3.
“It is forbidden to man to make use of flattery and deceit. He is not to feel differently in his heart from what his mouth expresses ; but his inward feelings are to be in unison with his conduct, and he is to speak as he thinks. Truth in words, sincerity of mind, and a heart devoid of guile, is the duty of every man; as the law ordains, "That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live.' Deut. xvi, 20.
“ Man is not to indulge in boisterous mirth, rude laughter, and jeers ; nor is he to sink into apathetic melancholy, but is to be checrful. Idle mirth and giddiness lead to indecency. We are to avoid alike the .extremes of joy or sorrow, and be cheerful, and receive every man in a pleasant manner. Man is not to be too greedy of gain, or to strive for riches ; nor is he to be lazy, or indulge in idleness. He must be of a satisfied disposition, devoting little of his time to worldly affairs, but much to the study and observance of the divine laws. However humble his lot may be, he is to be cheerful and satisfied, and be neither envious, rancorous, nor coveting worldly grandeur; for envy, passions, and ambition, deprive a man of a close intercourse with his Maker.
6 Should a man think, that as envy, passions, and ambition are very pernicious qualities, he will embrace the opposite extremes, and to do so devote himself to abstinence, as, for instance, not indulge in wholesome meat and drink, not to marry, or occupy a respectable dwelling, or dress becomingly, but to envelope himself in sackcloth and haircloth, as the idolatrous priests do; he would be doing wrong and committing a sin. Man is to abstain only from that which is prohibited by the law, and is not, by oath or vow, to deprive himself of those enjoyments which the law by its permission sanctions. Penances beyond what the law ordains, are comprised in this remark; and it is with respect to such that Solomon said,
Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise; why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?' Eccles. vii, 16.
“ Man is to impress on his mind, that whatever he does is to be with the intention to glorify his Creator. Elis rising, his walking, his speech, and all his occupations are to have that aim. If, for instance, he is engaged in his daily avocations, he is not to aim at the gain only for its own sake, but as a means of obtaining what his preservation requires; such as food, raiment, and a dwelling for himself, his wife, and family. When eating, drinking, or indulging in conjugal endearments, his purpose is not to be the mere momentary gratification of his desires, but he is to take only such food as is wholesome and nourishing, and not that which is pleasant to the palate only, if it be in any manner pernicious. So that he is to consider all his food as a medicine required for his sustenance. In the midst of his endearments he is to recollect what is their aim; and even when he lies down to sleep, let it be with the intention to arise cheerful and refreshed