THE MAILING LIST DEDICATED TO STUDYING MAIMONIDES' HALAKHIC
CODE, THE MISHNEH TORAH
The goal of this Havura is to discuss and analyze the text of Rambam's
Mishneh Torah. Texts are posted in English, with significant terms and/or
words transliterated from the Hebrew and translated. The hope is that the
study and analysis of Rambam's texts will reach and inspire as wide an
audience as this technology makes possible "to beautify and expand Torah"
*L'hagdil Torah ul'ha'adirah*.
PARAMETERS FOR DISCUSSION
The following are appropriate areas ofdiscussion, within the parameters of
Discussion relating to source texts for the Rambam (specifically,
both Talmuds, Midreshei Halakha and T'nakh)
Analysis of the language, style and format of the text;
Applications of the text to related areas - including modern situations;
Comparisons with the approaches taken by other Rishonim (early
Talmudic commentators) and Poskim (codifiers);
Clarifying manuscript difficulties and divergencies.
The study is premised upon viewing Rambam's text as inherently valid and
worthy of discussion; postings which bring this validity and worth into
question will not be accepted. Rambam himself, of course, assumed the
validity and authority of Talmudic (and, clearly, Biblical) law and
challenging these is also outside the realm of discussion.
Every week there are two postings. The first includes the text and
questions which have been discussed during the previous week along with
(moderated and, if necessary, edited) answers which were submitted during
the week. The second will include the text and questions for the next
week. There are generally 1-3 Halakhot (Laws) posted in a given week.
Members of the havura are invited to post additional questions in addition
to responses to the posted questions. [In every classic edition of MT, the
glosses of RABD, R. Abraham ben David of Posquieres, are included. RABD,
who lived in Provence, was a contemporary of Rambam. As Rambam was working
on the folios of the Mishneh Torah, he would send them out, piece by piece,
to the scholarly community in Provence for their perusal. RABD, who often
contested his colleagues in acerbic terms, wrote glosses on the Mishneh
Torah which became so central to any Mishneh Torah study that they are
regularly included in every classic edition. For a fuller treatment of
RABD, the haverim are referred to Twersky's Rabad of Posquieres, JPS, 1980.
We will include RABD's glosses in our study. They will be preceded with
"RABD" and be included in brackets.]
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Rabbi Etshalom is an alumnus of Yeshivot Kerem b'Yavne and Har Etzion in
Israel and presently serves as Educational Coordinator of the Jewish
Studies Institute, a joint project of the Yeshiva of Los Angeles and the
Simon Wiesenthal Center. Questions, responses and comments can be sent to
the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition
to this class, Rabbi Etshalom also gives a weekly in-depth Parashat
haShavua class through Project Genesis, titled "P'shuto shel Mikra".