|"Rambam - Collected Writings" offers a taste of the epic Torah scholarship of the Rambam, an acronym for Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon, or Maimonides, a gigantic intellect of the 12th century of whom it has been said, "From Moshe (Rabbeinu) to Moshe (Maimonides) there never stood another Moshe.|
The book elaborates on six of the Rambam's many thematic writings. Its first chapter opens with a description of the Mishnah's six tractates, the compendium of oral Torah law, and how these were derived and produced.
The second chapter contains the Rambam's description of the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court and judicial authority of ancient times, and how it operated. The book focuses on the first and tenth chapters of the Tractate Sanhedrin.
In the third chapter, the Rambam undertakes to delve into the Pirkei Avot, The Ethics of Our Fathers, explaining how each ethical principal has its origin in the written and oral Torah law. The forth chapter is the Russian translation of the Rambam's "Iggeret Teiman," a letter to the leaders of Yemen that urges them to teach the Yemenite Jewish population to hold fast to Jewish law and life and not sink into the morass of assimilation as so many Jews in the Diaspora have succumbed to in the 12th century.
Following the translation of Iggeret Teiman, comes the fifth chapter "Iggeret Redifut," an essay on how to respond to persecution. The Rambam himself experienced persecution under the rule of the fanatical Muslim Almohads, who hated the Jews and tried to convert them to Islam. The Rambam and his family were forced to flee their home town of Cordoba and wander for survival. He finally settled in Fez, Morocco, the ancient capital of North Africa.
In the final chapter, the book elaborates on the Rambam's treatment of "Tchiyat Hameitim," resurrection of the dead, which the Rambam affirms as the last declaration of his 13 principles of fundamental Judaism.
The book was researched, translated and edited by a team of professionals headed by Professor Herman Branover, Editor-in-Chief of SHAMIR, Rabbi N. Z. Rapoport served as chief translator and Pinchas Gil, Publishing Manager of Shamir, managed the operation. The book was jointly published by the SHAMIR organization in Jerusalem and FREE Publishing House, a division of Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, in Brooklyn, NY.