||Ethical work designed for daily learning assembled from the Yad ha-Hazakah (Mishneh Torah) of the Rambam by R. Shimon ben Abraham Benjamin Sofer. The verso of the title page has an introduction from the compiler in which he explains that the text is divided into thirty parts (twenty-nine days and one for Rosh Hodesh) so that it can be learned daily. He also quotes from the Hatam Sofer on the need to learn mussar daily. The text is attractively set within a border for each page. The title page is dated “As the hart longs תערג (673 = 1913) for water streams” (Psalms 42:2) from the first edition.
Maimonides (1135 or 1138–1204) was a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. He is prestige and learning was so great that he also influenced the non-Jewish world. Although his copious works on Jewish law and ethics were initially met with opposition during his lifetime, he was posthumously acknowledged to be one of the foremost rabbinical arbiters and philosophers in Jewish history. Today, his works and his views are considered a cornerstone of Orthodox Jewish thought and study. If one did not know that Maimonides was the name of a man, Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, one would assume it was the name of a university. The writings and achievements of this twelfthcentury Jewish sage seem to cover an impossibly large number of activities. Maimonides was the first person to write a systematic code of all Jewish law, the Mishneh Torah. Maimonides's major contribution to Jewish life remains the Mishneh Torah, his code of Jewish law. His intention was to compose a book that would guide Jews on how to behave in all situations just by reading the Torah and his code, without having to expend large amounts of time searching through the Talmud. Needless to say, this provocative rationale did not endear Maimonides to many traditional Jews, who feared that people would rely on his code and no longer study the Talmud. Despite sometimes intense opposition, the Mishneh Torah became a standard guide to Jewish practice: It later served as the model for the Shulkhan Arukh, the sixteenthcentury code of Jewish law that is still regarded as authoritative by Orthodox Jews.