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Maimonides the UniversalistThe Ethical Horizons of the Mishneh Torah$
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Menachem Kellner and David Gillis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764555

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764555.001.0001

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Hanukah and Purim Reconfigured

(p.73) Chapter Three Seasons
Maimonides the Universalist
Menachem Kellner, David Gillis
Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the third book of the Mishneh torah, the Book of Seasons or the Book of Appointed Times (Sefer zemanim), which contains ten sections and is considered the longest book in the work. It points out that the Book of Seasons deals with commandments that are to be fulfilled at specific times. It also mentions Solomon Gandz, who wrote that the first four treatises in the Book of Seasons represent a scale of descending degrees of holiness and strictness, while the rest of the sections deal with the other appointed times in the Jewish calendar. The chapter clarifies the significance of Maimonides' decision to end his discussion of Purim and Hanukah with a passage about lighting the Hanukah lamp. It reviews Maimonides' account of the festival of Hanukah that commemorates the miracle of the oil or the victory of the Hasmoneans over the Hellenists.

Keywords:   Mishneh torah, Book of Seasons, Book of Appointed Times, Sefer zemanim, Maimonides

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