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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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Ritual Purity

Ritual Purity

Intellectual and Moral Purity

(p.183) Chapter Ten Ritual Purity
Maimonides the Universalist
Menachem Kellner, David Gillis
Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the Book of Ritual Purity (Sefer tohorah), which covers a large and complicated area of Jewish law that was once as important to observant Jews but has been mostly without practical application since the destruction of the Second Temple. It stresses Maimonides' point that the bar on admission to the Temple is the main consequence of most types of impurity. It also explains that the laws of purity and impurity demonstrate anticipation of the messiah and the Temple's reconstruction. The chapter describes the Book of Purity as part of a meaningful structure whereby Maimonides conveys what he sees as the timeless value of comprehending the Torah in its entirety as a system of divine law. It relates the Book of Purity to universal philosophical concepts.

Keywords:   Book of Ritual Purity, Sefer tohorah, Jewish law, Second Temple, Maimonides

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