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The Mishne Torah Project

Revolutionizing Maimonides’ accessibility


Rabbi Yosef Elbaz

Background and Vision
Maimonides’ (1138-1204) Great book the "Mishne Torah", a decade’s project, was made accessible and regained its beauty by a mass of learners. In an unprecedented collaboration between scholars and institutes, academics and yeshivas - including Eretz Hemdah Institute and Mishpetei Eretz Institute, The Temple Institute, Yeshivat Torat HaChaim, The Academy of the Hebrew Language and more – the collection also created another large revolution since its publication. The vision is that anyone and everyone can get to know the entire Oral Law, in a comprehensive and elucidated way, in a summarized and orderly fashion as brought by Maimonides.

About the Book
Maimonides’ book is a complete summary of the Oral Torah. This masterpiece encompasses all the basics of Jewish thought and all the practical commandments that apply at this time and will apply in the future, from the Torah and from rabbinic institution alongside a few customs.

The book is designed to bring about a profound change in the life of the Jewish people. It is designed to summarize all of Jewish law, including the philosophical parts, and organize it in an impressive architectural structure, and above all to provide a unified way for the Jewish world. A presumptuous act unlike any since receiving the Torah until Maimonides own time and in fact, to this day.

Nevertheless, access to the essence of the book was blocked. Because paradoxically, as commentaries were being written on it it became the domain of scholars alone, the opposite of the author’s intention. This is because the many interpretations dealt mainly in search of the origins of Maimonides’ sources and in depth analysis of the definitions scattered throughout HaYad HaHazaka.

The Initiative of Improving accessibility
In recent years, Maimonides' book experienced a revolution. First, the text in its most accurate form was reconstructed from manuscripts distorted by the Christian censorship, and by negligence during copying. The text was revowelized and repunctuated. Each law (from the manuscripts) was marked for the first time as a new paragraph, unlike the traditional sequence of the Mishne Torah. Making it possible to view the laws divided by Maimonides and make it easier for the reader to remember.

The Elucidation

The elucidation, which is the heart of the initiative, is characterized first and foremost in an attempt to explain Maimonides according to his own words found thought his various books: The Mishnah Torah, his Commentary on the Mishna, A Guide for the Perplexed, The words of Logic, The Responsa of Maimonides and his Medical Works. The result is that it is possible to interpret Maimonides by Maimonides. Thus the learner achieves a thorough and comprehensive foundation for all of his study.

The elucidation is full of titles providing the learner a wide picture with only a glance, with pictures and identifying the reality of flora and fauna. At the end of each book practical appendices were attached, such as the "apartment rental contract" the appendix to rental laws. That way learning becomes act, Maimonides trip to the Har haBáyit and the like.

Change in Religious Consciousness
Sages of Israel called to study a chapter a day of the Mishne Torah (learning cycle of three years, 15 minutes per day).

The vision of the project is "Torah for everyone" because "the crown of the Torah is placed and stands ready for everyone" (Laws of Torah Study III, a). But the emphasis is not only on the accessibility of the Torah for anyone (‘for everyone’) the emphasis is on providing access to the entire Torah. Thousands of learners are introduced to the Torah in the broadest and most complete sense, to the rule of law, to the temple and to purity,to farming and to prophecy.

The systematic study of Maimonides helps the learner and clarifies his understanding of Jewish laws and values. The order and hierarchy created by Maimonides emphasizes the role of the leaders side by side with the explicit laws of the Torah, thus creating the appropriate hierarchy among the important andsubordinate.

Change of Religious Nationality Awareness
Since Maimonides, unlike the Tur, the Shulchan Aruch and other Poskim, did not limit himself to study regarding exile, but instead reveals to the reader the laws of Shabbat side by side with the laws of the Jewish court system, Monasticism and forbidden foods with the Temple and the Pesach sacrifice It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that currently the study of Maimonides’ work is the only method that can awake in one who reads it a true full scale Jewish image which includes the national institutes of the ideal Jewish country which includes the Temple, a Jewish court system and a Jewish army.
Join the Revolution!
The Complete and unique commentary – which has just been completed - broke through to the masses in Israel to learn the Mishne Torah and understand Maimonides completely in a clear manner and in a short amount of time. Thousands of students from the Religious State Education and throughout yeshiva high schools and more, learned and became wiser. Many also learn at their own pace.

Now anyone: men and women, students and rabbis, young and old - as guided by Maimonides - can join the learning and know the entire Torah, and only then can we aspire to realize the complete beautiful Jewish vision.
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