Thursday, May 21, 2015

Two Halves of the Rambam Together

I was privileged to attend tonight the opening of a special display of a Mishneh Torah, the classic Halachic codex of the Rambam, commissioned and completed ca. 1457 in northern Italy and illustrated in the Renaissance style of the time. 

It was at the Israel Museum in the presence of the Rishon Letzion Yitzchak Yosef, the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel Archbishop Guiseppe Lazzarotto, Msgr. Cesare Pasini, the Vatican's Prefect of its Biblioteca Apostolica with a nice talk by Prof. Moshee Halbertal who spoke of the Rambam's approach that to be religious, one must learn to love, which is beyond fearful respect and can only be achieved through knowing God which, in turn, can only be gained by learning of his works in nature.

The two halves of the volume were separated some two centuries ago and ended up in the Vatican and in Germany and that second Jewish-held half was only recently located and purchased by the Israel Museum jointly with New York's Metropolitan Museum.

The two halves

The Nuncio

and also with James Synder, Museum Director (red tie)

The attendees

The Chief Rabbi and the Nuncio

James Snyder speaking

P.S.  The title of the evening was a play on words - יד ביד - which is 'Hand in Hand' - but refers to the fact that the Rambam's work contained 14 sections which, in gammatria is יד, I think was lost to many of those who attended.



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