Moses Maimonides. Moreh Nevuchim [”Guide to the Perplexed.”]

AUCTION 61 | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic Art and Ceremonial Objects

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Lot 188

Moses Maimonides. Moreh Nevuchim [”Guide to the Perplexed.”]

<<FIRST EDITION>> with commentary Givath Hamoreh by Salomon Maimon. Edited by Isaac Euchel. Additional Latin title-page. pp. (10), 108, (1). Lightly stained, upper corner of title removed. Modern boards. 4to.

Berlin: Chinuch Ne’arim 1791

Est: $1,000 - $1,500
Salomon Maimon’s only printed Hebrew work. It includes an 11-page introduction to the history of philosophy from Aristotle until Kant, the first time such a history was written in Hebrew. Additionally, this is <<the first Hebrew book in which Spinoza is discussed.>> This is a year earlier than that recorded by Fanny K. Berg (see The Spinoza Collection in the Hebrew Union College Library, in: Studies in Bibliography and Booklore, Vol. 1, No. 4 p. 169) and who was not aware of this earlier text. Salomon Maimon (1753–1800), the man whom Immanuel Kant considered one of his most astute critics, was born into an Orthodox traditional life which he abandoned as a young man in order to pursue his search for philosophical truth. In Berlin he became a member of Moses Mendelssohn’s circle and collaborated with the members of the Jewish Enlightenment in preparing this Hebrew commentary to Maimonides’s Guide for the Perplexed. Later Salomon Maimon was abandoned by Mendelssohn because of the dissolute lifestyle he led. Maimon was especially critical of religious practices and beliefs, which in his opinion departed from the ideal of the natural and rational religion, which he claimed Judaism had once been. His autobiography influenced the reform proposals and the self-evaluation of maskilic circles, especially in Eastern Europe. See G. Freudenthal, Salomon Maimon: Rational Dogmatist, Empirical Sceptic (2003).