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The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics - Shemonah Perakim: A Psychological And Ethical Treatise

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Aristotle also mentions the paucity of terms to express the nice distinctions he makes ( Eth. Nic., II, 7).

By the words of our prophets and of the sages of our Law, we see that they were bent upon moderation and the care of their souls and bodies, in accordance with what the Law prescribes and with the answer which God gave through His ​prophet to those who asked whether the fast-day once a year should continue or not. They asked Zechariah, "Shall I weep in the fifth month with abstinence as I have done already these many years?" [30] His answer was, "When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh (month) already these seventy years, did ye in anywise fast for me, yea for me? And if ye do eat and if ye do drink are ye not yourselves those that eat and yourselves those that drink?" [31] After that, he enjoined upon them justice and virtue alone, and not fasting, when he said to them, "Thus hath said the Lord of Hosts. Execute justice and show kindness and mercy every man to his brother." [32] He said further, "Thus hath said the Lord of Hosts, the fast-day of the fourth, and the fast-day of the fifth, and the fast of seventh, and the fast of the tenth (month) shall become to the house of Judah gladness, and joy, and merry festivals; only love ye truth and peace." [33]. Know that by "truth" the intellectual virtues are meant, for they are immutably true, as we have explained in Chapter II, and that by "peace" the moral virtues are designated, for upon them depends the peace of the world. Munk, Mélanges, p. 323; HUb., p. 415; M. Guttmann, Das religionsphil. System der Mutakallimun nach d. Berichte Maimon (Leipzig, 1885); D. Kaufmann, op. cit., pp. 339–340.

I.T. was conscious of such errors in his translations. See his Preface to the Moreh, in which he refers to his father's (Jehudah's) Preface to his translation of Baḥya ibn Pakuda's חובות הלבבות‎, where Jehudah dwells upon the difficulties in translating from Arabic into Hebrew. Cf. HUb., p. 374. Ziemlich, Plan und Anlage des Mischne Thora, in Moses ben Maimon, I, p. 305, “Die im M. K. festgestellten Resultate hat er zum grossen Teile in den M. T. aufgenommen.” See also authorities cited by Ziemlich. On the contradictions of the Mishnah Commentary and the Mishneh Torah, see Derenbourg, in Zunz’s Jubelschrift (Berlin, 1884), Die Uebersetzungen des Mischnah Commentars des Maimonides.

Preface to Porta Mosis, "Versis (Charisii) illi ab Aben Tibbon factae postposita, fuit, non quod ilia Tibbonidae elegantior, sed materiae congruentior fuerit," etc. the mean (Aristotelian μέσον). Nic. Eth., II, 6, “By an objective mean, I understand that which is equidistant from the two given extremes, and which is one and the same to all, and by a mean relatively to the person, I understand that which is neither too much nor too little.” For a detailed account of the translators and translations of the Commentary on the Mishnah, see HUb., pp. 923–926; Arab. Lit., pp. 201–202.

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