Page:Eight chapters of Maimonides on ethics.djvu/17

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It was while in attendance at the Hebrew Union College, and under the able tuition of my friend and teacher, Dr. Henry Malter, now of Dropsie College, that I became acquainted with the masterpieces of Jewish philosophy, and among them the Shemonah Peraḳim of Maimonides. Remembering the corrupt condition of the text of the ordinary editions of the Peraḳim, and of that in the Mishnah and the Talmud containing Maimonides' Commentary on the Mishnah, and recollecting the frequency with which it was necessary to have recourse to the Arabic original in order to render the text intelligible, when casting about for a subject for a dissertation, I thought I could do no better than endeavor to reconstruct the Hebrew text as it came from the pen of of the translator, Samuel ibn Tibbon.

In this rather ambitious attempt, I was guided throughout by Dr. Richard Gottheil, to whom my sincere thanks are due for his constant interest and for his invaluable suggestions. I wish especially to thank Dr. Malter for his assistance in the Arabic and for his many excellent suggestions. I also take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to Dr. Alexander Marx for his uniform kindness in allowing me to use manuscripts and books of the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary. To Mr. Simeon Leventall, I am also grateful for his assistance in correcting the proofs of the translation and notes.

There has been a delay of two years in the publishing of this book owing to the fact that originally it was not intended to include a translation of the Peraḳim and notes, and because a greater part of the book had to be set up in Europe.