Guest blogger: Rabbi Shlomo Appel
In response to the many requests that we have had, I am happy to announce that Ktav has just reprinted my father (Z”L)’s work on the Sefer HaChinuch, “A Philosophy of Mitzvot.”Below is a blurb from the Hirhurim Blog from when this edition was originally published by Yashar.Hirhurim blogFriday, April 11, 2008New Book: A Philosophy of MitzvotBy: Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel
What divine purpose do the mitzvot, the Biblical commandments, serve? What moral and spiritual goals do the mitzvot envision? In a book made newly available to the reading public, Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel presents a comprehensive view of the structure and meaning of the Torah’s commandments.
The Sefer ha-Hinnukh, one of the principal works in Jewish ethical and halakhic literature, is a primary source for ta’amei ha-mitzvot, the reasons and purpose of the divine commandments in the Torah. In A Philosophy of Mitzvot, originally published in 1975 and revised for this second edition, Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel sets forth the Hinnukh’s objectives and his approach to revealing the religious and ethical meaning of the mitzvot.
In this wide-ranging study that is ideal for school courses, the author presents a comprehensive view of Jewish philosophy as developed by the Hinnukh and the classical Jewish philosophers. The Hinnukh emerges in this study as a great educator and moral and religious guide, and his classic work as a treasure-trove of Jewish knowledge, religious inspiration, and brilliant insight in the molding of human character.“Appel’s study is a definitive evaluation of the Hinnukh’s approach. But, more than this, it is an exploration of significant perspectives and new directions for further studies of the meaning of the commandments. The book is comprehensive, informative and authoritative. It is a work of immense scholarship and deserves to be widely read.” —The Jewish Law Annual
Table of ContentsIntroduction: The Mitzvot: Their Nature and Import in Jewish Philosophy
- The Taryag Mitzvot
- The Quest for the Meaning of Mitzvot
- The Divine Purpose
- The Preamble of Faith
- A Rationale of Mitzvot
- Man's Ethical Duties
- The Individual and Society
- Man's Spiritual Dimension
- The Service of God
- The Divine Imperative
- Perspectives on the Mitzvot
- Conclusion: The Continuing QuestExcursus: The Sefer Ha-Hinnukh: Authorship & SourcesOther books published and edited by Rabbi Appel include Torat Ha-Mitzvot Be-Emunat Yisrael, The Concise Code of Jewish Law: Compiled from the Kitzur Shulhan Aruch and Traditional Sources, Sefer Ha-Neyar: A Thirteenth Century Code of Jewish Law and the S.K. Mirsky Memorial Volume: Studies in Jewish Law, Philosophy and Literature.
Monday, 27 February 2017
A Philosophy of Mitzvot" by Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel