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Lask (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), 2:547 and the sources listed in 3:1506, n. 5. Another version of this story appears in the late medieval Ma'aseh-buch. See Moses Gaster, Ma'aseh Book: Book of Jewish Tales and Legends Translatedfrom the Judeo-German (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society,1934), pp. 237-239. 100. Horovitz, Tosefta 'Atiqta 5:57. 101. See b. Shab. er)afterbloodletting can lead to leprosy(Rashi,ad. , cites b. 49b thatof the ten measuresof skinafflictions [nega'inm]that descended to the world, nine were taken by pigs).
Forthephilosophic backgroundof theconceptof ImitatioDei in Jewishphilosophy,see AlexanderAltmannandS. M. Stem, Isaac Israeli (Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress, 1958), pp. 197-200; andLawrence of the Maxim:The Purposeof Philosophyis theimitation Berman,"ThePoliticalInterpretation of God,"StudiaIslantica 15 (1961): 53-61. , Contemporal)yJewishEthics[New York: SanhedrinPress, 1978],pp. 127-51). 2. The challengefacingthe student of Maimonides'thought,however,lies not only in explicatingthe individual texts which deal in a directmannerwith the topic,butalso in identifyingall the issues and texts which are relevantto the topic, as well as theirsources, andhow they are related.
On the complexityof Jewish society in talmudicPalestine,see Lee I. Levine, The Rabbinic Class of Roman Palestine in Late Antiquit, (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak ben Zvi; New York:JewishTheologicalSeminary,1989);see pp. 117-127 on the rabbis'relationshipswith other social groups;cf. also AharonOppenheimer,The 'An Ha-aretz(Leiden:Brill, 1977). On Babylonian Jewish society, see Jacob Neusner, A History of the Jews in Babylonia, 5 vols. (Leiden:Brill, 1965-70); I. Gafni, Ye/hudeBavel bi-Tequfatha-Talmud(Jerusalem:Zalman ShazarCenter,1990).