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Shulchan-Aruch

The Shulchan Aruch ("Set Table") is a compendium of those areas of the halachah -- Jewish religious law -- that are applicable today. It was composed by Rabbi Yosef Karo of Safed (Israel) in the 1560's, and became generally accepted as authoritative after Rabbi Moshe Isserls of Cracow (Poland) supplemented it in the 1570's with notes (known as the Mappah - "Tablecloth") giving the rulings followed by Ashkenazic Jews.

The Shulchan Aruch consists of four parts:

  • Orach Chayim ("Way of Life") - Daily, Sabbath, and holiday laws

  • Yoreh De'ah ("It Teaches Knowledge") - Laws about food; relations with non-Jews; usury; menstruation and immersion; vows and oaths; honoring parents and scholars; Torah study; charity; circumcision; proselytes and slaves; Torah and doorpost scrolls; new crops; mixtures; firstborn; offerings from bread, crops, and flocks; the ban; illness, death, burial, and mourning.

  • Even Ha-Ezer ("Stone of Help") - Laws of procreation, marriage, and divorce

  • Choshen Mishpat ("Breastplate of Judgment") - Laws about judges and witnesses; loans and claims; agents, partners and neighbors; acquisition, purchases and gifts; legacies and inheritance; lost and found property; depositing, renting, and borrowing; theft, robbery, damage and injury.

The purpose of this course is to present a summary of the contents of the Shulchan Aruch which can serve as an introduction to further study. (References to chapter and paragraph numbers (x:y) in the Shulchan Aruch are given throughout.) The summary is based entirely on the Shulchan Aruch and Mappah themselves (usually following the latter when they differ) and emphasizes general principles; it omits many details and does not include rulings given in the commentaries or in later codes.

It should be stressed that the statements in a summary must not be interpreted as halachic rulings no matter how definitively they are worded. When such rulings are needed a qualified rabbi must be consulted.

The course will be presented by Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld, who received Rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Yitzchok Elchonon Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He is Director of the Center for Automation Research at the University of Maryland in College Park and a past President of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. He is the author of our popular Halacha-overview course, which is based on the Rambam's comprehensive code Mishneh Torah.

Subscribe to Shulchan Aruch and receive the weekly class via e-mail.

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ARTICLES ON TETZAVEH:

View Complete List

The Short and the Long of it
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Instructions for Life
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

A Phase of Glory
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

ArtScroll

There is Knowing, and there is Knowing
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Gd the Source of Life
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5772

Enlightened Actions
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Clothes Make The Man
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Remembering Amalek
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Searching for Haman
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Moses's Name is Excluded: Addressing God and Giving Oneself for the Jewish People
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Torah: Not to Be Taken Lightly
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

Lost Opportunity
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5763

> Too Humble?
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5768

The Amalek Within Us
Shlomo Katz - 5764

A Time to Speak Up
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Behind the Scenes
Rabbi Jeff Kirshblum - 5764



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