Darkhei Moshe by Rabbi Moses Isserles:
The title translates as "the ways of Moses," an allusion to the author's name.
Rabbi Moses Isserles (Acronym: ReM"A)
1530 to 1572.
Simultaneous with Caro's work on the Beit Yosef, Isserles was working on a similar project entitled Darkhei Moshe, in which he studied and evaluated the rulings of the Tur in comparison with other halakhic authorities. Isserles felt that only such an extensive analytical summary of the previous literature could serve as a valid basis for subsequent decisions. Rather than compose a completely new work, he found it more convenient to base himself on the Tur, which had already done part of the work, though in an incomplete manner, and was well organized.
Caro's Beit Yosef was published while Isserles was at work on his own work. Recognizing that Caro's commentary had fulfilled most of his own objectives, Isserles had immense respect for Caro and his work, and elected not to duplicate it. Nevertheless he was convinced that there remained some justification for continuing the Darkhei Moshe in a modified form.
The version of the Darkhei Moshe printed with the Tur is actually an abridgement of the original work, probably by later editors. The complete version of the Darkhei Moshe has been published separately.
- For one thing, there was need for a more concise summary than was found in Caro's lengthy (and therefore daunting) presentations.
- Furthermore, Isserles felt that the roster of authorities cited by Caro was too narrow. He was determined to present a broader spectrum of rabbinic opinion based on commentaries and responsa, as well as codes that had not been utilized by the Beit Yosef.
- In particular, Isserles wished to remedy the imbalance implicit in Caro's almost complete reliance on Spanish authorites, to the exclusion of the traditions that were current among central- and eastern-European ("Ashkenazic") Jews,and formed the basis of venerable customs in those communities. Isserles argued against Caro that the prevalent rule for deciding disputes between rabbinic opinions favoured the more recent authorites.