Commentary

Type: Commentary

Darkhei Moshe by Rabbi Moses Isserles:

Title

The title translates as "the ways of Moses," an allusion to the author's name.

Author

Rabbi Moses Isserles (Acronym: ReM"A)

Dates

1530 to 1572.

Place

Cracow, Poland

Description

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.

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