Talk:Shulchan Aruch

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Spelling of Title[edit]

Kh for het in the title ("Shulkhan") is wrong. This entry should be moved to Shulhan Arukh. User:

Virtually every recent Jewish publication (at least in the Orthodox camp) uses the spelling Shulchan Aruch, which is how it's pronounced. Your suggestion is also not consistent: if you'd spell the chaf as an h, you'd end up with Shulhan Aruh. JFW | T@lk 21:17, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
You are correct (two years later!) that "ch" is a common spelling. But the objection was apparently to "kh" for "chet", which is absolutely ridiculous. At the very least, the "kh" should be changed to "ch" in "Shulchan". The current spelling is horrible by any standard. So any objections to moving to Shulchan Arukh (better) or Shulchan Aruch (still not terrible), as was already suggested in March (next comment)? Dovi 08:23, 18 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For some reason, this article was not on my watchlist even after I made the comment below, so I completely forgot about it. I still stand by what I said in March, so I will go ahead with the move. Just so you know, the standard academic transliteration of the letter ח is the letter h, or sometimes that letter with a diacritical mark on top. But since we're going with popularity, Shulchan Aruch is the way to go. --DLandTALK 14:39, 18 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Done. --DLandTALK 15:31, 18 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As per a Google search and Wikipedia:Naming conventions, this article will be moved from Shulkhan Arukh to Shulchan Aruch, which is decidedly the more popular spelling. --DLand 03:38, 17 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for changing this page's title. This is absolutely great. I am a great supporter of eradicating idiotic ancient transliteration schemes which are only used by academians in old dusty study rooms. One done, lots more to go. I'm very, very happy with the new name of this article. --Daniel575 21:31, 20 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I propose moving from the current Shulchan Aruch to Shulkhan Aruch. The transliteration Kh for Khaf and Ch for Cheth is not uncommon, and it is simple, clear, requires no special characters, and is conducive to Jewish learning and de-transliteration. I see the Jewish text repository [] is using "Shulkhan Aruch":,_Orach_Chayim?lang=bi
And I think (former) popularity and entrenchedness should not be sole decisive factors. Nissimnanach (talk) 14:35, 25 November 2019 (UTC)NissimnanachReply[reply]

Shulkhan Arukh not a Rishon?[edit]

It is taken for granted by most Jews that Rabbi Joseph Karo, sometimes known as "the Shulkhan Arukh", is one of the Rishonim, and not an acharonim. For Orthodox Judaism in particular, and to Conservative Judaism to a lesser degree, this has immense consequences. It makes it very difficult for a rabbi of today's era (the acharonim) to disagree with anything in his work. However, in practice, many modern-day responsa show significant differences with the text of Karo's work. And many more proposes changes may be considered valid if Karo is considered one of the acharonim, and not a rishonim. As such, we may want to consider the following essay from Mail-Jewish, a famous long-term halakhic Internet discussion forum. RK 02:29, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)

Who's on First?: Rishonim and Acharonim. Is the Shulkhan Aurkh a Rishon or Acharon.
Four letters on defining who is a Rishonim
Another discurses on this subject

What a mess![edit]

"Isserles and Solomon Luria were Karo's first important adversaries. Although the opposition of these two men was different in kind and due to different motives, it may be regarded in a measure as the protest of the Ashkenazim against the supremacy of the Sephardim. The Ashkenazim were more scrupulous in matters of ritual than their Spanish-Portuguese brethren; hence they considered that Karo's Beth Yosef contained dangerous innovations, as the authorities he followed were chiefly Sephardim, whose opinions did not prevail among the Ashkenazim."

Such assertions! (1.) "It may be regarded ... as the protest..." is a weasel phrase. Who regards those glosses as "protest"?! (2.) "The Ashkenazim were more scrupulous...." I'd like to see evidence for this! (3.) "[H]ence they considered... contained dangerous innovations... chiefly Sephardim, whose opinions did not prevail among the Ashkenazim." (sigh) First of all, who says the Ashkenazim considered the Beth Yosef dangerous? (4.) Second of all, who said the Beth Yosef contained "innovations" of a different type than is found in almost all rabbinic literature (it contains no such radical "innovations")? (5.) Third of all, the Beth Yosef is a commentary on the Tur and is not primarily a codification of halakha (as is the Shulkhan Arukh). (6.) Fourth of all, Rabbi Isserles didn't even write a gloss on the Beth Yosef. (7.) Fifth of all, the last sentence quoted above could be a textbook example of non-sequiter. The degree of scrupulousness found among the Sephardi populace bears no significant correlation with the rulings of the Sephardi authorities; the alleged popular carelessness would be due to laxity. (8.) Sixth of all, wherever Sephardi "opinions did not prevail among the Ashkenazim," it was because the Ashkenazi opinions/customs happened to differ from those of the Sephardim. Contrary to ostensible beliefs of some conspiracy theorists, there was no institutionalized or ideological schism between both groups. HKT 06:08, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Blame the historical revisionists who wrote the Jewish Encyclopedia 1906. Their POV language is about as far from an encyclopedia as one can get. JFW | T@lk 04:20, 17 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Taz[edit]

Should the Taz and other major commentators on the Shulkhan Arukh be discussed in this article?

Adam Holland 04:22, 18 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There should be a short list of the major acharonim who have commented on the Shulkhan Arukh. They form the link between the Mechaber and the practical halakha. JFW | T@lk 22:08, 18 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Entire article needs re-write[edit]

This entire article is written from a conservative viewpoint. In addition, it contains many, many, many assertions and phraseology that are extremely doubtful characterizations. Just some small examples:

  • "He shows no disposition to accept blindly the opinions of the ancient authorities..." This agenda driven phraseology must go. It is also contradicted by the quotation ""Who has the courage to rear his head aloft among mountains, the heights of God?"!
  • "The author himself had no very high opinion of the work.." Again, what a slanted statement. With an attributed quote completely out of context, I might add.
  • "Isserles and Solomon Luria were Karo's first important adversaries." The word "adversaries" implies a lot more than the reality.
  • "Rabbi Moses Isserles (the Rema) wrote his Darkei Mosheh, a moderately expressed but severe criticism of Karo's great work." What a characterization! "severe criticism" implies a lot more than disagreeing in Halachic method and outcome!
  • Perhaps worst of all is this statement: "The strongest criticism against all such codes of Jewish law is that they inherently was that it violated the ancient precept that halakha must be decided according to the later sages" This is an obvious Conservative agenda driven statement. And who is the great authority quoted for this? Menachem Elon, hardly a NPOV source.
I could go on and on and on. Needless to say, re-write in progress that will fairly present all views. Due to time constraints, may take some time.Shykee 01:37, 16 June 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]

Shykee, if you check the edit history, you will see that the "Initial text from the 1906 public domain Encyclopedia Judaica." We often do this - use open domain encyclopedias as sources for articles we otherwise do not have. A lot of articles on Biblical themes is "Initial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897." So it is not surprising that you find many problems with these articles, indeed, there are many problems and you are absolutely right about the need for work. Not only are 1906 EJ and 1897 EBD out-dated, they do not comply with our policies. So, I am glad you pick up on this and encourage you to work on it. My only advice - strong advice - is that you familiarize yourself (really well) with our core policies especially Wikipedia: Neutral point of view, Wikipedia: No original research and Wikipedia: Verifiability. You clearly have a strong point of view - there is nothing wrong with that and the views of people who have read and learned from should be included in this and other articles. I just caution you, in good faith, to comply strictly with our NPOV policy, or others will likely revert your edits. This is not a threat, it is sincere constructive advice. Good luck, Slrubenstein | Talk 13:09, 16 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you feel the need to explain that you are not making a threat, that is a pretty strong symptom of a disturbing element in your comment. I do indeed have a POV, and if you read my comment, from start to finish I merely criticized the article as being written exclusively from a particular POV. Shykee 16:20, 16 June 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]

I was bending over backwards to be nice, since you have interpreted my comments as hostile in the past. If you have any doubt that what I wrote was meant as anything other than constructive, then you have some serious screw up, dude. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:35, 16 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My friend, I am sure you thought you were being constructive. I, however, being on the receiving end of your little lecture, obviously felt that sagacious and patronizing "strong advice" to "familiarize myself (really well) with Wikipedia policies" could only be construed as "constructive" in the sense that it allowed you to rebut my edits before I ever wrote them. Shykee 18:41, 16 June 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]
P.S. I was actually referred to this article as authoritative by User RK. Hence my comments.Shykee 18:41, 16 June 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]

Well, I did not mean to be patronizing. But you seem to be suggesting a major overhaul of the article - and I support and encourage that. Since I support an encourage that, I don't want to see any of your edits become contentious with other editors. And I tell all editors who are relatively new and who are proposing to do extensive work on an article to adhere rigorously to these specific policies because doing so safeguards you from criticism and I have learned from experience that that saves everyone - especially a well-intentioned editor who recognizes the flaws of an article (i.e. you) - from a lot of wasted time and grief along the road. Relatively anonymous writing often obscures or distorts sentiments. All I can say is, that no matter how this comes across to you, I mean it to be constructive, that is all. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:43, 17 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At first glance, the objections listed above to the current article seem to represent a very clear POV agenda. None of the statements attacked are terribly problematic to anyone who knows the history of the Shulchan Arukh. And does Menachem Elon create automatic NPOV problems? Why? Something sounds fishy.

The way to make this less problematic is for Shykee to add his objections - which are widely accepted in certain yeshiva circles, whether one agrees with them or not - as alternatives, but not to erase the current statements as they stand, which are also widely accepted (both in major parts of the yeshiva world and in academic circles alike). Dovi 08:21, 18 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I see that some are wary of edits that would erase the Conservative POV. I reassure you that my intentions are only to "fairly represent all views" as I wrote in my comment. I would, however, point out that some of the current statements, as they stand, are undocumented POVs that are more characterizations than POV. Phraseology like, "The strongest criticism against etc." do not have any place in the article without there being an extremely strong source. It is even more suspect when that criticism itself is attributed to a solitary current-day scholar. However, rest easy, I personally believe that the most wonderful and enjoyable part of Wikipedia is the inherent collaborative nature of the edits and the (hopefully) resultant representation of all POV. Shykee 02:28, 19 June 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]
I reject the implication that, if there is any POV at all here, it is a Conservative one. These things are well-known and accepted by Orthodox talmidei chachamim as well (though maybe not the ones you know). Menachem Elon zt"l was Orthodox and an extraordinary TC; two of his sons are a rosh yeshiva and an Orthodox political leader (though another son went in a different direction, happens to the best of us... :-) Dovi 05:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is "well known" by Orthodox talmedei chachamim? That Isserless and Luria were Karo's "adversaries"? That the Darchei Moshe is a "severe criticism" of Karo? That Karo didn't "blindly accept" earlier authorities? That the "strongest criticism" of Karo is that of Elon? All these things are innuendo and specific phraseology. Shykee 13:53, 19 June 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]
By the way, you misunderstand me. No one is denigrating Elon, who was indeed a TC. The problem is the representation of his criticism, without any hedging, as the "strongest". That characterization is definitely a POV and probably un-sourced. Shykee 13:59, 19 June 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]

Shykee, I don't understand why you claim to promote Orthodoxy, yet you spend all of your time attacking Orthodox Jews. You seem, in practice, seem to hate Orthodox Judaism (as well as all of non-Orthodox Judaism), and instead you seem to believe in some obscure extremist fundamentalist point of view. This article is actually written based on Orthodox Jewish sources. It is almost identical to the articles on this subject in the Encyclopedia Judaica, and all of their articles on this subjetc are also written by Orthodox rabbonim. It you are (in the academic sense) ignorant of Jewish history, halakah and Orthodox Judaism. We need verifiable sources, not personal attacks about how un-Orthodox most Orthodox rabbis are. RK

RK, it would be advisable to debate the issues without resorting to innuendo and immature hyperbole. Please control the urge to personally attack those you do not agree with. If you do not have a constructive contribution or reasoned disagreement with my criticisms of the article, then please refrain from commenting at all. shykee 05:11, 30 July 2006 (UTC)shykeeReply[reply]

Several corrections[edit]

I have made several corrections. The main author of the article seems to ignore several facts of Caro's cultural background, based on the legalistic traditions existing in Spain by the 15th c. --Dramirezg 13:20, 12 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi, please can you get involved in the talk on the Safiyya bint Huyayy article. Please read through the talk and make out if you agree that she should not be called a concubine in adddition to a 'wife' of mohammad. In my view, it was a marriege out of fear. Thanks FrummerThanThou 23:51, 9 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Allegations of racism[edit]

Several critics of Judaism have alleged that the Shukchran Aruch is either discriminatory or racist against Gentiles. The article should maybe examine these criticisms in the hopes of clearing up the allegations. [1] ADM (talk) 14:46, 28 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seconded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:58, 13 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Almost all antisemites accuse all Jews of being racist against gentiles. This is hardly surprising and a common manifestation of jealousy and hate towards Jews. KayFein613 (talk) 02:34, 27 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent edits[edit]

IZAK has recently made a large number of edits inserting unsourced information which seem to violate the WP:NPOV and WP:NOR guidelines. I suggest that all editors editing this article stick to clearly sourced material to avoid needless edit-warring. Winchester2313 (talk) 15:44, 24 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Hi there Winchester: You seem to have agreed with almost all my edits, I looked them over, so why are you making it sound that only you seem to "know" what is "right and wrong" to write about here? Also instead of violating WP:AGF and WP:CIVIL by maligning me for no reason, as well as borderline violations, as usual, of WP:NPA with your strident tone against me, why not point out right here (or on my or your talk page or at WP:TALKJUDAISM), the points you want to discuss, or feel need more input rather than sounding like a hysteric and rabble rouser. I look forward to your co-operation and to future civil discussions. Thanks IZAK (talk) 09:08, 25 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section about 7 Noahide Laws moved to that article[edit]

Moved paragraph to Seven Laws of Noah#Sefer Sheva Mitzvot Hashem where it belongs. There is no such concept in Judaism as "Shulchan Aruch" for gentiles they are only obligated in the Seven Laws of Noah, period, otherwise it's just word play to pretend that there is any sort of "Shulchan Aruch" for gentiles just because one guy says so in some obscure book no one ever heard of before. It would be like saying there is a New Testament for non-Christians or a Koran for non-Muslims. The point is, that just as the New Testament and Christian Law talk about how to deal with non-Christians and the Koran and its codes rule how to treat non-Muslims, the Jewish Shulchan Aruch has laws directs Jews how to deal with gentiles, but there is not, and has never been a Jewish "Shulchan Aruch for gentiles" only what the Torah prescribes in general terms via the Seven Laws of Noah and on that any rabbi or Torah scholar is free to postulate and work, but it will not make it a part or an extension of the Jews' Shulchan Aruch. IZAK (talk) 09:52, 25 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The entire article is questionable and impossible to verify[edit]

The Sulchan Aruch although "examined on daily basis" by jews, but I bet none of this article's writer can read the book's text AND not a jew.

Asd this is an article about a religion, it is very easy to not show its contents without prejudice. So if this article was made by jews, it is at best highly doubious. If it was not made by jews, how do they know what they are talking about?

That's the problem with secret organisations and their documents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:43, 31 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps you should consider joining a 'secret organization' that offers remedial English instruction...? Winchester2313 (talk) 07:35, 1 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is the language (of the work itself not of quotations it contains) actually Hebrew in the usual sense of the word? Or does Hebrew mean Aramaic in this case? -- (talk) 01:02, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Shulchan Aruch is written in Hebrew. These are interspersed with an occasional term from Aramaic, for various reasons. Debresser (talk) 10:14, 4 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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relation with Talmud[edit]

A small paragraph explaining the relationship of this work with Talmud would be helpful for the general public readership. E.g. is it a summary? an index? a replacement? etc. -- (talk) 13:42, 14 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]