Hence Karo adopted the Halakhot of Rabbi Isaac Alfasi (the Rif), Maimonides (the Rambam), and Asher ben Jehiel (the Rosh) as his standards, accepting as authoritative the opinion of two of the three, except in cases where most of the ancient authorities were against them or in cases where there was already an accepted custom contrary to his ruling.

- Shulchan Aruch

Secondly, it served as one of the "Three Pillars of Halakha", as an authority underpinning both the Arba'ah Turim and the Shulkhan Arukh.

- Isaac Alfasi

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A full set of the Babylonian Talmud

Halakha

Collective body of Jewish religious laws which is derived from the written and Oral Torah.

Collective body of Jewish religious laws which is derived from the written and Oral Torah.

A full set of the Babylonian Talmud
Sefer Torah at Glockengasse Synagogue (museum exhibits), Cologne
Hasidim walk to the synagogue, Rehovot, Israel.
A mixed-gender, egalitarian Conservative service at Robinson's Arch, Western Wall
Set of Mishneh Torah
Shulchan Aruch HaRav
Peninei Halakha Set
An illuminated manuscript of Arba'ah Turim from 1435

Halakha is based on biblical commandments (mitzvot), subsequent Talmudic and rabbinic laws, and the customs and traditions which were compiled in the many books such as the Shulchan Aruch.

The Hilchot HaRif was written by the Rabbi Isaac Alfasi (1013–1103); it has summations of the legal material found in the Talmud. Alfasi transcribed the Talmud's halakhic conclusions verbatim, without the surrounding deliberation; he also excluded all aggadic (non-legal, and homiletic) matter. The Hilchot soon superseded the geonic codes, as it contained all the decisions and the laws then relevant, and additionally, served as an accessible Talmudic commentary; it has been printed with almost every subsequent edition of the Talmud.

Imaginary 18th-century depiction of Maimonides

Maimonides

Medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages.

Medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages.

Imaginary 18th-century depiction of Maimonides
The dominion of the Almohad Caliphate at its greatest extent, c. 1200
Maimonides' house in Fez, Morocco
Monument in Córdoba
Bas relief of Maimonides in the United States House of Representatives.
The Tomb of Maimonides in Tiberias
Depiction of Maimonides teaching students about the 'measure of man' in an illuminated manuscript.
The title page of The Guide for the Perplexed
Plaque of Maimonides at Rambam Medical Center, Haifa
Manuscript page by Maimonides. Judeo-Arabic language in Hebrew letters.
The original manuscript of the Commentary on the Mishnah, handwritten by Musa bin Maymun in Judeo-Arabic in a Rashi script.

Maimonides studied Torah under his father, who had in turn studied under Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash, a student of Isaac Alfasi.

Later codes of Jewish law, e.g. Arba'ah Turim by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher and Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Yosef Karo, draw heavily on : both often quote whole sections verbatim.

An illuminated manuscript of Arba'ah Turim from 1435.

Arba'ah Turim

Important Halakhic code composed by Yaakov ben Asher (Cologne, 1270 – Toledo, Spain c. 1340, also referred to as Ba'al Ha-Turim).

Important Halakhic code composed by Yaakov ben Asher (Cologne, 1270 – Toledo, Spain c. 1340, also referred to as Ba'al Ha-Turim).

An illuminated manuscript of Arba'ah Turim from 1435.
A 1565 edition of Even Ha'ezer, the third part of Arba'ah Turim

The four-part structure of the Tur and its division into chapters (simanim) were adopted by the later code Shulchan Aruch.

He used the code of Rabbi Isaac Alfasi as his starting point; these views are then compared to those of Maimonides, as well as to the Ashkenazi traditions contained in the Tosafist literature.

Mir Yeshiva (Jerusalem) – largest yeshiva in the world

Yeshiva

Traditional Jewish educational institution focused on the study of Rabbinic literature, primarily the Talmud and halacha (Jewish law), while Torah and Jewish philosophy are studied in parallel.

Traditional Jewish educational institution focused on the study of Rabbinic literature, primarily the Talmud and halacha (Jewish law), while Torah and Jewish philosophy are studied in parallel.

Mir Yeshiva (Jerusalem) – largest yeshiva in the world
A typical bet midrash – Yeshivas Ner Yisroel, Baltimore
Chavrusas in study – Yeshiva Gedola of Carteret
Morning seder, Or-Yisrael - a yeshiva founded by the Chazon Ish
Shiur in memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein at Yeshivat Har Etzion, a Hesder yeshiva
Rabbinical students in shiur, Jerusalem
Shiur klali, Slabodka Yeshiva
A depiction of Sura (from Beit Hatefutsot)
Volozhin yeshiva, “mother of the yeshivas”
Mir yeshiva
Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Israel
Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, now a national monument
The Breslov Yeshiva in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem.
Satmar Yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York.
Bobov Kollel in Jerusalem
Geula branch of Porat Yosef Yeshiva.
Kisse Rahamim yeshivah, Bnei Brak
JTS building in Manhattan
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, New Jersey – largest yeshiva outside Israel.
Mercaz Harav, Jerusalem
Kollel Birkat Yitzhak, Moscow
Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn
Mincha, Yeshiva Centre, Melbourne
Talmud Torah, Russia, 1937
Yeshiva High School, Tel Aviv, 1938
"Cheder"-class in Talmud, Tel Aviv, 1946.
Bet Midrash, Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh
Gemara, the first page of tractate Rosh Hashanah
A full set of the Babylonian Talmud
Chavrusas learning beki'ut, recording their summary of each sugya alongside its Mishnah
Set of Mishneh Torah
Cover of the first edition of Mesillat Yesharim.
Chumash with Mikraot Gedolot
Chumash with Yiddish translation

At these levels, students link the Talmudic discussion to codified law – particularly Mishneh Torah (i.e. Maimonides), Arba'ah Turim and Shulchan Aruch – by studying, also, the halakha-focused commentaries of Asher ben Jehiel, Isaac Alfasi and Mordechai ben Hillel, respectively referred to as “Rosh”, “Rif”, and the “Mordechai”.

Jewish wedding in Venice, 1780 Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme

Italian Jews

Ancient community living in Italy since the Ancient Roman era, who use the Italian liturgy (or “Italian Rite”) as distinct from those Jewish communities in Italy dating from medieval or modern times who use the Sephardic liturgy or the Nusach Ashkenaz.

Ancient community living in Italy since the Ancient Roman era, who use the Italian liturgy (or “Italian Rite”) as distinct from those Jewish communities in Italy dating from medieval or modern times who use the Sephardic liturgy or the Nusach Ashkenaz.

Jewish wedding in Venice, 1780 Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme

In matters of religious law, Italian-Rite Jews generally follow the same rules as the Sephardim, in that they accept the authority of Isaac Alfasi and the Shulchan Aruch as opposed to the Ashkenazi customs codified by Moses Isserles (the Rema).