A report on Joseph Karo

Artistic conception of Karo's appearance. Painting of 19th century
Synagogue of Maran, R. Joseph Karo, in Safed
Karo's grave in Safed
Title page of Karo's Shulchan Aruch

The author of the last great codification of Jewish law, the Beit Yosef, and its popular analogue, the Shulchan Arukh.

- Joseph Karo
Artistic conception of Karo's appearance. Painting of 19th century

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Safed

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City in the Northern District of Israel.

City in the Northern District of Israel.

The Red Mosque in Safed, 2001. It was originally built by the Mamluk sultan Baybars in 1275, and renovated or expanded by the Ottomans in 1671/72
The Mamluk mausoleum of Zawiyat Banat Hamid, originally built in 1372
The Red Mosque
Hebrew book printed by Eliezer Ashkenazi in 1579
Originally built as a caravanserai by the Ottomans in the mid-1700s, the "Saraya" (house of the governor) currently serves as a community centre
Safed in the 19th century
Muslim quarter of Safed circa 1908
Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Safed
Beit Knesset Abuhav, one of the city's historic synagogues
Street art in Safed
Beit Castel gallery in the artists' colony
Scottish church in Safed
Panorama Safed and Mount Meron
View to the east and Lake of Kinneret
Safad 1937
Mandate Police station at Mount Canaan, above Safed (1948)
Safed (1948)
Safed Citadel (1948)
Safad Municipal Police Station after the battle (1948)
Bussel House, Safad, 11 April 1948: Yiftach Brigade headquarters
View of Safed from Mount Canaan (1948)
Mandate administration building on the eastern outskirts of Safed (1948)
Yiftach Brigade, with their Hotchkiss machine guns, based at Bussel House, 1948
Druze parading in Safed after the Palmach victory in 1948
Monument to the Israeli soldiers who fought in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War
Safed in 2009
View of Safed
View of Safed
Houses in Safed
Doorway in Beit Castel gallery, Safed

After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, many prominent rabbis found their way to Safed, among them the Kabbalists Isaac Luria and Moshe Kordovero; Joseph Caro, the author of the Shulchan Aruch and Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, composer of the Sabbath hymn "Lecha Dodi".

Moses Isserles (Artist's rendering)

Moses Isserles

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Eminent Polish Ashkenazic rabbi, talmudist, and posek (expert in Jewish law).

Eminent Polish Ashkenazic rabbi, talmudist, and posek (expert in Jewish law).

Moses Isserles (Artist's rendering)
The Rema's tombstone at the Remuh Cemetery, Kraków

He became a world-renowned scholar and was approached by many other well-known rabbis, including Yosef Karo, for Halachic decisions.

Example semikhah certificate, Yadin Yadin, of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan awarded by Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel. The wording, as is typical, states that the holder is learned in Shas (ש״ס) – i.e. has wide knowledge of Talmud – as well as in Rishonim and Acharonim – i.e. has deep knowledge of Halakha; the phrase "כל מן דין סמוכין לנא" is often included, and translates "anyone of this [caliber] may be ordained for us".

Semikhah

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Traditional Jewish name for rabbinic ordination.

Traditional Jewish name for rabbinic ordination.

Example semikhah certificate, Yadin Yadin, of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan awarded by Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel. The wording, as is typical, states that the holder is learned in Shas (ש״ס) – i.e. has wide knowledge of Talmud – as well as in Rishonim and Acharonim – i.e. has deep knowledge of Halakha; the phrase "כל מן דין סמוכין לנא" is often included, and translates "anyone of this [caliber] may be ordained for us".

Berab then conferred semikhah through a laying on of hands to four rabbis, including Joseph Karo, who was later to become the author of the Shulchan Aruch, widely viewed as the most important code of Jewish law from the 17th century onwards.

Joseph Taitazak

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Talmudic authority and kabalist who lived at Salonica in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Talmudic authority and kabalist who lived at Salonica in the 15th and 16th centuries.

He was also considered one of the greatest Talmudists of his time, with even Joseph Caro invoking his authority.

Maimonides (artist's conceptual drawing)

Mishneh Torah

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Code of Rabbinic Jewish religious law (halakha) authored by Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon/Rambam).

Code of Rabbinic Jewish religious law (halakha) authored by Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon/Rambam).

Maimonides (artist's conceptual drawing)
A page of a medieval Jerusalem Talmud manuscript, from the Cairo Geniza
Torah scroll
The single scroll of the arm-tefillin
A sukkah booth
A Ketubah in Hebrew, a Jewish marriage-contract outlining the duties of the husband.
Herod's Temple, as imagined in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. It is currently situated adjacent to the Shrine of the Book exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
The Sanhedrin, from an 1883 encyclopedia
Title page from Sefer Shaarei Teshuvah (1960 pocket edition) by Yonah Gerondi (d.1263), first published in 1505.
Title page of Karo's Shulchan Aruch
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as "the Lubavitcher Rebbe", studied the Mishneh Torah daily and encouraged other Jews to follow along with him in an annual study cycle.

g., Yosef Karo's Kesef Mishné) set out to find sources for Maimonides' decisions, and to resolve any disputes between him and the Raavad.

Alkabetz's grave in Safed

Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz

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Shlomo ha-Levi Alkabetz, also spelt Alqabitz, Alqabes; (שלמה אלקבץ) (c.

Shlomo ha-Levi Alkabetz, also spelt Alqabitz, Alqabes; (שלמה אלקבץ) (c.

Alkabetz's grave in Safed

His circle included Moshe Alsheich and Yosef Karo, as well as his famous brother-in-law Moshe Cordovero.

Maran

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Honorific title for exceptionally respected rabbis who are considered influential teachers and leaders.

Honorific title for exceptionally respected rabbis who are considered influential teachers and leaders.

The most common use of the term is in reference to "Maran Beth Yosef", Yosef Karo.

Assyrians celebrating Mesopotamian New Year (Akitu) year 6769 (April 1st 2019) in Nohadra (Duhok), Iraq

Nisan

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Month of the barley ripening and first month of spring.

Month of the barley ripening and first month of spring.

Assyrians celebrating Mesopotamian New Year (Akitu) year 6769 (April 1st 2019) in Nohadra (Duhok), Iraq
Assyrians celebrating Mesopotamian New Year (Akitu) year 6769 (April 1st 2019) in Nohadra (Duhok), Iraq

13 Nisan (1575) – Death of Joseph Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch.

Plaque outside the burial cave of Jacob Berab, Safed, Israel

Jacob Berab

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Influential rabbi and talmudist best known for his attempt to reintroduce classical semikhah (ordination).

Influential rabbi and talmudist best known for his attempt to reintroduce classical semikhah (ordination).

Plaque outside the burial cave of Jacob Berab, Safed, Israel

Berab then ordained a few other rabbis, including the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Levi ibn Habib, rabbi Joseph Caro, rabbi Moses of Trani, and rabbi Yosef Sagis.

 Stylized signature of Solomon Molcho. Source: Manuscript owned by the Alliance Israélite Universelle

Solomon Molcho

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Solomon Molcho (שלמה מולכו Shelomo Molkho), or Molkho, originally Diogo Pires (c.

Solomon Molcho (שלמה מולכו Shelomo Molkho), or Molkho, originally Diogo Pires (c.

 Stylized signature of Solomon Molcho. Source: Manuscript owned by the Alliance Israélite Universelle

He himself inspired Joseph Caro and Shlomo Alkabetz.