A report on Moses Isserles

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

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

- Moses Isserles
Moses Isserles (Artist's rendering)

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A full set of the Babylonian Talmud

Halakha

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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

The works of Rabbi Moshe Isserles ("Rema"; Kraków, Poland, 1525 to 1572). Isserles noted that the Shulchan Aruch was based on the Sephardic tradition, and he created a series of glosses to be appended to the text of the Shulkhan Aruch for cases where Sephardi and Ashkenazi customs differed (based on the works of Yaakov Moelin, Israel Isserlein, and Israel Bruna). The glosses are called ha-Mapah ("the Tablecloth"). His comments are now incorporated into the body of all printed editions of the Shulchan Aruch, typeset in a different script; today, "Shulchan Aruch" refers to the combined work of Karo and Isserles. Isserles' Darkhei Moshe is similarly a commentary on the Tur and the Beit Yosef.

Shulchan Aruch

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Most widely consulted of the various legal codes in Judaism.

Most widely consulted of the various legal codes in Judaism.

The halachic rulings in the Shulchan Aruch generally follow Sephardic law and customs, whereas Ashkenazi Jews generally follow the halachic rulings of Moses Isserles, whose glosses to the Shulchan Aruch note where the Sephardic and Ashkenazi customs differ.

Reception of Jews in Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1889

History of the Jews in Poland

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The history of the Jews in Poland dates back at least 1,000 years.

The history of the Jews in Poland dates back at least 1,000 years.

Reception of Jews in Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1889
Early-medieval Polish coins with Hebrew inscriptions
Casimir the Great and the Jews, by Wojciech Gerson, 1874
Casimir IV Jagiellon confirmed and extended Jewish charters in the second half of the 15th century
Sigismund II Augustus followed his father's tolerant policy and also granted autonomy to the Jews.
Number of Jews in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth per voivodeship in 1764
A Polish Jew in an engraving from 1703
Late-Renaissance synagogue, Zamość, Poland, 1610–20
Jacob Frank
Jewish dress in 17th (top) and 18th centuries
Berek Joselewicz (1764–1809)
Jewish merchants in 19th-century Warsaw
Map of Pale of Settlement, showing Jewish population densities
Caricature of Russian Army assailant in 1906 Białystok pogrom
A Bundist demonstration, 1917
Hasidic schoolchildren in Łódź, c. 1910s, during Partitions
Rabbi Baruch Steinberg before Warsaw Great Synagogue (1933), reading roll call of the fallen, organized by Union of Jewish Fighters for Polish Independence
Warsaw Great Synagogue
L. L. Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto
Isaac Bashevis Singer (Polish: Izaak Zynger), achieved international acclaim as a classic Jewish writer and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978
Shimon Peres, born in Poland as Szymon Perski, served as the ninth President of Israel between 2007 and 2014
Student's book (indeks) of Jewish medical student Marek Szapiro at Warsaw University, with rectangular "ghetto benches" ("odd-numbered-benches") stamp
Demonstration of Polish students demanding implementation of "ghetto benches" at Lwów Polytechnic (1937).
Graves of Jewish-Polish soldiers who died in 1939 September Campaign, Powązki Cemetery
Yiddish election notice for Soviet local government to the People's council of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic in Białystok, occupied Poland.
Jewish-Polish soldier's grave, Monte Cassino, Italy
Map of the Holocaust in Poland under German occupation.
Starving Jewish children, Warsaw Ghetto
Jewish Ghettos in German-occupied Poland and Eastern Europe
Walling-off Świętokrzyska Street (seen from Marszałkowska Street on the "Aryan side")
Announcement of death penalty for Jews captured outside the Ghetto and for Poles helping Jews, November 1941
Janusz Korczak's orphanage
Ghetto fighters memorial in Warsaw built in 1948 by sculptor Nathan Rapoport
Deportation to Treblinka at the Umschlagplatz
The cover page of The Stroop Report with International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg markings.
34 Mordechaj Anielewicz Street, Warsaw, Poland
Freed prisoners of Gęsiówka and the Szare Szeregi fighters after the liberation of the camp in August 1944
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 saw the destruction of what remained of the Ghetto
Page from a register of several hundred Jewish survivors who returned to Oświęcim after the war; created by a local Jewish Committee in 1945. Most remained for only a brief period.
Chief Rabbi of Poland – Michael Schudrich
Lesko Synagogue, Poland
Reform Beit Warszawa Synagogue
2005 March of the Living
President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, 26 June 2007
"Shalom in Szeroka Street", the final concert of the 15th Jewish Festival

Moses Isserles (1520–1572), an eminent Talmudist of the 16th century, established his yeshiva in Kraków.

Remah Synagogue

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16th-century Jewish temple and the smallest of all historic synagogues in the Kazimierz district of Kraków, Poland.

16th-century Jewish temple and the smallest of all historic synagogues in the Kazimierz district of Kraków, Poland.

Interior of the synagogue
Aron Hakodesh
The interior

The synagogue is named after Rabbi Moses Isserles (c.1525–1572), known by the Hebrew acronym ReMA (רמ״א, pronounced ReMU) who's famed for writing a collection of commentaries and additions that complement Rabbi Yosef Karo's Shulchan Aruch, with Ashkenazi traditions and customs.

The Jews in Central Europe (1881)

Ashkenazi Jews

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Ashkenazi Jews (יְהוּדֵי אַשְׁכְּנַז, ; אַשכּנזישע ייִדן), also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim, are a Jewish diaspora population who coalesced in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium CE.

Ashkenazi Jews (יְהוּדֵי אַשְׁכְּנַז, ; אַשכּנזישע ייִדן), also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim, are a Jewish diaspora population who coalesced in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium CE.

The Jews in Central Europe (1881)
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at its greatest extent.
Jews from Worms (Germany) wearing the mandatory yellow badge.
The example of the chevra kadisha, the Jewish burial society, Prague, 1772

Differences are noted in the Shulkhan Arukh itself, in the gloss of Moses Isserles.

Shalom Shachna

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Shalom Shachna (c.

Shalom Shachna (c.

1510 – 1558) was a rabbi and Talmudist, and Rosh yeshiva of several great Acharonim including Moses Isserles, who was also his son-in-law.

Minhag

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Accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism.

Accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism.

In numerous instances, Rabbi Moses Isserles warns that one should not abolish long-held customs.

Solomon Luria

Solomon Luria

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One of the great Ashkenazic poskim (decisors of Jewish law) and teachers of his time.

One of the great Ashkenazic poskim (decisors of Jewish law) and teachers of his time.

Solomon Luria
Grave of Solomon Luria (right), Old Jewish Cemetery, Lublin

Maharshal, famously, objected to Isserles's method of presenting halakhic rulings without discussing their derivation.

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

Joseph Karo

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

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

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 Italian Azariah dei Rossi, though his views differed widely from Karo's, collected money among the rich Italian Jews for the purpose of having a work of Karo's printed; and Moses Isserles compelled the recognition of one of Karo's decisions at Kraków, although he had questions on the ruling.

Israel ben Josef

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Wealthy Jewish merchant, banker, and Talmudist who settled in Kraków in 1519, following the expulsion of the Jews from the German city of Regensburg.

Wealthy Jewish merchant, banker, and Talmudist who settled in Kraków in 1519, following the expulsion of the Jews from the German city of Regensburg.

He was the father of Moses Isserles and the founder of the Remah Synagogue in Kazimierz, now a district of Kraków, built in 1553 on land owned by Israel ben Josef.