Rema of Cracow
Item #: S875
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The Rema, Rabbi Moshe Isserles, took the Sephardic Shulchan Aruch by Yosef Caro and keyed on differences that applied to Ashkenaz. Thus his entries in the Shulchan Aruch are a crucial Ashkenazic resource. But he was also a central figure in developing Jewish Europe. Rabbi Berel Wein explores the Rema's life and historical times as he helped 16th- century Polish Jewry solidify as a community.
Part 1 - Rabbi Wein begins the biography of Rabbi Moshe Isserles by painting the backdrop of medieval Poland, then a peaceful place for Jews. Appointed as Rov of Cracow at the young age of 20, the Rema was self-effacing and humble despite the honor bestowed on him. An examination of his personal life, and particularly his relationship with his students, reveals a human and tender side of the posek of Ashkenazic Jewry.
Part 2 - The Rema's prolific works of scholarship and innovations in halacha come into focus in this informative lecture. Rabbi Wein recounts the events in the Jewish world that gave rise to the definitive halachic work, the Shulchan Aruch, and shows how the Rema, in his characteristic modesty, chose to add notes to it instead of publishing a new work of his own. Yet even the most humble of rabbis cannot avoid controversy, and Rabbi Wein discusses the Rema's lesser known work, Toras Ha Olam, which deals with the hotly contested issue of secular philosophy.