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Arbaah Turim (Tur)

By TorahLab

Arbaah Turim (Tur)

Arbaah Turim (????? ?????), often called simply the Tur, is an important Halakhic code, composed by Yaakov ben Asher (Spain, 1270 -c.1340). The four-part structure of the Tur and its division into chapters (simanim) were adopted by the later code Shulchan Aruch.

The Arbaah Turim, as the name implies, consists of four divisions ("Turim"); these are further organised by topic and section (siman, pl. simanim).

The four Turim are as follows:
Orach Chayim - laws of prayer and synagogue, Sabbath, holidays
Yoreh De’ah - miscellaneous ritualistic laws, such as shechita and kashrut
Even Ha’ezer - laws of marriage, divorce
Choshen Mishpat - laws of finance, financial responsibility, damages (personal and financial) and legal procedure

The Tur traces the practical Jewish law from the Torah text and the dicta of the Talmud through the Rishonim. He arrives at Halacha by taking a ‘best out of three’ from the Rif, Rambam and Rosh. Unlike Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, the Tur is not limited to normative positions, but compares the various opinions on any disputed point. (In most instances of debate, he follows the opinion of his father the Rosh.) The Arbaah Turim also differs from the Mishneh Torah, in that it deals only with areas of Jewish law that are applicable nowadays.

Commentaries on the Tur

Bach
The Bach (?”?) is an abbreviation of, Bayit Chadash which was written by Rabbi Yoel Sirkis (Poland 1561-1640).
The Bach is the earliest commentary on the Arbaah Turim and is printed on the inside margin of each page.

Beis Yosef
Beis Yosef, written by Rabbi Yosef Caro, is the second major commentary on the Tur (and is always printed on the outside margin), but it is much more comprehensive, going back to the Talmud and Midrashim. This work discusses the authorities cited by the Tur, and examines the opinions of the authorities not mentioned by the latter. This commentary draws from thirty-two authorities, beginning with the Talmud and ending with the works of Rabbi Israel Isserlein (the Terumath ha-Deshen).

Darche Moshe
Darche Moshe (???? ???) was written by Rabbi Moshe Isserles (Poland 1520 - 1572). It is a commentary on both the Tur and the Beis Yosef. The Beis Yosef was published before completion of the Darche Moshe, and to minimize dispute, and retain a single authoritative text Rabbi Isserless published the Darche Moshe in an abridged form. The standard Darche Moshe printed on the page of the Tur is an even shorter version of this.

Perisha and Derisha (Beis Yisrael)
Beis Yisrael is a twin commentary on the Tur, composed of the Perishah, a straightforward explanation, and the Derishah, deeper discussions on specific problems. The Perishah clarifies the rulings of the Tur, by tracing them to their sources in the Talmud and Rishonim. The Derishah is devoted to extensive analysis and comparison of the various interpretations and decisions proposed by various Talmudic authorities.

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