Darke Moshe, by Rabbi Moses Isserles (The Rema), First Edition, Furth, 1760.

DarcheiMoshe1This is a book from my antique book collection.  Darke Moshe was written by the Rema, Rabbi Moses ben Israel Isserles, who was among the foremost halachic authorities. He is usually known for his glosses, called Mappah, on the Shulchan Aruch.  The Rema’s work made the Shulchan Aruch acceptable to the Ashkenazim.

He established a Yeshiva at Cracow, counting among his outstanding students Rabbi Mordecai Jaffe, known as the Levush, and Rabbi Abraham HaLevi Horowitz (you can read about his book Yesh Nochlin here), who was the father of Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, and also Rabbi Joshua Falk (the author of Meiras Einayim).  I have also previously written about his book Mechir Yayin.

Darke Moshe is a classic commentary to the Orach Chayim.  It has notes and supplementary laws, mostly by Ashkenazic scholars that are not included in the Beis Yosef commentary of R. Joseph Caro. 

DarcheiMoshe2R. Isserles had begun to write a commentary to the Turim of R. Jacob b. Asher, but while he was engaged in this task the Beit Yosef was published. He then wrote his Darkhei Moshe ha-Aroch (long version) to Orach Chayim (This book, first published in Fuerth, 1760) and Yoreh De’ah (published Sulzbach, 1692). He later abridged it and it was published on all four parts of the Tur (Berlin, 1702–03) with the title of the Darchei Moshe haKatzar (shortened version). R. Isserles utilized the Darchei Moshe as a basis for his glosses on the Shulchan Aruch, the Haggahot or Ha-Mappah. It contains explanations, supplements, additions, and includes the customs of the Ashkenazi scholars ignored by R. Caro. At times R. Isserles decided against the view of the Shulchan Aruch, ruling in conformity with R. Asher b. Jechiel and his son R. Jacob, rather than with R. Isaac Alfasi and Maimonides as does R. Caro. By spreading his Mappah (“tablecloth”), so to speak, over the Shulchan Aruch (“Prepared Table”) – which had codified Sephardi practice – he in fact made that work acceptable to Ashkenazim as well as Sephardim. The Mappah was first published with the Shulchan Aruch in the Cracow edition of 1569–71.

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