Codes

Since Jewish laws are found in several places (Torah, Talmud, Tosefta, etc.) early rabbis and scholars tried to compile the various laws together in one source. These works include the Mishneh Torah, Shulhan Arukh, and the Tur.

Mishneh Torah (Yad ha-Hazakah)

 

The Mishneh Torah was written by Moses ben Maimon (also known as Maimonides or Rambam) in the late 12th century in Egypt. Because the Mishneh Torah is divided into 14 (i.e. yod+dalet) parts, it is also known as the Yad (yod+dalet) ha-Hazakah. The sections are: Ha-Mada' (Knowledge), Ahavah (Love [of God]), Zemanim (Times, holidays), Nashim (Women), Kedushah (Holiness), Hafla'ah (Separation), Zera'im (Seeds, agriculture), Avodah (Divine Service), Korbanot (Offerings), Tohorah (Ritual purity), Nezikin (Injuries), Kinyan (Acquisition), Mishpatim (Civil law), Shofetim (Judges).

On the Shelf
BM 520.84 (in this call number you will find original texts first, then translations, then criticism and commentaries)

Halakhot by Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi

Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi (also know as Rif from Rabbi Isaac Al-Fasi) was born in 1013 near the city of Fez in Morocco (thus he was know as al-Fasi - the "Fezite.") Alfasi's Halakhot is a digest of the Talmud. He compiled all the legal decisions from the tractates in the orders of Moed, Nashim and Nezikin as well as the tractates of Berachot and Chulin. He left out the aggadic material as well as the legal decisions that only applied in the land of Israel.

On the Shelf
BM 520.82 (in this call number you will find original texts first, then translations, then criticism and commentaries)

Arba'ah Turim by Jacob ben Asher

Arba'ah Turim (also known as the Tur) was written by Jacob ben Asher (a.k.a. Ba'al ha-turim, "author of the Turim") "Tur" means row, and this work is divided into four rows, or sections: Orach Chayim (laws of synagogue, prayer, holidays, etc) ; Yoreh De'ah (laws of ritual slaughter, and kashrut) ; Even ha-ezer (marriage, divorce) ; Choshen Mishpat (business and finance.) In the Tur, Jacob ben Asher expanded on work on the Halakhot by Alfasi. He compared Alfasi's text with Tosefists and Maimonides.

On the Shelf
BM 520.86 (in this call number you will find original texts first, then translations, then criticism and commentaries)

Bet Yosef & Shulhan 'Arukh by Joseph ben Ephraim Karo

While best known for his Shulhan 'Aruckh, Joseph ben Ephraim Karo's master work was actually the Bet Yosef, an expansive commentary on the Arba'ah Turim. Arranged into the same 4 sections as the Tur, the Bet Yosef, examines each legal decision mentioned in the Tur and compiles all the pertinent discussion from many different legal sources.
Years after the publication of the Bet Yosef, Karo put together a sort of students guide/digest of the Bet Yosef, and called it the Shulhan 'Arukh ("the set table")

On the Shelf

BM 520.88 (in this call number you will find original texts first, then translations, then criticism and commentaries)

Finding Codes online

Bar Ilan Responsa Project
Includes the Hebrew texts of the Tanakh, Talmuds, early commentaries, and many responsa http://www.responsa.co.il/
More options are available to HUC students and faculty by accessing the Responsa Project through the Jewish Studies Portal

Jewish texts at Snunit
Includes the Hebrew texts of the Tanakh, Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi, and Mishneh Torah
http://www1.snunit.k12.il/kodesh/

Mishneh Torah at Mechon Mamre
Hebrew text. There is an English translation available of the preface.
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/0.htm and http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/0n.htm (with vowels)

Treasures of the Library (JNUL)
Writings of Maimonides - manuscript and early print editions
http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/mss/html/rambam_l.htm

While the Library thinks that these sites are useful, their content is not under our control and may express views that are not shared by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

If you have any further questions about finding information on this, or any other topic, ask your local HUC-JIR librarian or email us using the form on the campus library homepage.