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Author: Joseph Karo
Composed: Safed, 1563 CE

The Shulchan Arukh (“Set Table”) is the most widely accepted code of Jewish law ever written. Compiled in the 16th century by Rabbi Yosef Karo, it is a condensed and simplified version of the Beit Yosef, a commentary that Karo wrote on the Tur. Karo’s rulings are in accordance with Sephardic traditions; the text of the Shulchan Arukh also includes the glosses of Rabbi Moshe Isserles, which cite Ashkenazic traditions. Even HaEzer (“The Stone of Help,” a reference to I Samuel 7:12) is the third of four sections. It discusses family law, focusing on marriage, divorce, and yibbum (levirate marriage), with sections on sexual conduct, procreation, and adultery.

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