A large circle of Talmudists lived there; at their head Joseph Qaro, then over eighty years of age.
Qaro's son married Luria's daughter, and Qaro rejoiced at the connexion, for he had a high opinion of Luria's learning.
In the East, Joseph Karo (Qaro) wrote his Beth Yoseph (Venice, 1550), a commentary on the Tur, and his Shulhan `Arukh (Venice, 1564) an halakhic work like the Tur, which is still a standard authority.
If in more recent times progress in Judaism has implied more or less of revolt against the rigors and fetters of Qaro's code, yet for 250 years it was a powerful safeguard against demoralization and stagnation.
He wrote commentaries on the Zohar, the "Bible of the Kabbalists," but is best known as the critic and expander of the Shulhan Aruch of Joseph Qaro (Caro) (q.v.).
Qaro, a Sephardic (Spanish) Jew, in his Code neglected Ashkenazic (German) customs. These deficiencies Isserles supplied, and the notes of Rema are now included in all editions of Qaro's Code.
In this work Jacob ben Asher codified Rabbinic law on ethics and ritual, and it remained a standard work of reference until it was edited with a commentary by Joseph Qaro, who afterwards simplified the code into the more popular Shulhan Aruch.
After the publication of the Code of Joseph Qaro the decisions of Isserlein in legal matters were added in notes to that code by Moses Isserles.
For Judaism had organized itself; the Shulhan aruch of Joseph Qaro, printed in 1564 within a decade of its completion, though not accepted without demur, was nevertheless widely admitted as the code of Jewish life.
Among the chief attempts to codify the halakha were the Great Rules (Halakhoth Gedoloth) of Simon Kayyara (9th century), based on the letters written by the Gaonim, the heads of the Babylonian schools, to Jewish inquirers in many lands, the work of Jacob Alfassi (1013-1103), the Strong Hand of Maimonides (1180), and the Table Prepared (Shulhan Aruch) of Joseph Qaro (1565), which from its practical scope and its clarity as a work of general reference became the universal handbook of Jewish life in many of its phases.
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