The foundation of all Jewish law!
Impressive, Complete Set.
This is the premier edition of the Shulchan Aruch
Shulchan Aruch; Orach Chaim, Yoreh Deah, Even Haezer and Choshen Mishpat by Rabbi Yosef Karo.
A complete set of all four parts of Shulchan Aruch in excellent condition. This first edition was printed over the course of two years, between 1565 and 1566 in Venice, Italy. Each volume boasts a distinct title page, preface, colophon and index. The four parts are bound together in a magnificent leather binding.
Given the great enthusiasm following the printing of the Shulchan Aruch, its rapid spreading and extensive use around the Jewish world, it is exceedingly rare to
find a copy of the first edition of Shulchan Aruch with all four parts complete and intact, especially in the present spectacular condition.
History in the Making.
Leil Shishi . 16 Adar I, 1558.
This night would forever change the face of Torah study, Halachah and Jewish literature. It was the night when Rabbi Yosef Karo, the Mechaber, completed the Shulchan Aruch.
Upon completing the final lines of the fourth volume, Even Haezer, Rabbi Yosef Karo emotionally expressed in writing:
“What can I say to Hashem, the heavenly G-d, Who overwhelmed me with His kindness and granted me the merit of completing this precious work…”
Upon completing his monumental work Beis Yosef on the Tur, Rabbi Yosef Karo commenced the task of creating a summary of all halachos deriving from his above commentary and presenting the practical law.
“I saw in my heart that it is beneficial to compile the roses and sapphires of his teachings in an abridged format, in a clear and all-encompassing prose, beautiful and pleasant, that the Torah of Hashem shall be pure and prepared in the mouths of every Jew, so when a scholar is asked a question in halachah, he should not stutter…”
Writing and Printing the Shulchan Aruch
Between 1555-1558 Rabbi Yosef Karo compiled the Shulchan Aruch, noting the date and location of writing each volume. In 1565, Rabbi Yosef Karo dispatched his manuscript of the Shulchan Aruch to Venice, which was the leading center for book printing worldwide.
Orach Chaim: “Completed on Monday, 2 Elul, 1555, in the Upper Galilee, may it be speedily rebuilt” and printed in 1565.
Yoreh Deah: “Completed on the eve of Wednesday, 2 Tammuz, 1556, in Tzfas, may it be speedily rebuilt” and printed in 1565.
Even Haezer: “This sefer was completed on Tuesday, 19 Shvat, 1557, and printed in 1565.
Choshen Mishpat: “And this precious sefer was completed on the eve of Friday, 15 Adar I, 1558 and printed in 1566.
“Go to Yosef who shall tell you what to do” (Bereishis 41:55). This verse, borrowed from the Torah, was invoked to express the unequivocal acceptance of all of Rabbi Yosef Karo’s—whom they referred to merely as “Maran”—halachic rulings in the Shulchan Aruch.
“Maran merited, and the heavens affirmed that all his rulings shall be widespread, and that all of the House of Israel shall rely on them, and that they were accepted ‘as the words of Moshe from Hashem’” (the Rema’s preface).
Immediately after the Shulchan Aruch appeared in print, the Levush wrote: “All who study Torah trust in him, and he found favor and kindness and prestige and greatness in the eyes of all who saw him, and all scholars of the generation venerated him, for they saw him delivering sustenance to all the world, and they elevated him above all the books of the early Halachic authorities that we possess, for his [work] encompasses all other opinions.”
Indeed, all unanimously agreed that “Ruach hakodesh dwells in the midst of Maran, to direct his tongue to halachah…and there is no doubt that all was written according to Hashem Who imparted wisdom to him…” (Urim V’tumim Ch. 25).
The Pri Megadim likewise inscribed, “It is known that Maran’s work was compiled without a doubt based on ruach hakodesh.”
Maran & Hamechaber
Rabbi Yosef Karo was crowned with two distinct titles—accolades by which no other Gadol in history was known:
Hamechaber. He is the capital Mechaber, The Author of the masterwork regarded as the bedrock of all halachah that is universally accepted by all of Klal Yisrael. Rabbi Yosef Karo is likewise known as Maran, which translates as “the Master” and any exclusive reference to Maran without an ensuing name is known to refer to Rabbi Yosef Karo.
Shulchan Aruch – A Set Table
The name Shulchan Aruch was coined by the Maggid, the heavenly angel that revealed itself to Rabbi Yosef Karo, and it was he who recommended that the Mechaber call this epic work by this name.
Venice, 1565-1566. First edition. Orach Chaim: 136,  leaves. Yoreh Deah: 131,  leaf. Even Haezer: 79 leaves. Choshen Mishpat: 165,  leaf.
Page size: 24.5 cm. Excellent condition. Each section features a separate title page and index. Yoreh Deah culminates with a letter by the editor Rabbi Menachem Hakohein Puerto Ashkenazi, from the illustrious Rappaport family and author of Minchah Belulah. Corners of margins reinforced on first pages. Several miniscule holes; water stains, mostly very light. Owners’ signatures on first page. Several censor marks and censor labels at the end of the sefer.
Bound together in an elaborate antique-style dark brown leather binding with gilded engraving, leather straps and metal clasps to close. Provenance: Private Collection – Modiin
Stefansky Sifrei Yesod #157
Any inquiries about this lot?