Jewish Law

Jewish Law

Introduction to Halacha, the Jewish Legal Tradition

Halacha, from the Hebrew word for "walking" or "path," is the rabbinic interpretation of Jewish law.

Sages & Scholars

Maimonides (Rambam) and His Texts

One of the greatest Jewish scholars of all time, he was both a traditionalist and an innovator.


The Shulhan Arukh

The ultimate code of Jewish law.

Gemara: The Essence of the Talmud

Together with the Mishnah, these texts make up what is known as Rabbinic Judaism.

Halakhah Quiz

How much do you know about Jewish law and its foundational texts?

Halakhah: The Laws of Jewish Life

Halakhah, or Jewish law, governs Jewish daily life and practice.

Havruta: Learning in Pairs

A modern emphasis on peer-guided text study--an approach with ancient roots--reflects new social realities in the world of traditional Jewish learning.

What Is the Mishnah?

A description of Judaism's primary book of Jewish legal theory.

Vilna Gaon

Renowned scholar led non-Hasidic Jewish world into modernity.

Early Modern Halakhic Texts

An introduction to the works of the aharonim.

Modern Halakhic Texts

As Jews gained political rights in general European society, large numbers embraced modernist philosophies while rejecting Jewish culture and religion. In response, various strategies emerged to stem and possibly reverse the tide.

Why You Should Study Talmud

Some perspective for beginners

The Tosafot

The Tosafists continued the conversation with their glosses on the text of the Talmud.

Mitzvah: A Commandment

There are 613, not just 10, commandments, or mitzvot.

The Geonic Period

During this time Babylonia was the spiritual and political center of Diaspora Jewry, and Jewish communities looked to the Geonim for authoritative teachings on halakhic matters.