In the early Middle Ages, leading scholars across Europe and North Africa produced different genres of legal writings.
The rabbis of France and Germany created new genres of halakhic literature.
Alfasi's groundbreaking legal code invited criticism, defense, and supplementation.
Sages & Scholars
A legal code for the Jews of medieval North Africa and Spain.
The disparate opinions in Caro's Bet Yosef and the bottom line decisions in his Shulhan Arukh combined to create the halakhic code par excellence.
The Mishneh Torah sparked the creation of extensive and voluminous commentary.
Maimonides' two main critics, Rabad and Asheri, argued that multiplicity of opinions is a positive and vital force in Jewish law.
In order to make his code categorical and prescriptive, Maimonides deliberately omitted sources and did not reference his predecessors.
As Jewish communities grew throughout the Muslim world, they developed their own rabbinical schools and scholars.