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This is a short, concise digest of halachah compiled by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried (Hungary 1804 to 1886). He intended his work for mostly uneducated laymen, and therefore did not cite sources for his rulings nor did he include any laws that were not useful in the daily life of the average Jew. This book became immensely popular after its publication due to its simplicity. This work is not binding in the same way as the Mishneh Torah or the Shulkhan Arukh. Note that in Israel in most religious public schools, Bnei Akiva Yeshivot and Ulpanot they have ceased to use the Kitzur and are using the Kitzur Makor Chaim by Rabbi Haim David Halevy. Rabbi HaLevy was born around 1926, and is the Chief Rabbi of Tel-Aviv Yaffo. His works include:
Beyn Yisrael La'Amim. Between Israel and the nations
Dat U'Medina. Religion and Statehood
Mafteychot HaZohar Ve'ra'ayonotav. Indexes to the Zohar and its ideas.
Makor Hayim (Fountain of Life) (5 vol.). The books contain both the Halachot from Orach Haim plus an introduction to each chapter that contains the joint Halach/Agadah roots: Agadah, Mussar, Mahshavah etc., of each halacha.
Assey L'cha Rav (9 parts). A collection of responsa that includes modern questions such as Life after Death, Meditation, Martial Arts, and other questions and answers. All answers are presented clearly and the answers are intended for experts and layman alike. Both Sephardi and Ashkenazi sides of the issues are presented.
Kizur Shulchan Aruch. Similar to the Ginzberg kizzur except that it contains both Sephardi and Ashkenazi minhag where relevant.
Makor Chaim L'bat Yisrael. A concise edition of the halachot relevant especially to women. Includes an introduction to each chapter that gives the joint Halacha/Agada (see above) roots. Brings both Sephardi and Ahskenazi minhag where relevant.
The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.
Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to email@example.com. The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Daniel P. Faigin <email@example.com>