Historical Who is Who

CARO, Joseph

1488 - 1575
Spain, Ottoman Empire,. Palesti

Greatly influential Rabbinic scholar and legal codifier. His early life was marred by the expulsion of Jews from Spain; his family eventually relocated in Turkey. Some 30 years of studies there were followed by another 40 in Palestine. He worked on all the available legal texts and commmentaries from previous generations – both Sephardic (predominantly Spanish) and Ashkenazi (from northern European countries) – including those of Maimonides – and produced definitive collations and commentaries. Shulhan Arukh his latest product was intended as a convenient digest of the Torah, accessible to anyone; it has continued to serve as such for those in the Orthodox tradition.  Alongside his immersion in traditional scholarship he was also engaged in more mystical kabbalistic beliefs and practices, involving revelatory dreams, a spiritual diary and ascetic self-criticism.



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