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Hirhurim just had a post about this topic, where he discussed some reasons that people should follow the aruch haShulchan. Yet in many circles, people just follow the Mishna Berura and rarely even study the aruch haShulchan for halacha. How did this develop and is it justified based on halachik principles?

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I'm tempted to close as "not constructive," since this seems to be asking for opinions. Could you refocus more on "how did this come to be the case?" and/or "what do contemporary authorities say about this?"? –  Isaac Moses Feb 29 '12 at 18:56
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I edited it to be less about opinions. I don't think an issue should depend on contemporary "authority", but on the actual sources and arguments. –  Ariel K Feb 29 '12 at 20:06
    
looks like this goes back to the machlochet of Hillel and Shammai –  Moda May 8 '13 at 7:21
    
A simple answer can be that the Chazon Ish only brings the mishne berura. I dont think he ever brings the Arach hashulchan or the graz for that matter. –  user2709 May 8 '13 at 8:05
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3 Answers

Just to add another point, the Mishna Berurah is the most comprehensive work in terms of analyzing all the different opinions both in the Rishonim and in the commentaries of the Shulchan Aruch and other Halachic works, and he addresses almost every issue and difficulty that arises when one learns a siman in Shulchan Aruch in depth. In this regard, his work is almost unparralleled. This is one reason why his book is learned by many. Of course in a case of a specific disagreement between the Mishna Berurah and the Aruch Hashulchan, a posek might prefer to rule like the Aruch Hashulchan, on the basis of reasoning related to each specific case.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think there may be a number of factors that led to the Mishnah Berurah becoming the accepted work in many circles.

In each topic, the aruch hashulchan presents the whole sugya, which makes it better for someone learning, but not as quick if you just want the final halacha. The mishnah berurah separates out the discussion part, so its quicker to see the halacha, which may have helped it become more accepted. However, this is not a good reason to follow the MB in a case of dispute.

Also, the Aruch haShulchan is more willing to pasken in a case of dispute, while the mishnah berurah often tries to be choshesh for both sides. This may have helped the MB become more accepted in yeshivish circles. However, some may favor an approach that analyzes the sources and reaches a conclusion. The article I linked to quotes R' Henkin for some reasons that the Aruch haShulchan should be considered more authoritative.

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+1. MB collects rather than paskens (though he does). Aruch HaShulchan goes through the sugya and gives a psak - which isn't always an accepted psak (Cholek on SA, RMA etc.) –  JNF May 23 '13 at 7:45
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The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that he was worthy that his sefer was accepted by all Jews since he was "a man who wanted life" (Ish Ha-chofetz Chaim).

The Lubavitcher Rebbe there suggested that people learn Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, the Rama, the Nosei Keilim, Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (the Shulchan Aruch Harav) and the Mishna Brura.

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+1. But I think you should clarify the last clause; I at first read it as saying that the Chafetz Chaim made this suggestion. (Actually, in the sicha there I don't see the Rebbe giving any suggestion one way or the other.) –  Alex Feb 29 '12 at 19:40
    
@Alex fixed.... –  Shmuel Brin Feb 29 '12 at 19:45
    
I don't understand this answer. Did the Aruch haShulchan or other rabbis not desire life? (Obviously not.) What was different about the desires of the author of Mishna Berura? –  Double AA Mar 3 '13 at 18:05
    
@DoubleAA: Without actually looking at it inside, I think the idea is the end of the verse. "Mi Ha-Ish...Netzor Leshoncha MeRa...". The Chofetz Chaim's exemplary focus on Shmirat HaLashon is what makes him stand out from the rest. –  Menachem May 8 '13 at 16:03
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