Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When was the end of the Rishonim time period and the start of the achronim time period? Who, what, why, and how did this come about? What caused this abrupt change in deemed mental and halachot significance/intelligence?

share|improve this question
Why do you assume anything changed abruptly? –  Double AA Nov 2 '13 at 23:03
Duplicate of (part of) judaism.stackexchange.com/q/31574? (Pinging @DoubleAA just because you're pingable.) –  msh210 Nov 3 '13 at 0:42

3 Answers 3

The shift happened from the Shulchan aruch.

Before the Shulchan Aruch, halacha was decided by each posek looking towards the Talmud and Geonim, or being influenced by other Rabeim, and coming to their own decision about an issue, based on what made sense to them and their community. (Using many many factors)

The Shulchan Aruch however, decided to take a 2 out of 3 approach (best of Rif, Rosh and Rambam) This was a new method of psak halacha.

I imagine there is also a shift due to the Arizal, but I have no source for that.

share|improve this answer
Re your last few words: do you have a source for the rest of your answer? –  msh210 Dec 5 '13 at 20:09
@msh210 did you not look at the link? –  avi Dec 9 '13 at 14:09
Correct, I didn't. Sorry. –  msh210 Dec 9 '13 at 19:03

rishonim were the leading rabbis before the shulchan aruch and achronim after shulchan aruch (5323-5324)

share|improve this answer
A source would be helpful. –  Shmuel Brin Nov 3 '13 at 5:33

The time of the shulchan aruch is about right; there is also a shift in rabbinical names about the same time.

many(but not all) rishonim went by acronyms...rashi, rashbam, rambam, ramban, or by their own names .... ibn ezra,sforno, abarbanel

acharonim often wrote their comments under a pen name....chafetz chaim, gur aryeh, etc.

share|improve this answer
Exactly: like the or zarua, kol bo, ittur, eshkol, maharsham, maharsha, r akiva eiger and the gra. –  Double AA Dec 4 '13 at 3:45
Also, the examples of acharonim are not pen names, these are the names of their books which they became known for. –  wfb Dec 4 '13 at 5:07
+1 for time of Shulchan Aruch (though no source), -1 for second half, so 0 –  Shmuel Brin Dec 5 '13 at 2:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.