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I am looking to purchase a new Shulchan Aruch to be used as a reference set. I am having trouble finding reviews online (about which I am not so surprised).

Can anyone recommend a set of Shulchan Aruch, based on personal experience, which satisfies the following guidelines:

  • Clear print: type-set laser-printed pages, not photocopies.
  • Sources: A reasonable amount of in-line sourcing of externally cited material
  • Strong binding: Binding is reinforced and does not fall off through normal use
  • Edited: Is not full of typos, and perhaps even has sourced corrections based on external sources.

Note: I cannot afford a Ferrari, nor can I afford a Friedman Shulchan Aruch.

Thank you!

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zbermanbooks.com/seforim/category-786/category-911 ,many types –  sam Jun 30 at 21:06
    
I own the Tur Shulchan Aruch Habahir which is great ,they sell just the Shulchan Aruch as well,I also have a Tzuras Hadaf which is also good –  sam Jun 30 at 21:39
    
you can see the Machon Shulchan Melachim set here: beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=oc_x339 –  Menachem Jul 1 at 0:24

2 Answers 2

I recently got the Tur-Shulchan Aruch set "Tzuras HaDaf" published by Shulchan Melachim.

I would personally recommend getting the Tur Shulchan Aruch together, which I have found tremendously useful, both for reference and for in-depth study purposes. Additionally, its not that much more expensive than getting just the Shulchan Aruch and certainly much cheaper than getting both a set of Tur and Shulchan Aruch separately. But, if you're not interested in the Tur for whatever reason or you already have a set of the Tur, you can consider this a review of the regular "Tzuras HaDaf" Shulchan Aruch.

  • Let's start by saying that I really don't care at all about the fact that this set keeps Tzuras HaDaf with the old classic Shulchan Aruch sets. That played no part in my decision to purchase it. But if you're one of those guys that likes the preservation of Tzuras HaDaf for whatever reason, then this set has a plus right away.
  • The print is really clear. It's generally set up pretty standard, Shulchan Aruch in the center in block font with the main commentaries (e.g. Taz and Shach in Yoreh Deah) surrounding it Vilna-Shas-style in Rashi font. Then a whole host of commentaries below and in the outer margin. (For example, Pischei Teshuva, Biur HaGra, R' Akiva Eiger, Toras HaShlamim, Beur Heitev, will all be on the bottom along with some other assorted commentaries, usually in block font.) Because of their desire to keep the Tzuras Hadaf, the commentaries on the bottom are in quite small font-size, so if you have trouble reading very small print, that might be a problem.
  • Relatively speaking, there are a lot of supplementary commentaries in the back, after the main text of the Shulchan Aruch section. When I looked in the volume I was going to be studying, which was the Hilchos Niddah and Mikvaos volume, it had the most supplemental material when compared with that volume of any other set. It had the regulars, like Chavos Daas and Sidrei Tahara and Machatzis HaShekel, but also some things you wouldn't necessarily expect to find back there, like the Raavad's Baal Hanefesh, the Ramban's Hilchos Niddah, and the Rashba's Toras HaBayis, which have proved useful. Everything is in clear nicely-formatted print.
  • Most everything is in-text or side-note cited (e.g. quotations/citations from the Talmud or from other commentaries) and it is quite difficult to find typos (unlike in the old Shulchan Aruchs which were full of them), but they still do exist. There are occasional notes about previous printer errors when relevant (for example, a note that the Taz and Shach had a different girsa in S"A or Rama or had the S"A and Rama reversed).
  • The binding seems pretty sturdy, although I have only had the set for about a year. The one volume that I use regularly is fine without any signs of the binding weakening.
  • It is a sixteen volume set. When I was shopping for a set, I was comparing to the only other available Tur Shulchan Aruch set, which was HaBahir, which was 20+ volumes. This means that this set takes up less space, although the volumes are, in general, thicker. The entire set fits on one shelf of my standard Ikea bookshelf (about 31" wide, I think). It also means that this set was significantly cheaper.
  • One downside that is occasionally annoying is that many words and phrases are abbreviated. For example, numbers are always in their letter equivalent (e.g. "כ" instead of "עשרים") and roshei teivos have not been expanded as they are in the Mechon Yerushalayim set.

To be honest, if money wasn't an issue, the way to go would be Machon Yerushalayim, which I believe recently completed (or at least is soon-to-complete) the full Shulchan Aruch set. But if you're looking for something nice that is more reasonably priced, the Shulchan Melachim Tzuras HaDaf fits the bill.

Looking around a bit, I see an Israeli site listing for 1489 ILS (~$435). In America, I would imagine it goes for closer to $600.

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Yashar koach, this is very helpful. I wish I knew the shape of the page well enough to desire it to remain the same. –  YEZ Jul 1 at 2:26
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you can see it online here: beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=oc_x339 –  Menachem Jul 1 at 6:18
    
It is a pity you cant afford the Friedman rosh pinah one. There really is no alternative. I dont know how we managed till now without it. They are really overpriced but again a lot of work has gone into them. Since they can be bought singly I would advise buying another whole set plus the Friedman one on the gemoro youre learning at the moment. –  preferred Jul 1 at 13:57

The most beautiful print is the shulchan aruch habahir. Itdoes not have tzuras hadaf, and there are no added maareh mikomos. Whether or not it has typos, old or new, i vouldnt say, I've never checked or use it much being that i do like having the old tzuras hadaf.

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