Searching for "list of jewish laws" leads to the 613 Mitzvot, which are not what I am looking for. I am looking for specific behaviors (physical actions, or mental actions), which a Male Orthodox Jew would have to follow (or should follow in the best case). Is there any such list anywhere online? If not, how about a set of books of some kind?

In this "list" I am considering things like keeping kosher (how you specifically prepare meat, etc.), how to wash your hands specifically, or things like rules on Shabbat (like dealing with electricity), or things of these natures. Basically, what the rules of action are, in concise format.

  • 2
    I think there are several books written for prospective converts that would probably cover this. (There was one in Arabic used by the community in Cairo in the early 1900s!) But it's going to be hard to cover everything "concisely." And technology keeps changing. A hundred years ago I'd have told you to find a translated Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, but that won't tell you about electricity.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 21:51
  • @Shalom and also, some behaviors and actions are variable based on tradition -- no one text can cover all the possibilities for each community's way of doing things.
    – rosends
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 21:52
  • The sefer hachinuch+minchas chinuch might be something you'd be interested in.
    – Kovy Jacob
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 22:30
  • You seem to be looking for a practical halacha (law) book, focused on practical day to day actions. I found this one to be excellent and super pragmatic.
    – mbloch
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 17:35
  • see also 2 related questions here and here
    – mbloch
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


The classic work on this topic used by Ashkenazim is the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. It is usually the first halachic work boys are taught to learn in school. It was written in pre-electricity days, so you would need more up-to-date guide for modern appliances. But those change so fast there isn't really an all-inclusive book for those issues. And it is an excellent primer on the general principles and commandments.

Sefardim generally study either Ben Ish Hai (also pre-modern appliances) or Kitzur Yalkut Yosef (not available online in English).

These books are meant to give people a general idea of a topic, not to be comprehensive. A much more thorough but also longer set of works by topic can be found here.

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    Yeah, when I became frum I read through the Kitzur and it has stood me in good stead ever since. I've tried to get my kids to do the same. Lots more to learn, but if you've read it you know what's out there.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 13:57

N.T.'s answer is sufficient, I will just add this. You are asking a good question. The whole background is basically this: God gave us 613 general commandments, and then an Oral Torah to explain them, as well as a general charge to the Rabbis to work out more details, add guards and fences around them, and innovate time sensitive decrees according to the rules and methods laid out etc. There are also customs.

All of the above is what you mean when you say you are looking for something more than just the 613 commandments, and quite right. Until Maimonedes, there was never a comprehensive book that just collects and categorises it all neatly and without extraneous discussion. Since then, we have several, arguably the most important is the Shulchan Aruch.

The Shulchan Aruch is very long, and itself has dozens of commentaries. Even though it is very long, it doesn't cover everything! Not just laws that are no longer possible to practice (such as laws pertaining to when the Temple is standing) are omitted either. Trying to condense everything in the Oral Tradition is an endless endeavour and the author did have to draw some lines. Gaps are filled by later works and commentaries (a big one is Mishna Berura), and there have been further attempts to condense things even more concisely and practically, as N.T. has mentioned.

A comprehensive and complete work on this is the Mishneh Torah by Maimonedes. It is available online on Sefaria in English and claims to cover the entire Oral Tradition. It seems more in line for what you are looking for, if I am understanding the question correctly. Contained in these laws are what gentiles are and are not allowed to learn, so anyone reading this should bare that in mind.

  • I think Aruch Hashulchan is pretty clearly more comprehensive than Maimonides
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 14:14
  • @DoubleAA I defer to your expertise
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 14:23

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