This answer explains (very nicely) the justification and practice of those who consider themselves followers of the Rambam, as opposed to any other opinion. In the cited responsa of the Beis Yosef, he is specifically addressing those who become followers of the Rambam.

I am unaware of "Rashba-ists," "Halachos Gedolos-ists, "or "Tur-ists," even though they all have their own works of systematized Halachic codification. I am unaware of "Shachists" or "Aruch HaShulchanists."

This question asks why the phenomenon exists only with respect to the Rambam.

I am wondering if there is any reason why it is only allowed with the Rambam. Is this practice of following exclusively the Rambam limited to the Rambam, or could someone, if so inclined, become an "Aruch Hashulchanist" even though they are, for arguments sake, Chassidish, or Syrian, and have no Aruch HaShulchan-related mesorah?

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    The cited responsum speaks not of "those who become followers of the Rambam" (emphasis mine) but of those who continued to follow the Rambam, when everyone else was changing to following the Rosh. ("והרמב"ם ז"ל ... וכל קהלות ארץ ישראל והאראביסטאן והמערב נוהגים על פיו וקבלוהו עליהם לרבן מי שינהוג כמוהו בקולותיו ובחומרותיו למה יכפוהו לזוז ממנו ומה גם אם נהגו אבותיהם ... שאין לבניהם לנטות ימין ושמאל מהרמב"ם ז"ל ואפילו רבו באותה העיר קהלות שנוהגים כהרא״ש וזולתו אינם יכולים לכוף למעט הקהלות שנוהגים כהרמב"ם ז"ל לנהוג כמותם.")
    – Tamir Evan
    Feb 4, 2015 at 18:47
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    @TamirEvan the words ומה גם אם נהגו אבותיהם imply that this is an additional point, not the baseline necessity. Feb 4, 2015 at 20:21
  • (a) I don't know of any Poseq who explicitly allows one to change from Minhag Avotav (to the extent they allow it at all) to anything except to Minhag ha-Maqom. Do you? (b) To understand the responsum as you choose to, would mean that a Sephardic Jew can choose to become Ashkenazic (or vise-versa) regardless of the Mara de-Atra where he lives. Considering that at the time of the Beit Yosef, besides the Sefardim and the Musta'arabim (who followed the Rambam), there were Ashkenazim living in Tzefat, where's the argument advocating that switch?
    – Tamir Evan
    Feb 5, 2015 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


R. Yair Chaim Bachrach writes that R. Pinchas Halevi Horowitz would only learn the work of Rabbeinu Asher and would rule in accordance with Rabbeinu Asher as if it was given on Sinai, even when it was against the rulings of R. Moshe Isserles.

Shu"t Chavot Yair siman 124:

וקבלתי שהגאון הישיש מהר"ר פנחס הורוויץ שהיה אב"ד בפולדא וסוף ימיו אפילאנט דיין לערעורים בפראג מופלא ומופלג מאד בהוראות ופסקים שהיה כל לימודו בהרא"ש ופסק אחריו כאלו ניתן מסיני ולא חש כלל אם הוא נגד הכרעת הגאון רמ"א ואמר כי גם הוא כדאי להכריע

This would seem to be an example of a "Rosh-ist".

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    Note, this R. Pinchas Halevi Horowitz isn't the Baal Haflaah (who was born after the Chavit Yair passed away). Mar 7, 2018 at 19:27

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