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The chapters in Shulchan Aruch generally follows those in Tur, with a couple of exceptions here and there. One of those exceptions is that SA adds a final chapter, 427, to Choshen Mishpat discuss the rules of maake (a required railing around a high walking surface). Indeed, Tur doesn't discuss maake at all, so far as I can tell. This, despite its general coverage of all laws practically applicable nowadays in chutz laaretz. Why not?


I see that dinonline.org discusses this question and mentions two answers but rejects them both as unsatisfactory:

  1. A Rabbi Mazuz (I don't know which one, R. Matzliach or R. Meir, or perhaps another) suggests that the Tur's author wanted specifically 426 chapters. (The Web page cites this from Or Chadash 5755, chapter 145, which may explain why the author may have wanted 426 chapters. I didn't check.) But the Web page rejects that as insufficient reason to omit an important set of rules.
  2. Another possibility is along the lines of the Tora T'mima's statement (which the Web page cites to D'varim 28, though I haven't checked it) that maake applies only in Israel because only there are roofs flat. The Web page rejects this also as incorrect: flat roofs exist elsewhere.

So I seek alternative explanations (or good defenses of the above explanations).

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  • More generally, judaism.stackexchange.com/q/98776/170
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 6:35
  • 1
    אור תורה, שלב, עמ' תתקסה: למה הטור השמיט דיני מעקה שהש"ע כתב על זה סימן שלם...נ"ב על צד הרמז נראה שהטור הקפיד להיות בח"מ תכ"ו סימנים דוקא, דכן המלים "ארח חיים, יורה דעה, אבן העזר, חשן המשפט" עולים 1704 כמנין הסימנים שיש בהם (תרצ"ז, ת"ג, קע"ח, תכ"ו. סך הכל 1704). ולמרן שהוסיף סימן תכ"ז בח"מ י"ל אורח חיים בוי"ו, חשן משפט בלא ה', והחשבון מכוון ועולה 1705, ודו"ק
    – wfb
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 3:25
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    @wfb can you provide a link for where you quoted that from? Is that Rav Mazuz? Commented May 9, 2022 at 18:26

1 Answer 1

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The Tur isn’t like the Rambam who made a comprehensive collection of all halachos. In his introduction he writes that the main goal of his work is to save people from making mistakes in dinei brachos, and as an addition to that he also included hilchos shabbos umoadim etc.

הטור בהקדמתו לאו"ח מבאר שעיקר מטרתו בחיבור היא להציל מטעויות בדיני ברכות, (וכמו שאמרו ע"ז בגמ' ילך אצל חכם וכו'), וכתוספת לזה כתב גם הל' שבת ומועדים וכו'.

For example he doesn’t bring hilchos leket, shichechah, upeah, hilchos ahavas yisroel, and hilchos loshon hara, the halachah of not leaving Eretz Yisroel, hilchos shviis, the halachah of kanoyim pogmim bo, hilchos sorer umoreh etc.. He writes he doesn’t want to cover hilchos matnos aniyim because most people are non Jews and they would take matnos aniyim anyway:

והאידנא אין נוהגין בהן, לפי שהרוב נכרים, אם יניחום יבואו נכרים ויטלום, לפיכך איני רוצה להאריך בהם.

In light of this, as opposed to what the Rabbonim from dinonline.com wrote, I think the answer of the Torah Temimah is satisfactory. Just like the Tur omitted hilchos matnos aniyim even though there could be places where the majority population is Jewish enough that there wouldn’t be a concern of goyim taking the leftovers, he still omitted those halachos because in his local it was not relevant. The same logic applies to hilchos maakeh. Where he lived it probably was not common to have a terrace, and therefore he chose not to address them.

I mentioned you’re question to a friend, a Talmid Chochom, and he dismissed the question along the lines of what I write. I don’t mean to discourage you in finding a more geshmake answer.

I saw it mentioned in a forum that the Satmar Rebbe makes an Inyian of certain halachos missing in Shulchan Aruch like those of leaving Eretz Yisroel

הויואל משה עושה עניין מכך שאין הלכה מפורשת בשו"ע שאסור לצאת מא"י לחו"ל [ורק נרמז ד"ז באו"ח סי' תקלא

I suppose the Tur doesn’t bring the Halachos of leaving Eretz Yisroel even though they are very much relevant for people living there, since he lived in Spain he also omitted them. This is even being that this Halachah applies to people traveling there from chutz laaretz, a common practice. This last point is probably why the Satmar Rebbe made a deal of this omission specifically.

אולי האמור כאן הוא היישוב לזה, שבטור לא נכתבה הלכה זו, כשם שלא כתב הל' שביעית, מפני שגר בחו"ל.

Again the idea of him not mentioning halachos not nogea to his particular location, even if the mitzvah is noheg bizman haze. Along the lines of what the Tur wrote regarding his omission of hilchos matnos aniyim I quoted above, since the mitzvah of maakeh is very rare he also omitted it.

In regards to the answer of Rav Mazuz (although he only wrote it al derech haremez), I find his explanation is a dochek because the Tur could have just brought hilchos maakeh within siman 116 where he discuses other halachos related to shmiras hanefesh, and would still have only 426 simanim.

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  • "This would strengthen the 2nd answer quoted in you’re question." No, it would not
    – wfb
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 3:15
  • I know I meant the idea of him not mentioning halachos not nogea to his particular location, even if the mitzvah is Noheg bizman haze, you could say bedochek he was writing for his specific country where they might have not had flat roofs. Commented May 9, 2022 at 3:34
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    I don't see מעקה in Tur YD 116. Maybe I'm just missing it?
    – msh210
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 3:43
  • No, you’re right, I meant it’s nichlal in the idea of shmiras ha nefesh. I don’t have a Shulchan Aruch in front of me one sec… and I don’t want to use Sefaria. Rabbi Lanky Rips Sefaria Over Treif Content Commented May 9, 2022 at 3:48
  • @YehoshuaLevy (1) So, why not explicitly add מעקה on to Tur YD 116 (and that way also keep the simanim count, mentioned in the question)? (2) "... and I don’t want to use Sefaria". So, why not use the HebrewBooks beta edition?
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 4:01

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