At the end of this video, Rabbi David Bar-Hayim makes the claim that not every Sif in Shulchan Aruch (as it is before us) was written by the Beit Yosef himself (Rabbi Yosef Karo). He says that parts were written by him and other parts were written by one other person if not more than one.

I'm not referring to the fact that in many places the Beit Yosef simply copies the exact words of a particular Rishon. In The video Rabbi Bar-Hayim makes the point that from this we see how "flimsy" a great halachic edifice like that of even the Shulchan Aruch could be (because they weren't written as he is claiming by one individual person as great as the Beit Yosef (I'm assuming that's his intention -- meaning those that contributed were perhaps not on the same "level" as the Beit Yosef.)

Is there a reliable source for this or place where it is discussed?

  • 1
    I know that the BY wrote a "2nd edition" that we can see inside the Bet Yossef, called "Bedek Habayt". I am very surprising by your "hidush" this is the first time I see this. An other remark. The Shulchan aruch is postereior to the Bet Yosef. So He wrote Bet yosef. And he wrote Kesef Mishne after BY. He wrote also Sefer Klale HaGemara around Halichot olam and Shut. May be possible to verify the date of the last Shut...
    – kouty
    Jun 8, 2016 at 4:09
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    Sounds to me like a classic cop-out move: "I would follow this rule if it was written by the Mechaber, but it clearly wasn't so I'll decide to disregard it". Jun 8, 2016 at 21:36
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    I posed the question to Dr. Marc Shapiro and he responded back: "...his claim is completely without foundation and no one has ever made this claim. Some have said that the chapter headings were written by someone else but this too is not correct."
    – Yehoshua
    Jun 9, 2016 at 0:15
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    @Yehoshua Sounds like an answer to me. Consider contributing as well to judaism.stackexchange.com/q/59248/759
    – Double AA
    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:22
  • @DoubleAA I have since gathered more information that there is no basis to the claim. I will put it all together and post soon. I'll add to the other question also.
    – Yehoshua
    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


The Yad Malachi (18th century) (klalei haposqim: klalei hashulhan arukh ve'rama) quotes a responsum of R. Samuel Aboab (17th century) (responsum #251) as stating that he heard that R. Karo delegated the authorship of the Shulhan Arukh, a summary of his Beit Yosef, to his students. The lack of a single author resulted in occasional internal contradictions:

ומצאתי להרב החסיד כמוהר"ר שמואל אבוהב זצוק"ל בתשובותיו סי' רנ"א שכתב וז"ל שמעתי אומרים שהרב מהר"י קארו מסר לתלמידיו כתיבת קיצור ספרו הגדול ב"י הלא הוא ספר הש"ע ויען כי לא אחד היה הרב המסדר שניהם נמצאו מזה קצת השינויים בדעות ובנסחאות וקשה לזווגם ולתקנם יחד בלתי דוחק הרבה המביא להוציא הדברים מידי פשוטן

Note: this answer does not address the accuracy of the claim but rather presents the sources requested by the OP.

  • 3
    +1 and as you allude to, this is probably incorrect. They discrepancies in language are more commonly attributed to rabbi Karo's habit of quoting earlier sources verbatim, nuances and implications being ignored.
    – user6591
    Jul 15, 2016 at 0:03

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