The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch makes some clear statements that do not reflect the range of opinions. For example, Ch 53 #2, "...in the case of...vegetables, which are eaten after they are cooked, when the soup is also eaten, this is the halacha: over the soup you say borei pri ha'adamah, even if you do not eat the solid food." (See attached photo.)

To what extent is the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch considered authoritative? How widely accepted is the KSA among ashkenazim?

*Kitzur Shulcahn Aruch* book, open to chapter 53

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    this is the opinion of the Rosh And this is the halacha in bet yosef & sa. the reason is taste which is reached through cooking
    – kouty
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 15:20
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    What authority doesn't have positions that don't reflect the full range of opinions?
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 15:21
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    One is called psak and one is called being a reference work. I thought you were asking about Poskim's psak being authoritative.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 15:34
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    How exactly is anyone supposed to answer how authoritative it is? Seems primarily opinion based. Furthermore, as others have noted, the question appears to conflate authoritativeness with comprehensiveness.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 16:00
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    I was taught that if one is somewhere and they dont have their seforim with them an dthere is no one to ask then one can certainly rely on what the KSA says
    – sam
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 16:16

3 Answers 3


My experience with the Kitzur is that many Chassidic groups consider it authoritive. The main exception to my knowledge is Chabad which relies on the Shulchan Aruch HaRav.

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    And until the Kitzur was translated into English, most of Lithuanian and north-Polish heritage followed the Chayei Adam more often than the Kitzur. In the 40s through 60s, my grandfather attended a shiur in the local Young Israel in Chayei Adam and Chokhmas Adam. (As well as Minchas Chinukh and Ein Yaakov; just to show how much the culture has changed in a historically short time.) Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 19:57

In general the K.S.A. doesn't necessarily reflect accepted halacha in the sense that, for instance, the Mishna Brurah does. I don't think it's generally used by poskim when formulating a psak. Many erroneously assume it's more authoritative because they understand the title to imply that it's just an abridged version of the Shulchan Aruch (when in fact the author, Rabbi Shlomo Gantzfried, often includes his own halachic opinions), and because it's a ubiquitous sefer due to its simplicity and great readability. See also Wikipedia.

(This is not meant to insinuate that Rabbi Gantzfried was any less of a scholar than the authors of other works; it's only an observation about the degree to which K.S.A. is used today for psak. I also did not mean to imply that he was somehow wrong to include his own halachic opinions.)

  • doesn't necessarily reflect accepted halacha in the sense that, for instance, the Mishna Brurah does. Do you mean ` I don't think it's generally used by poskim when formulating a psak` or something else? | FWIW R. Herschel Shachter strongly recommends the study of Kitzur over other Mishnah Berurah.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 4:48

R. Hershel Shachter told me that in general, learning Kitzur Shulhan Arukh is preferable to learning Mishnah Berurah, for multiple reasons. One of which, is that it is clearer. The other relates to the Mishnah Berurah's propensity towards humra.


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