Halacha B'rura Institute
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Within Israel: (02) 6521259
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June 12 2003
The Concept and its Importance
The concept of our Gemara is very simple. The Gemara
text itself is the standard (Vilna edition) Gemara (newly typesetted with various textual corrections, based on first editions, before the censors), with
two major additions:
a. Halacha Brura: on the bottom of each page we have the Halacha
Brura, which was written by Rav Kook himself. The Rav copied the Rambam's
and the Shulchan Aruch's Halachic decisions for each topic discussed on that
page of the Gemara. Sometimes he skipped certain phrases and left only the
relevant parts of the original text, and sometimes he quoted
the continuation of a text, in order to give a clearer picture of the Halachic
decision. From time to time, the Rav also added a few notes of his own, where
he saw fit to do so. Thus this provides a concise halachic perspective on the topic
discussed in the Gemara.
b. <>Berur Halacha: The second part, printed at the back of each Gemara,
is the Berur Halacha, which consists of a summary of all the different Shitot
(views), of the Rishonim and Achronim, that have impact on the
Halachic conclusion of each Sugya, whether they affect the main
discussion, or touch only a
side point. Each Shita is discussed thoroughly, explaining
its reasoning and how it fits in with
the Sugya, whether that Shita has a variant reading (Girsa) in
the Sugya or is based on a different source contradicting the Sugya
being discussed. All this is presented in an orderly manner, starting with the
main title of each topic, along with subtitles for each subtopic. Another
important aspect dealt with is the final Halachic conclusion as determined by
the Rambam, compared with the Shulchan Aruch's conclusion. Furthermore, based
on the many commentaries on the Rambam, we check whether his Shita is a
new view, or corresponds to that of other Rishonim.
The Berur Halacha project covers all aspects
of Torah learning. It includes the various aspects and commentaries on each Sugya,
and at the same time gives a summary of the Halachic conclusion according to
each Shita. In this way it has practical use, by studying Jewish law
directly from its Talmudic sources, without missing the dimension of intensive
learning that deals with the structure and reasoning of the different opinions
and commentaries in each Sugya, thus delving into the theoretical
speculative side of studying Gemara.
Since we are dealing with tremendous amounts of complicated material, more lengthy and
complex than the Gemara itself, it is essential that each Sugya
be summarized concisely, remaining accurate and clear. This we achieve using
the experience we acquired working on the 21 volumes already put out (with four
more on the way, one which is now under final editing).
The objective is to unify the learning (leemood) with the Halacha,
two disciplines which are interrelated. As the Meiri states in his
preface to "Bet Hab'chira": "He who will not be concerned with the Psak (halachic decision), will
often not succeed with the correct Perush (explanation)."
Thus a very
systematic, efficient and accurate way of learning Gemara in light of the
Halacha is provided, without compromising the length and depth required for
This unique structure gives five basic contributions to the "Foundation of
the Torah for Generations":
learning by giving a short and clear summary of each Sugya, emphasizing
how the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch derived their Halachic conclusions, as
compared to other commentaries and poskim.
learning by concentrating on the main topics discussed by the Commentaries, in the light of the
all Halachic views among the poskim, including views that are not so
well known, being that they were not dealt with by the Bet Yosef or
other Achronim, and Halachic questions sometimes not mentioned even by
the Ein Mishpat!
clarify difficult Halachic opinions, which differ from standard opinions of Rishonim,
by comparing them to other Rishonim and to less known Achronim who may
have dealt with that Shita.
an important compendium of sources for researchers and Poskim.
Click here for
an example explaining our work, and a sample of the actual