Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher (1269- 12 Tammuz 1343) was one of the foundation builders of all of Jewish law as we have it today! He was the son of Rabbeinu Asher – known as the Rosh (“the Head” – an acronym for Rabbeinu ASher). The Rosh was one of the three pillars upon whom Rabbi Yosef Karo – the author of the Shulchan Aruch – would base his magnum opus. It is indeed the Shulchan Aruch which determines the majority of Jewish law today! Those wishing to become Rabbis must pass examinations showing competency in certain sections of his work. Ideally – a true Rav should be competent in the entire Shulchan Aruch! If that can be said of the Shulchan Aruch, then let us not treat lightly the words of the Chida – Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, who said that without a proper study of the Tur and its commentaries, one cannot begin to determine Halachah!
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