Rabbi Moshe Isserles

Head rabbi of the Jewish community in Cracow, Poland. He was a major authority on halachah and wrote the 'Mappah' on the 'Shulchan Aruch'.

Born: February 22 , 1530
Died: Cracow, Poland, 1572

Rabbi Moshe Isserles, popularly known as Rema (the initials of his name), was a scion of a prominent and wealthy family. His father and grandfather were leaders of the Jewish community. The famous Rema Shul, a synagogue in Cracow, built by his father, survived the Holocaust.

As a young boy he was known as an illui (prodigy). He studied in Lublin at the famous Shalom Shachna Yeshiva where he met his first wife, Schachna's daughter.  Isserles remarried the sister of Yoseph ben Morechai Gershon Ha-Cohen.

As the rabbi of Cracow, he was very active in  disseminating Torah knowledge, and he founded a prestigious yeshivah. Rema is one of the first Torah personalities to establish the spiritual predominance of Polish Jewry. It has been said that Rema is the Maimonides of Polish Jewry. He lived in the age of the codification of the Talmud, and he corresponded with Rabbi Yosef Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch, the most influential work in the field. Rema was an admirer and at the same time a critic of the Shulchan Aruch, disapproving of the fact that its rulings are based primarily on decisions of Sephardi authorities, excluding Ashkenazi customs and traditions.

He composed glosses on those paragraphs of the Shulchan Aruch in which he differs from the author, stating the Halacha as it has been decided by the Ashkenazi authorities, which is binding on Ashkenazi Jews. It should be noted that these halachic differences concern only peripheral matters of custom and tradition.

Rema named his glosses Mappah ("Tablecloth"), as a "cover" for the Shulchan Aruch ("the Set Table"). These glosses have been incorporated into the text and are distinguishable in that they are printed in Rashi script.
This consolidation of the two works symbolizes the underlying unity of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities. It is thru this unification that the Shulchan Aruch became the universally accepted Code of Law for the entire Jewish people.

Not only was the Rema well versed in Talmud, he also studied Kabbalah and Jewish mystical writings, as well as history, astronomy and Greek philosophy.
He is considered one of the forerunners of the Jewish enlightenment. He wrote 33 books and was buried next to his synagogue. Thousands of pilgrims visited his grave annually on Lag Ba-Omer (his death anniversary), until the Second World War.

May the Merit of the Tzaddik Rabbi Moshe Isserles protect us all, Amen.

Light a virtual Candle
  • Soul Elevations

    • Peggy Gannon bat Sarah
    • Wynne Wai Yee bat Jimmy K.K
    • Austin Elizabeth Williams bat Unknown
    • Christine Siu Man bat Jimmy K.K
    • Patricia Ruth Marcus bat Abraham
    • Lazar ben Manya and Moisey
    • Vera Wai Lan bat Jimmy K.K
    • John ben Abraham
    • Nilda Bercasio bat Sarah
    • Marcello ben Giuseppe
    • Froim Ben Eva ben Efim
    • Marianna bat Liu Jian
    • JOEL LUNA ZAMBRANO ben Olga Zambrano
  • Healing

    • Jody ben Midge
    • Giuseppe ben Giusi
    • שחר רפאל בן חווה
    • Brian Eric ben Patricia Ruth
    • Florrie bat Karen (Kae)
    • Janna bat Feyga Mera
    • Pamela bat Beverly
    • Egan Arley ben Flor Marina
    • הרב שלמה יהודה בן דליה
    • Yonah ben Leah
    • יחיאל בן אלקה
    • For all who need healing ben Sarah
    • Noah ben Sarah
    • Sarah bat Myriam
    • Janna bat Feyga Merz
    • ROSA MAGDA GOMEZ HERNANDEZ bat Rosa Hernández
    • ANNA bat MOISHE
    • Yuriko bat Pilar
  • Success in life

    • George Gershon ben Natalia Nehama Feyga
    • Rivka bat Joseph
    • Jimmy ben Cheung Shu Ti
    • Uri Jehuda ben David
    • Daniel Schroeder ben Moises Edmundo
    • Magda bat Dionicio
    • ELSA CABRERA DE LA GARZA bat Danniela de la Garza Barrera
    • SANTIAGO CABRERA GOMEZ ben Guadalupe Argimiro Cabrera García
    • Lorenzo Mario Ruscello ben Lorenzo and Oliver Dalichau ben Avraham (Zivug) ben Lorenzo Mario Ruscello ben Lorenzo und Oliver Dalichau ben Avraham (Zivug)
    • Easter (Pesaj) Bohanon bat Elton
    • Rivka bat Joseph
    • ANANDA MICHELLE CABRERA DE LA GARZA bat Danniela de la Garza Barrera
    • Florrie bat Stephen
    • Kaine bat Inko
    • Gus ben Salvador
    • Rose Belema bat Inko
    • Robert ben Yosef
    • DANNIELA DE LA GARZA BARRERA bat Blanca Sonia Barrera
    • LUIS FELIPE CABRERA GOMEZ ben Guadalupe Argimiro Cabrera García
    • Graciela bat Ismael
    • Isabella Devora Abigail bat Abigail
    • Laura Elizabet Elizondo García ben Mónica García
    • Laura Elizabet Elizondo García hija de Mónica García ben Mónica García
    • Gabriela bat Jorge
Light a virtual Candle

Hillulot | Biographies | Prayers | Virtual Candle