FROM THE BACK COVER:
This book is being published as part of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Rabbi Joseph Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch, who was born in Toledo, Spain in 1488. The history of his life is told in a series of episodes, starting with the Expulsion from Spain and his wanderings in Portugal, his arrival in the Ottoman Emprire and his life in several of the cities where he served as rabbi and began to develop the concept of a “posek”.
The story of his aliyah to Etetz Yisrael and arrival in Zefat, which developed into a spiritual center for the whole Jewish world is told; in Zefathe composed the Shulchan Aruch, which the entire Jewish world follows and lives by even to this day.
The story of his life includes many dramatic episodes, as, for example, his meeting with Shlomo Molcho, who was ultimately burnt at the stake, as well as the appearance of the maggid (story-teller) who gave “musar” sermons and told fortunes. The book describes the life of the Kaballists in Zefat, the city of Kaballists, during its golden age, when it was the city of Torah and Kaballah. This is a dramatic presentation of one of the greatest periods in the history of the Halacha, the history of Jewish people and the city of Zefat in the Galil.
Alongside Rabbi Joseph Caro, the rabbi of Zefat, all the other great personages of the age are described; among them, the Hoby “Ari”, Rabbi Yaacov Bi-rav, the Ramah, and all the other great figures of that generation who lived in Zefat or in the Diasora. As well, there are many pictures of historical interest.
The author, Yaacov Even-Chen, has specialized in writing historical stories of other great periods in Jewish history, as well as describing great Jewish personalities of the highest spiritual level; as, for example, his books on the Ramban, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, and the students of the Vilna Gaon who came on aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. In this book, he continues his use of the historical-story format to tell the story of Rabbi Joseph Caro, spiritual giant and greatest of the “poskim”.