The Jewish Bookshop of the World: Aspects of Print and Manuscript Culture in Early Modern Amsterdam
  • ISSN: 1781-7838
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1792



This article is a study of the reception history of the most influential Jewish legal code of the post-medieval period, Joseph Karo’s . The article examines four books printed in Amsterdam between 1661-1708, each of which consist of an edition or adaptation of the . After a historical précis of each of these, the article shows, firstly, how each represents a different understanding of the character and pedagogical and legal purpose of the , and secondly, how each of these publications reflects editorial decisions shaped by different anticipated readerships. The article then reflects on the way these editions relate to the socio-cultural contexts of Amsterdam in this period. The history of these four publications, the article concludes, helps us understand the remarkable success of as both a manual to practical Jewish life and a key to the vast library of rabbinic literature.


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