At the dawn of the 16th century, both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews relied on oral traditions of Jewish law – Halakha. Both groups passed down their own unique customs. However, after the Spanish Inquisition’s mass expulsion, Sephardic Jews found themselves living alongside the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. This led to confusion over which traditions and laws to follow. Though they would never meet, Rabbi Yosef Karo and Rabbi Moses Isserles (AKA the “Rema”) worked together to create a book that would continue to shape Jewish practice for the next 500 years and counting.

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Religious law isn’t the only tradition that Jews wanted to preserve, check out our video about Jewish food from around the world here:

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Co-Executive Producers:
– Melinda Goldrich
– Shmuel Katz

Gold Level:
– Goldrich Family Foundation
– Melanie & Martin Glatt

About The Jewish Story: Understand three thousand years of Jewish history in these short videos based on the book Letters to Auntie Fori: The 5,000-Year History of the Jewish People and Their Faith by the renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert. Learn the Jewish story from the ancient Israelites of the Bible to Hellenization, the Jews of the Middle Ages to modern day, and more.

About Unpacked: We provide nuanced insights by unpacking all things Jewish. People are complex and complicated — yet we’re constantly being pushed to oversimplify our world. At Unpacked we know that being complex makes us more interesting. Because of this, we break the world down with nuance and insight to drive your curiosity and challenge your thinking.

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