Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Laws Relating to the Conduct Upon Rising in the Morning

Monday, May 8, 2017 · Posted in , ,

"I have set Hashem always before me" (Tehillim 16:8)

This is an important principle in the Torah as well as one of the superior virtues of the righteous who walk before G-d.

For, the manner of sitting, movements and affairs of a mankind, when alone in his house, are not the same as when in the presence of a great king. One's manner of talk and boasting when among his own family and friends is likewise not the same as when in the company of a king. In the latter case a man would certainly take precautions that his movements and manner of speech be properly prepared.

So much the more (would a man be cautious) when he would consider the Great King, HKB"H, whose glory fills the whole earth, always stands near him and observes his doings; as it is said: "Can a man hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Says Hashem. Do not I fill the heaven and the earth?" (Yirmeyahu / Jer. 23:24).

Upon considering this, awe and humility will at once overtake him because of the fear of G-d, B"H, and he will be abashed before him. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Laws Relating to the Conduct Upon Rising in the Morning)

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- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried was written in the later part of 19th century. It starts a new format and was composed in a very terse format for the layman, and picks the relevant sections of Jewish Law that a layman would focus on. This format has made it a very popular starting point for a student first delving into Halachic works. It has several prints that put in references to other Halachic works like the Mishna Brurah, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav and one with notes by former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu who references the later Sefardi decisions in these areas.

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch was meant to bring out the bottom line, which it so elegantly does.

On a deeper level, the very brevity of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch brings out a greater unification of the Jewish people. For while halachah in general is a common denominator that unites us all - the obligations of Shabbat, kashrut, and the like apply to all indiscriminately- how the law is learned can vary from person to person. The greater ones understanding and level of education, the deeper he can delve. In the realm of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, the halachah has been distilled to its essence, on this level every Jew can open the book and easily understand the halachah. Even more so since Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is probably the most translated book next to the Chumash and Siddur. Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried's sefer represent the advantage of klal over prat, of the general principal over what is derived from it. It is the yechida of the soul where we all stand the same with Hashem. (Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe -12 Sivan, 5744)

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