The Code of Jewish Conduct by Rabbi Yitzchok Silver

(Thursday, August 5th, 2010)

You want to buy a can of soda, but all the customers in the supermarket checkout line have full carts. May you cut the line? What inside information may you reveal about your roommate for shidduch purposes when asked? What information are you required to share, even when not asked?

What is worse – to show hatred, or to keep it under wraps?

Most of us are aware – in theory – of the paramount importance of maintaining a high standard in relationships with our fellow Jews. Rarely an Elul goes by that we are not reminded by our mentors that Yom Kippur does not atone for sins bein adom l’chaveiro until we obtain the forgiveness of the one we offended and resolve to improve our dealings with him. And how often do we encounter the words of the Chofetz Chaim, that sin’as chinom and loshon hora are the primary obstacles blocking the final geulah?

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Yet, in practice, there are dozens of mitzvos in the Torah instructing us of how to conduct ourselves with others, each replete with specific halachos, of which the average ben Torah and bas Yisroel are barely aware. How can we apply these lofty concepts without knowing what to do when the inevitable challenge arises?

In recent years, a number of talmidei chachomim have risen to the challenge and written scholarly works in loshon ha’kodesh elaborating on these mitzvos, notably, Rabbi Yitzchok Silver’s book, Mishpetei Hashalom, with its extensive notation and lavish haskomos from a broad range of gedolim, and the popular condensation, Kitzur Mishepetei Hashalom.

Now, this landmark work has become available in an English version, “The Code of Jewish Conduct”, translated and adapted for the broad English-speaking public. The book presents deep concepts in an easy, readable format, focusing on practical halacha, not just theoretical mussar. The pages of the book effortlessly expose the reader to the gamut of interpersonal mitzvos, in a manner that appeals to a wide spectrum – from the accomplished scholar seeking a broad review of these halachos to the busy housewife who seeks inspiration for practical growth in Torah observance.

The clear, concise halachos are interspersed with lively, poignantly real anecdotes that seem to be lifted straight out of our own lives, which serve to vividly illustrate the practical application of the laws under discussion. The book has been divided into daily portions, enabling the reader to complete the text over the course of time by devoting just a few minutes each day and thus, to gradually integrate its lessons into his daily life.

In the brief time since “The Code of Jewish Conduct” has come off the presses, it has already sparked a huge awakening in the U.S. to the importance of learning these unfamiliar halachos. On Rosh Chodesh Elul the next cycle of learning will be starting, and many are expected to take the opportunity to “jump on the bandwagon” and restore the vital halachos bein adom l’chaveiro to their consciousness. For those who wish to obtain large quantities of the book for schools and learning groups, a reduced group rate is available.

Click HERE to purchase this book – Israel Book Shop!

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