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Rabbinical Eras

Acharonim (Hebrew: אחרונים‎; sing. אחרון, Acharon; lit. "last ones") is a term used in Jewish law and history, to signify the leading rabbis and poskim (Jewish legal decisors) living from roughly the 16th century to the present.

The Acharonim follow the Rishonim, the "first ones" - the rabbinic scholars between the 11th and the 16th century following the Geonim and preceding the Shulkhan Arukh. The publication of the Shulkhan Arukh thus marks the transition from the era of Rishonim to that of Acharonim.

Consequences for Halakhic change

According to Orthodox Jewish tradition, scholars in one era within the history of halachic development do not challenge the rulings of previous-era scholars, and hence Acharonim cannot dispute the rulings of rabbis of previous eras unless they find support from other rabbis of previous eras.[1]

The question of which prior rulings can and cannot be disputed has led to efforts to define which rulings are within the Acharonim era with precision. According to many rabbis the Shulkhan Arukh is from an Acharon. Some hold that Rabbi Yosef Karo's Beit Yosef has the halakhic status of a work of a Rishon, while his later Shulkhan Arukh has the status of a work of an Acharon.


  1. See Kesef Mishna (Maamrim 2:2), Kovetz Igros Chazon Ish (2:26)

Some Acharonim

menachem mendel scneerson, 20th century leader of jewery in america

See also

External links and references


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