The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is a classic work of Jewish law written by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried (1804-1886), a Hungarian scholar. It serves as an abridgment of the standard code of Jewish law known as the Shulchan Aruch. The style of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is simple and straightforward and very easy to use. As soon as it was published, it became one of the bestselling halachic works of all times. To this day, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is used by scholars and laymen alike to obtain a quick overview and review of the breadth of Jewish law.
The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch has been published countless times in many different formats. Some editions contain cross-reference notes to the Mishna Brurah; others cross-reference the Shulchan Aruch HaRav. For the benefit of Sephardic readers, there is a version which includes the annotations of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel. In it, he notes where Sephardic tradition differs from its rulings. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch has been translated into English many times. It has also been translated into Yiddish, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
One of the most influential Jewish leaders in the world today is Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak. What is not so commonly known is that Rabbi Yitzchak was raised in a secular environment. When he was 24 years old and totally non-observant, young Amnon had completed army service. He noticed a dusty volume of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that was given to him for his Bar Mitzva and started to read it. It was the opening words of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that shook him up and transformed him. He embarked on a mission that would revolutionize Jews throughout Israel and across the globe.
(Read Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak’s account of how the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch influenced him and the world.)
Readers of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch who have utilized this great work to master basic halacha will certainly appreciate why it has become one of the most important works in the Jewish world.