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The Home Page of
The Jewish Community of Malta

Halacha is Jewish law first committed to paper by the famous and great Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon from Spain. "RAMBAM" as he is known was born in Cordova, Spain. Just after his Bar-Mitzvah (13th Birthday), a fanatical Moslem sect, the Almohads, took over Cordova.  The Maimon family was eventually forced to flee Cordova.  They wandered through Spain for some time, but eventually moved to Fez, Morocco in 1160, when the Rambam was 25.  Though Fez, at the time, was also ruled by the Almohad, it was somewhat more tolerant; however, five years later, Rambam's teacher, Rabbi Judah ha-Kohen, was put to death for being a Jew.  The family went to  Israel for a brief time, and then moved to Fostat, Egypt, where the Rambam lived for the rest of his life. 


He wrote a set of books starting with "Sefer Hamitzvot " a book of our 613 mitzvot and how it was passed on from Moshe to Yehoshua in over 5700 years. We have not veered from those exact words since. RAMBAM's other sefarim are the first set of practical laws written down under subject headings. 

Many years later, Rabbi Yosef Caro another Spanish Jew wrote down in an even more practical format all the halachot in 6 volumes by which every Jew should conduct himself on a daily basis. These volumes also include all Halacha as it applies to the community, for Holidays, and Fast days.

Generally speaking Maltese Jews follow Rav Yosf Cairo's "Orach Hachaim" and use the annotations from any one of the Sephardic Poskim.
 
List as follows Name Sefer
HaRav Hamekubal Rav Ya'acov Chaim Sopher zt"l "Caf HaChaim" Notes on All of Shulchan Aruch and Yoreh Deah
HaRav Hamekubal Rav Raphael Baruch Toledano zt"l "Kitzur Shulchan Aruch" Practical Synopsis of "Shulchan Aruch", "Yoreh Deah","Even Haezer","Choshen Mishpat"

    The basic categories of halachot and our traditions are as follows;
     

  1. Laws of Waking up in the Morning
  2. Laws of Tzizit: The number of knotes differ from ashkenazik.
  3. Tefillin: The wrappings around the finger differ here.
  4. Morning Prayers: Additonal references to "Ana Bakoach" added.
  5. Kriyat Shema
  6. All Morning Tefillot
  7. Blessings of the Kohanim

  8. Birchat Cohanim is done every week (and in some communities every day). This is not like the Ashkenazi communities who have it done only on high holidays.
  9. Laws of Reading from the Torah Scrolls

  10. Many sephardic scroll cases are hard shelled circular (in gold or silver) encasings that allow for the Torah to stand on the Bimah.
  11. Conduct in a Bet Knesset
  12. Washing hands

  13. As in the language of Rav Yosef Caro we hold that "Mayim Achronim Chova" To negate ourselves of the Satan, we satisfy the Satan with a wash of our hands up until the first phalanges of our fingers after the meal, and dispose of the water away from the table.
  14. Eating Bread
  15. Laws at a Meal

  16. The custom of "tossing" the bread to members of the houshold and guests alike.
  17. Berachot & Washing hands after the Meal
  18. Berachot over fruits
  19. Berachot over Aroma's and Miracles
  20. Berachot of Thanks and Others Blessings
  21. Afternoon Tefillah
  22. Evening Teffilot and Kriyat Shema
  23. Modesty
  24. SHABBAT
  25. Laws of Eruvin and it's contituents
  26. Laws of the New Moon
  27. Laws Pesach

  28. Sephardic Jews around the world eat "Kitniyot" which are many types of beans that are in and of themselves not "Chametz".
    On Motzai Pesach, Moroccan Jews eat "Terit", a home made Crepe food.
  29. Laws of Yom Tov
  30. Laws of Chol Hamoed
  31. Laws of the 9th of Av and other Fast days
  32. Rosh Hashanna (New Year)
  33. Yom Kippur
  34. Succot & Lulav
  35. Channukah
  36. Meggilah ( Scrolls of Esther )
More In Depth Information to Come!