If you plan to read it (and I hope you do!), think about acquainting yourself with these terms first:
- Shulchan Aruch
And here's your reward: in addition to being able to follow Saiman's ingenious arguments and examples, you'll learn about topics like the following!
- The way that Jewish interpretation of text changed from Talmudic times through the early and late medieval periods and into the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
- How Ashkenazi Jews thought and wrote about halakhah differently from Sephardi Jews.
- Quick sketches of major thinkers like Maimonides, Nahmanides, and the sages known as the Rif, the Ran, the Tur, and the Brisker.
- The difference between Talmud, codes of law, and responses to particular questions (and the way that all those differences can get blurred sometimes by creative interpretation).