Halakha (Hebrew: הֲלָכָה, Sephardic: [halaˈχa]; also transliterated as halacha or halachah) or halocho (Ashkenazic: [haˈloχo]) is the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the Written and Oral Torah. It includes the 613 mitzvot ("commandments"), subsequent talmudic and rabbinic law and the customs and traditions compiled in the Shulchan Aruch (literally "Set Table", but more commonly known as the "Code of Jewish Law").
Halakha guides not only religious practices and beliefs, but numerous aspects of day-to-day life. Halakha is often translated as "Jewish Law", although a more literal translation might be "the path" or "the way of walking".
The Shulchan Aruch ("Set Table") is a compendium of those areas of the halachah -- Jewish religious law -- that are applicable today. It was composed by Rabbi Yosef Karo of Safed (Israel) in the 1560's, and became generally accepted as authoritative after Rabbi Moshe Isserls of Cracow (Poland) supplemented it in the 1570's with notes (known as the Mappah - "Tablecloth") giving the rulings followed by Ashkenazic Jews.The Shulchan Aruch consists of four parts:
1. Orach Chayim ("Way of Life") - Daily, Sabbath, and holiday laws.
2. Yoreh De'ah ("It Teaches Knowledge") - Laws about food; relations with non-Jews; usury; menstruation and immersion; vows and oaths; honoring parents and scholars; Torah study; charity; circumcision; proselytes and slaves; Torah and doorpost scrolls; new crops; mixtures; firstborn; offerings from bread, crops, and flocks; the ban; illness, death, burial, and mourning.
3. Even Ha-Ezer ("Stone of Help") - Laws of procreation, marriage, and divorce.
4. Choshen Mishpat ("Breastplate of Judgment") - Laws about judges and witnesses; loans and claims; agents, partners and neighbors; acquisition, purchases and gifts; legacies and inheritance; lost and found property; depositing, renting, and borrowing; theft, robbery, damage and injury.