Yaakov, there was something in your citation which was peculiar to me, and I checked. The work you cited is the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (=Abridged Shulchan Aruch), by Rabbi Ganzfried of the 19th century. It is based on the Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi Karo (16th cent.) and includes laws and customs of Hungarian Jews of the time. It is a straight forward book on what to do, which many people like to keep at home as a handbook, but this is not the Shulchan Aruch itself, which is much bigger and contains the normative and obligatory Halakha. Religious judges and legalists use the Shulchan Aruch. The fountainhead of Jewish Law is the Talmud. The Talmud contains various opinions on almost every issue, but ultimately Jews have to follow one law. They do not pick and choose an opinion. The obligatory law is the one listed in the Shulchan Aruch. Just to let you know a basic fact of religious life.
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