April 19, 2024
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Daily Study Beyond the Daf

We all want to broaden our knowledge of Torah. For those with limited time each day, one proven strategy is to join a daily study schedule. Schedules help by giving us small bites of learning each day, which add up over time. Participants receive the satisfaction of being mesayem broad areas of Torah. Daily shiurim can also connect us to a community of fellow lomdim. While the most famous program is Daf Yomi, there are many additional options to consider.

Chofetz Chaim Two Halachot a Day: As recommended by the Manchester Rosh Yeshiva. This practice is guaranteed to help raise your awareness of shmirat halashon. Like many study schedules, you can get emails sent straight to your inbox. Also, there are various books that contain “a lesson a day.”

Chok L’Yisroel: A very powerful tool for both learning and inspiration. Each day includes shnayim mikra and a perek of Mishnayot. If you did all the Mishnayot in Chok, you would cover close to half of the Mishnah in one year! The Chida added sections of mussar and Halacha to the end of each day’s limud. The mussar is drawn from classical texts such as Shaarei Teshuvah and Sefer Chassidim. There are also several halachot from Rambam. Finally, there is a short passage from the Zohar translated into Hebrew. These sections contain practical lessons and are less mystical. There are published English editions of “Chok.” Also, new versions have been published with added features.

Mishna Yomit: Two Mishnayot per day, finishing Shas in about six years. Alternatively, you could pick any number of prakim to complete daily. As a point of reference, if you read 18 chapters per day you could finish Shas in one month. Conversely, learning one chapter takes 18 months to complete.

Chitas: An acronym for Chumash, Tanya and Tehillim. Chumash refers to the daily aliyah with Rashi. The addition of Rashi functions to optimize your shnayim mikra. While Tehillim is on the monthly cycle, the Tanya program completes every year. Absent from the acronym is the fourth component, the daily Rambam. The latter can be completed each year if three chapters are studied daily. Many choose to do one chapter, or a section of Sefer HaMitzvot instead. There are several publications that compile all four limudim into one weekly booklet. Also, it is available online in Hebrew and English.

Other options: Many books contain divisions for daily study. There is also Nach Yomi (one perek daily) and Mishnah Berurah Yomi. Furthermore, if you complete several pages per day of Orach Chaim or Yoreh Deah from the Shulchan Aruch, you can realistically finish in one year. A little each day adds up to a great sum over time. You may consider taking a day off for Shabbos or Sunday.

If you miss a day, the question of whether to make it up or skip looms large. Part of the answer depends on your attitude, as well as how much time you have. If you dislike the feeling of being stuck, sometimes it is better to keep moving forward. You should have an idea of what time during the day you will complete your learning. The numerous rewards of sticking to a learning routine are well worth the challenges involved.

By Yaakov Grossman


Yaakov Grossman, MS, works as a chaplain for Morristown Medical Center. He is also a fourth-year rabbinical student at Yeshiva University. Yaakov lives with his wife and son in Clifton, NJ.

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