Chapter 27: 1-3
The Laws Pertaining to Torah Study
1. After prayer, a person should establish a fixed time for Torah study.
This, session should be firmly established and should not be skipped, even
if one thinks he will make a great profit by doing so.
When he must tend to a very pressing matter, a person should recite at
least one verse or one law, deal with the pressing matter, and then complete
his regular study session.
In some communities, societies have been established to sturdy Torah
communally immediately after prayer, a G-d fearing person should
participate in these sessions.
2. Every Jewish man is obligated to study Torah, whether he is poor or
rich, healthy or suffering from physical hardships, young or old. Even a
poor person who begs for his livelihood must establish a fixed time for
Torah study during the day and at night, as [Joshua 1:8] states: "You shall
think about it day and night."
A person who is totally incapable of studying or cannot because of many
affairs shoul provide for others who sutdy. This will be considered as if
he studied himself, as [Bereshis Rabboh 99] comments on [Deuteronomy 33:18]
"Rejoice Zevulun, when you go out, and Yissachar in your tents."
Our sages explain: Yissachar and Zevulun established a partnership. Zevulun
would be involved in trade and provide Yissachar with his livlihood, in
order for him to be free to study Torah. Therefore, the Torah mentions
Zevulun before Yissacher, teaching the Yissacher's Torah came about through
Similarly, the Mishna [Zevachim 1:2] quotes Shimon, the brother of Azaryah.
The Sages explain that he was referred to [as such because of a similar
agreement he made with] his brother, Azaryah. Azaryah was involved in
commerce and supported his brother Shimon, who studied Torah. They agreed
that Azaryah would have a share in the merit accrued by Shimon's Torah study.
Nevertheless, everyone should make an effort to study Torah, even if he can
manage only a small amount, every day and every night.
3. A person who cannot devote the majority of his time to Torah study, but
has established fixed times for Torah study, should use these sessions to
study the halachos which are common and necessary for every Jew to know.
Similarly, he should study the aggados and midrashim, and those ethical
texts (Musar) which are based on the midrashim of our Sages. They are
helpful in subduing the power of the evil impulse.
Happy is the person who has made a fixed and unbreakable commitment to the
daily study of the text Chok l'Yisroel (which contains portions of the
Torah, other Biblical books, Mishnah and Gemorah, broken up into daily
portions of study).
Whoever, increases his Torah study is given increased blessings from Heaven.