Aruch Hashulchan Yomi (Reprise)

Some time ago (link) I proposed a new system for the daily learning of Aruch Hashulchan which would be based on a set number of paragraphs, which are mostly uniform in size, to replace the existing system based on a set number of chapters. Now the AishDas Society has unveiled a new initiative along these lines which began over Shavuot, with around eight “Halachot” (paragraphs), around 1,100 words, per day. I began this learning myself over Shavuot, and I wholeheartedly endorse it for others. Click here for the calendar, or visit the AishDas website (link) for more information or a version of the calendar with a built-in review system. Pro tip: I’ve bookmarked the calendar on my Chrome browser so I see the icon regularly and can access the calendar easily.

As I have said before, there is nothing quite like Aruch Hashulchan for learning Halacha and so much more. Like the true pedagogue that he was, Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein guides the reader through each topic from its earliest sources until his day (early 20th Century), developing the topic holistically so that it is more understandable and better able to be retained. The chapters follow the order of the Shulchan Aruch (and hence the order of the Mishna Berurah), but by following his own leisurely pace though each chapter the author has virtually guaranteed the reader to come out with a well-rounded understanding. This is not a running commentary on Shulchan Aruch, but a free-standing companion with background, reasoning, and updates beyond the days of the Shulchan Aruch (c. 1500).

Unfortunately there is no translation yet of the Aruch Hashulchan; this would be a wonderful project for any of the publishing companies to undertake. The Hebrew is not too difficult though. If you join the new AHS Yomi Facebook Group, I’m sure one of us would be happy to fill in the gaps and help you along!

As we say every Shabbat morning, כל השונה הלכות בכל יום, מובטח לו שהוא בן עולם הבא – Anyone who learns Halachot every day is guaranteed [to be on a path to achieving] life in the World to Come. Having a system and the virtual company of others around the world is a great way to do it, and the Aruch Hashulchan is the perfect source text.

As I tell my students every day … Enjoy your Learning!

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