Why learn either Rambam or Shas being that we don't pasken straight from a Gemara nor do we Ashkenazim from the Rambam? And being that the Rambam says in his introduction that his work (Yad Chazakah) is all the final rulings throughout Shas.

So then what's the point in learning Gemara, Rashi Tosfos when we could just learn just straight from the Rambam?

Alternatively, if there is a benefit in learning Gemara, Rashi, Tosfos all day, is there a point in learning straight Rambam?

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    See the Hakadama of the Yam Shel Shlomo
    – sam
    Mar 6, 2019 at 21:40
  • If possible, wanna send me a link? @sam
    – Moshe
    Mar 6, 2019 at 21:41
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    Who said we don't pasken straight from a Gemara or from the Rambam?
    – Alex
    Mar 6, 2019 at 22:38
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    @sam I just looked over the Yam Shel Shlomo's Hakdama In B"K, it's the same thing as Chullins. Great stuff. Thank you. Very informative.
    – Moshe
    Mar 6, 2019 at 23:19
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    @Moshe consider posting a full answer with the information you gained from Sam's comment. Will be super helpful for others.
    – mbloch
    Mar 7, 2019 at 4:19

1 Answer 1


[Why we learn gemara has been extensively covered on MiYodeya, e.g., here, here and there].

One of the goals of learning is to know the entire Torah (kol ha Torah kula) (see here on MY for sources whether or not it is an obligation or simply a worthy practice). Since the Torah is infinitely broad and deep, this is impossible, but learning Mishne Torah is one way to approach it.

As you know, the Rambam codifies all halachot, both those practiced today and those that will be practiced when the Beit Hamikdash is rebuilt. As such, it is broader than most traditional halachic codes (e.g., Shulchan Aruch, Kitzur SA). The language of the Mishne Torah is also exceptionally clear and structured; its organization makes it easier to remember what is where.

It is for these reasons the last Lubavitcher Rebbe instituted a daily learning schedule for Mishne Torah

It gathers all of Jewish law in a concise and clear fashion. Every individual is commanded to study the entire Torah, a goal not within reach for most people. However, it is possible to study the whole Torah as compiled by Maimonides.

To get to practical halacha, I note that recent editions of the Mishne Torah (e.g., Koren's from R Steinsaltz, or R Touger's available online in English) bring rulings from Shulchan Aruch and other aharonim where they differ from the Rambam.

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