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I heard once that Rav Chaim Kanievski learned All of Shas Bavli and Yerushalmi every year plus more. Does anyone have any reliable sources on this matter? Like what was his actual schedule?

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  • 6
    Is this on topic?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 16:05
  • 10
    @DoubleAA, it's about Torah study. What's more on-topic?
    – msh210
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 20:34

2 Answers 2

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In Rebbetzin Kanievski's biography it is written that R Chaim Kanievski completed every year Mishna, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi, Nach, Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch with commentaries, Mishnah Berurah, Midrash Rabbah, Midrash Tanchumah, Sifra, Sifri and Tosefta. Multiple other sources (e.g., here and here) reported he also learned Zohar (and a nice proof would be here).

He woke up in the early hours of the day to start and aimed to complete every day what he called his chovot (debts).

It is well known he completed his siyum on the above on Erev Pesach (for the fast of first-borns).

On a year with two months of Adar, he would finish at Purim time and use the extra month to write a book. Fittingly he passed away a day after Purim 5782, after completing more than 70 times his entire corpus of learning.

Yehi Zichro Baruch

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  • On otzar hachochma you can find the book his descendent wrote which details this may it's kach magieim. The translated it.
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 18:04
  • There's a recent sefer I saw which outlines his daily schedule. That's probably the best place to look.
    – robev
    Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 18:54
  • And they say in a leap year he uses the extra month to write a sefer!!
    – Dov
    Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 19:45
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    Unbelievable! What a loss to Klal Yisroel! Yehi Zichro Baruch
    – Dov
    Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 19:50
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    @code613 Clearly RCK was engaged in Torah learning every available minute of the day but you have to take some of these claims with a grain of salt, 20 hours a day learning - where is time to sleep, eat, receive the public, etc. ?
    – mbloch
    Commented Mar 20, 2022 at 16:30
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As @mbloch stated in his answer above, the learning regimen of Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt"l was known as his "chovos"- debts

R' Chaim started at around 03:00 am and learned until 05:00 am, then started again from 09:00 am until 11:00 am.

In Orchos Yosher (p. 411) it is explained why R' Chaim called it his "chovos"- debts.

Chovos means debts. It can be compared to a person, sunk in a morass of debt, who walks around all day long worried about how he will pay it off. He is never at rest because he must pay what he owes. [...] It is the tension of learning all of his chovos, which pursues him at every hour of the day. Even when he lies down to rest, he wakes up to his chovos.

See: Hakdamah to Chidushei Maran Hagrach Kanievsky, in which a story is told of a person with debts with the banks. He asked Rav Chaim for a blessing for parnassah and to be spared from all that's not good. Rav Chaim told this person: "I too have debts" (or obligations) and Rav Chaim pointed to his books which he studies every single day.

ובימים האחרונים ניגש יהודי אחד קמיה רבינו שליט"א והגיש לו פתק ובו כתב שיש לו חובות מרובים של ממון ומחמת ריבוי חובותיו הבנקים עיקלו את חשבונותיו ושאר דברים שלו ופשוט אינו יכול להמשיך לחיות בצורה זאת וביקש ממרן שליט"א שיזכה להינצל מכך ושיהיה לו פרנסה בשפע אמר לו רבינו בהאי לישנא גם לי יש חובות והצביע לו על ספריו שבהם לומד מידי יום ביומו את סדר לימודיו

Rav Chaim once said that the name "chovos", as referring to the learning regimen, came from his father; the Kehillos Yaakov.

R'Chaim arranged his learning regimen back when he was a young bachur of about 17, and devoted many hours to it each day.

His daily regimen consisted of (Orchos Yosher, p. 412):

Rising up like a lion after midnight; and begins with: 1: tikkun chatzos, 2: Zohar, 3: Tehillim, 4: Nach, 5: Mishnah Berurah, 6: Rambam, 7: Shulchan Aruch, 8: Talmud Bavli, 9: Tosefta, 10: Talmud Yerushalmi.

Refer to Orchos Yosher; chapter Talmud Torah for a detailed look into the chovos of Rav Chaim.

According to Rabbi Yair Hoffman, the amount Rav Chaim learned each day was:

8 blatt of Bavli every day, and he also learned the parallel Yerushalmi on those Mishnayos in the Bavli as well. 2 prakim of Tanach every day. 4 blatt of the Yerushalmi daily, 3 prakim of the Rambam’s Mishna Torah 5 pages of Shulchan Aruch except when he was up to Orech Chaim – where he went slower, as he added the Mishna Brurah to the schedule too.

See also the hakdamah (introduction) to the sefer Chidushei Maran Hagra"ch Kanievsky

הנה כידוע מורינו ורבינו עשה לעצמו סדר ללמוד בכל יום ויום דברים קבועים ובכל שנה ושנה מסיים ש"ס בבלי וירושלמי רמב"ם ושו"ע וכו וקורא רבינו שליט"א לסדרי לימודו הנ ל החובות וידידי הגאון רבי גדליה הוניגסברג שליט א חיבר לאחרונה ספר שלם אשר בשם ספר החובות יכונה בו מפרט את כל סדר לימודו של הרב בצירוף עובדות השייכים לענין זה ובימים האחרונים ניגש יהודי אחד קמיה רבינו שליט"א והגיש לו פתק ובו כתב שיש לו חובות מרובים של ממון ומחמת ריבוי חובותיו הבנקים עיקלו את חשבונותיו ושאר דברים שלו ופשוט אינו יכול להמשיך לחיות בצורה זאת וביקש ממרן שליט"א שיזכה להינצל מכך ושיהיה לו פרנסה בשפע אמר לו רבינו בהאי לישנא גם לי יש חובות והצביע לו על ספריו שבהם לומד מידי יום ביומו את סדר לימודיו

In the hakdamah, it is explained that Rav Chaim made a schedule for himself, and would study each and every day, the same order. It was a fixed order so to speak.

Besides Orchos Yosher, there's a special sefer dedicated to the special learning regimen of Rav Chaim. The sefer is called ספר החובות and can be found here.


Sources:

Kanievsky, R. C. (2018). Orchos Yosher - Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s Classic Guide To A Torah Life. Artscroll / Mesorah.

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