A person wants to be proficient in halacha.

1) Should he learn halachos: a) that pertain to his fellow man? - I.e. Shemiras HaLoshon, Stealing or Ribis etc. b) or to his Creator? (I.e. Shabbos, Berachos or Milk and meat)

2) Is there a specific order of which category of halacha he should learn first?

3) How many times should he review that category of halacha, before he goes onto a new topic?

  • Good question. Not sure if any authorities have given precise answers of the types you are asking for, but maybe they have. If you study a few pages of the kitzur a day (with commentary based on modern poskim like the Kleinman edition), and study some from a book of Shabbos halachos each Shabbos, and supplement these with more specific works when necessary (like a book about brachos) then you'll more or less cover everything. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov strongly advocated that everyone should make a fixed practice of studying the Shulchan Aruch each day (even if you only have time for one law).
    – Kordovero
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 16:20
  • I dont advise learning ribis. It is very complicated and a competent rov always has to be asked. Milk and meat is similar one shouldnt pasken oneself. Today shabos is a lot easier to keep and shouldnt need as much study. Halacha cannot be learned properly on its own without a good grounding in the gemoro.
    – cham
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 20:21
  • "A person wants to be proficient in halacha." Presumably the answer to #1 is "everything". How else can he be said to be proficient in halacha?
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 21:26
  • "What to learn first? I would learn first, the first chapter of the laws of study of torah (Hilchos Talmud Torah) in Maimonides. then, a few chapters in hilchos deos." - rabbi simcha wasserman from the audio tape: Maimonide's Book of Knowledge from ohr somayach
    – ray
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


The Chafetz Chaim explains his intentions for writing the Mishna Brurah in his introduction. He writes that studying Orach Chaim should be first mainly because it's a daily necessity and with out it one would not be able to lift up his foot. He explains everything is important, but this is first.He also explains that he wrote the Mishna Brurah because the original texts (Tur-closed book) are hard to learn and one needs a long time to learn.

  • 2
    I've heard that Chayey Adam was explicitly written as a reference/daily learning tool rather than a halachic discourse a la MB. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 18:48

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