Don’t “Try” to Learn Rambam

A Moment with the Rebbe: When it was suggested that one should ‘endeavor’ to learn three chapters of Rambam, the Rebbe had a small, but meaningful correction. 

At the farbrengen of Acharon Shel Pesach 5744 (1984), the Rebbe revolutionized Torah study. From every Lubavitcher chossid, indeed from every Yid, the Rebbe required to learn a daily portion of the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, with the goal of covering the entire Torah sheba’al peh.

In subsequent farbrengens, the Rebbe spelled out the mivtza. The three different cycles would include every Yid: man, woman and child. One halacha a day should be done in-depth, missed quotas should be made up and siyumim should be celebrated. Thus, the Lubavitcher daily schedule was forever changed.

When a description of the Rambam study initiative was handed in to the Rebbe for editing, to be published as a supplement to the Rebbe’s biography in the Hayom Yom, the Rebbe erased one word:

The editors had written that in 5744 the Rebbe began a campaign in which everyone studies Rambam in various cycles. One cycle was to endeavor to learn three perakim every day. Those who cannot manage that should learn one perek a day. A third option was to learn the Sefer Hamitzvos.

The Rebbe erased the word “endeavor”.

(Copy of handwritten edit in Beis Chayenu, Vayeitzei 5776)

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