About Chitas and Rambam

The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.


The following daily study cycles of Chitas apply equally to all, in addition to the study periods that each individual undertakes according to his ability. [The acronym Chitas (cf. Bereishis 35:5) is made up of the initials of the words Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya.]

(a) Chumash with the Commentary of Rashi:

Every day one studies one passage of the current week's Sidra [i.e., the Sidra to be publicly read on the forthcoming Shabbos] with the commentary of Rashi. Thus, on the first day of the week one reaches Sheini, on the second one reaches Shlishi, and so on.

When the reading of a Sidra is deferred for a week or two (because a festival coincided with Shabbos), one repeats the study of its daily passages in the course of the second and third weeks according to the same pattern.

On Simchas Torah [the annual cycle of the public Shabbos reading of the entire Chumash ends, even though it often falls on a weekday. On this day] one studies (with the commentary of Rashi) the [last] Sidra, Vezos HaBerachah - from the passage for the day of the week on which Simchas Torah falls, until the end of the Sidra.

On Isru Chag, the day following Simchas Torah, one studies the [first] Sidra, Bereishis, with the commentary of Rashi - from the beginning, up to and including the passage belonging to that day of the week.

(b) Tehillim:

After the morning prayers every day - including Shabbos, Yom-Tov, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur [after Mussaf] - one recites chapters of Tehillim as apportioned for the days of the month. If aminyan is present, this reading is followed by Kaddish Yasom.

When the 29th is the last day of the month, one reads the portion for the 30th day as well.

For the order of Tehillim read on Shabbos Mevarchim, see p. 59, below.

For the additional passages of Tehillim that are read during Elul and in the beginning of Tishrei (until Yom Kippur), see p. 113, below.

As is well known, Tehillim (including the above-mentioned daily portion) is not read at night, from the appearance of the stars until after midnight. However, one does study Chumash and Tanya.The above restriction does not apply on Rosh HaShanah, the Days of Penitence, Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabbah. (On Hoshana Rabbah, [the entire Book of] Tehillim is read after midnight.)

(c) Tanya:

The daily passages should be studied as set out in the annual study guide entitled Moreh Shiur [which appears as the first appendix to all current editions of the Tanya].

Every day one should study a portion of the Written Torah (Scripture) with the commentary of Rashi, which incorporates the choicest teachings of our Sages.... Moreover, one should study at least one tractate of the Talmud every year.

Even quite ordinary chassidim used to be familiar with the text of the whole Tanach. After Shacharis they would study their daily quota of Mishnayos; then, while folding their tallis and tefillin, it was their established custom to read a passage of the Tanach, completing it in this way in three months.[160]

Regular daily Torah study is crucial to life itself. It influences not only the soul of the one who studies, but the souls of his family as well, for it permeates the atmosphere of his home with a spirit of Torah and piety.