Chok l'Yisrael

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Chok l'Yisrael (Hebrew חק לישראל) is a compendium of Jewish texts designed for daily or weekly study.

Structure[edit]

The work is usually published in book form in five volumes, corresponding to the five books of the Torah. It is divided into 54 sections representing the 54 weekly Torah readings.

Each section contains the Torah reading for the week, together with its Targum and the commentary of Rashi. Each section also contains excerpts from Nevi'im (the prophetical books), Ketuvim (the Hagiographa), the Mishnah, the Talmud and the Zohar or other works of Kabbalah, but the collection does not include the whole of any of these works. There are also extracts from books of Jewish law (halakha) and morality (musar).

Origin[edit]

The work is based on the rules of study laid down in the Peri Etz Chaim of Hayyim ben Joseph Vital, in the Sha'ar Hanhagat Limmud (chapter on study habits). In this he recommends that, in addition to studying the Torah portion for the forthcoming Shabbat each week, one should study daily excerpts from the other works mentioned, and lays down a formula for the number of verses or the topic to be studied each day depending on the day of the week.

The compendium was first issued in book form by Rabbi Yitzchak Baruch. Rabbi Chaim Joseph David Azulai added the extracts from books of law and morality and brought the collection to its present form.

Use[edit]

The work is often used by busy working people who do not have time for in-depth Talmud study, particularly in Sephardic and Oriental communities. The approved method is to read the section for the day immediately after morning prayers, while still wearing tallit and tefillin.

Editions and translations[edit]

  • Hok L'Yisrael Edmond J. Safra Edition, Hebrew and English [Rabbi Yoseph Milstein + Various editors.] 10 volumes published by Machon Yisrael Trust, available online at eChok.com.
  • The older Berkowitz softcover edition is available on amazon.com

See also[edit]

External links[edit]