The history of Chok L’Yisroel is the history of klal Yisroel over the last 500 years. The daily learning program of Chok L’Yisroel was initiated by the holy Ariz”l and made popular by his revered Talmud, R Chaim Vital in his sefer, Pri Eitz Chaim. This pioneering idea was an effort to introduce all Jews to a daily Torah commitment; something that was previously reserved for learned scholars only. On top of the weekly parsha, this groundbreaking initiative brought Nac”h and Mishna into the lives of everyday Jews. Over the years, this learning schedule was put together in book form and given the title Chok L’yisroel. Eventually, Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, known as the Chidah, added on daily excerpts of Halacha and Mussar to round out the daily Chok.

The essence of Chok was in its universality, both in its content and in its wide appeal. Everyone, regardless of their background or educational level would join in this endeavor. Those who didn’t understand their learnings, would try to at least follow the translation of their words, while those who were too illiterate for that, would instead recite the words like a prayer. It isn’t a stretch to say that for hundreds of years, this was the glue that kept Talmudei Chachamim, business people and laymen united as ‘people of the book’. It was most common for Jews to dedicate time after their morning prayers, while still decked out in Tallis and Tefilin, to learn their daily Chok.

It is hard to properly convey the reverence that previous generations held for the learning of Chok. Rabbanim and Gedolim would speak with awe about this great custom. Those of us who were lucky enough to speak with holocaust survivors about life in pre-war Europe have heard the unrivaled admiration and respect with which they discussed Chok L’yisroel.

What made Chok L’yisroel so unique in the annals of Jewish history is its success in appealing to the masses and how it became synonymous with Jewish life itself. In a world with limited communication, Jews from all around the globe, Sefardi and Ashkenazi, would take time out of their day to study this daily Torah collection with common commitment and dedication.

The trials and tribulations that Klal Yisroel went through over the last century, unfortunately brought about a partial discontinuance of this great practice. But this slowdown would be short-lived. In recent years, we have witnessed a resurgence in the learning of Chok and the shelves in local Shuls are once again stocked with Chok L’yisroel seforim.

At Mifal Chok L’yisroel, our objective is to participate in this incredible renewal by providing inspiration and support to new learners while spreading awareness about the special Minhag of learning the Daily Chok.