If someone doesn’t have time, is learning halachah more important than learning gemara?
And the answer is if you don’t have time then learn mah shelibo chafetz, what you desire to learn. That’s the truth. Mah shelibo chafetz. If you need to know certain halachos, learn them, but in general to engage in learning halachos you should know that a lot of it is also theoretical. If you start learning Shulchan Aruch you’ll see that you’re learning about many things that will never happen. And therefore it’s like gemara too. So a person should learn mah shelibo chafetz.
But this I can tell you. Once you start learning and veha’arev na, it becomes sweet – ha’arev means make sweet – you’ll start liking it and then Hakodosh Boruch Hu will make you find more time to learn. That’s a rule, a klal gadol. Once you like to learn, you’ll find more time to learn. So start out now and do whatever you want and succeed in it and maybe in the course of time you’ll have more time to learn everything.
TAPE #E-147 (July 1998)