Throughout the years of the Rebbe’s leadership, he would often encourage learning the weekly maamarim from Torah Or and Likutei Torah. He called them “the Chassidishe Parsha,” and considered them to be connected to the “inner dimension” of the weekly Parsha. He said that we need to “live with the times” -לעבען מיט דער צייט- of the weekly Parsha, not only in the Chumash, but also in the Chassidishe Parsha of the weekly Torah Or/Likutei Torah.
In Parshas Chayei Sarah 5752, the Rebbe said: “We need to learn the entire Rambam, since it includes the entire Torah SheBaal Peh (Oral Torah), corresponding to how we learn the entire Chumash, the Torah Shebichsav (Written Torah). Similarly, we need to learn the entire Torah Or and Likutei Torah, all the maamarim contained in those sefarim, since they contain the fundamental teaching of the entirety of Chassidus, similar to the Torah Shebichsav of Chassidus.”
For most people, learning the entire weekly portion of Torah Or and Likutei Torah every week and finishing all the maamarim (with Shir HaShirim) every year is very difficult. Many Parshios and Yomim Tovim have many maamarim, making it very difficult for the average person to complete everything. Usually, most people learn a few maamarim for each Parsha and Yom Tov every year, but they don’t keep track of which ones they learned and which they need to learn, and they never actually make sure to learn every single maamar of Likutei Torah.
In order to make it easier to fulfill the Rebbe’s instruction to learn every maamar of Torah Or and Likutei Torah, while learning every an amount that is not too much for the average person (who is already familiar with learning Chassidus etc.), we divided up all of the maamarim in Torah Or and Likutei Torah (including all the Hosafos, Yomim Tovim, and Shir HaShirim) to be learned over a period of three years, learning around 2.5-3.5 daf a week or less (that’s around 1.5-2 amudim a day).
This corresponds to the track of learning the entire Rambam in three years (by learning one chapter a day). The Rebbe said the reason for a three-year track of Rambam is because there was a custom to learn the entire Chumash in three years. Therefore, learning the entire Rambam in three years is also connected to the cycle of learning the Chumash. Similarly, we can say that learning the entire Likutei Torah/Torah Or in three years is also connected to the cycle of studying the Chumash, which fits with the idea of it being the “Chassidishe Parsha.”
The system used here divides up the maamarim of each Parsha and Yom Tov into three parts, so that a part of the maamarim of each Parsha is learned in the week of that Parsha, and part of the maamarim of each Yom Tov is learned in the week of that Yom Tov, for each year of the three years. The Parshios and Yomim Tovim with many maamarim were divided so that some of the maamarim are learned in their proper time each year, and the rest of the maamarim to be learned in the adjacent weeks that have less maamarim. Similarly, Shir HaShirim was divided to be learned in the weeks with fewer maamarim (mostly in the winter months).
With Hashem's help, Project Likkutei Torah will be adopting this track of study as an additional study track option, and in the near future will be starting to provide content to assist in learning the Likutei Torah according to this track. Their website is www.ProjectLikkuteiTorah.com.