Therefore, my beloved ones, my brethren and friends: do not commit this great evil—of turning a gathering of worshippers before or after prayers into a “company of scoffers,”

עַל כֵּן, אֲהוּבַיי אַחַיי וְרֵעַיי, אַל נָא תָּרֵעוּ הָרָעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַזֹּאת,

and “give glory unto the L-rd your G-d before it grows dark,”57 i.e., between Minchah and Maariv every weekday,58

וּתְנוּ כָבוֹד לַה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם בְּטֶרֶם יֶחְשַׁךְ, דְּהַיְינוּ, בֵּין מִנְחָה לְמַעֲרִיב כָּל יְמוֹת הַחוֹל,

by studying in groups of [at least] ten the innermost (i.e., the mystical) dimension of the Torah, i.e., the Aggadah contained in Ein Yaakov,

לִלְמוֹד בַּעֲשָׂרָה פְּנִימִיּוּת הַתּוֹרָה, שֶׁהִיא אַגָּדָה שֶׁבְּסֵפֶר "עֵין יַעֲקֹב",

for most of the secrets of the Torah are concealed in it (i.e., in the Aggadah);

שֶׁרוֹב סוֹדוֹת הַתּוֹרָה גְּנוּזִין בָּהּ,

moreover, it atones for man’s sins,

וּמְכַפֶּרֶת עֲוֹנוֹתָיו שֶׁל אָדָם,

as explained in the writings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, of blessed memory.59

כִּמְבוֹאָר בְּכִתְבֵי הָאֲרִיזַ"ל,

As to the revealed (nonmystical) passages in [the Aggadah],

וְהַנִּגְלוֹת שֶׁבָּהּ –

these are the ways of G-d in which a man ought to walk,

הֵן דַּרְכֵי ה' שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ בָּהֶם הָאָדָם

and [they enable him] to take counsel in his soul in heavenly matters (such as Torah and mitzvot) and in worldly matters, as is known to all the wise of heart.

וְיָשִׁית עֵצוֹת בְּנַפְשׁוֹ בְּמִילֵּי דִשְׁמַיָּא וּבְמִילֵּי דְעִלְמָא, וְכַיָּדוּעַ לְכָל חַכְמֵי לֵב.

In addition, between Minchah and Maariv, [people] should study a little—out of the Shulchan Aruch, in [the section called] Orach Chaim—the laws that are essential for every person to know.

וְגַם, לִלְמוֹד מְעַט בְּ"שׁוּלְחָן עָרוּךְ" "אוֹרַח־חַיִּים" הֲלָכוֹת הַצְּרִיכוֹת לְכָל אָדָם,

Of this, our Sages, of blessed memory, said: “Whoever studies Torah laws (halachot) every day [is assured of life in the World to Come].”60

וְעַל זֶה אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: "כָּל הַשּׁוֹנֶה הֲלָכוֹת בְּכָל יוֹם כוּ'",

This refers to clear and definitive rulings that are of practical relevance,

שֶׁהֵן הֲלָכוֹת בְּרוּרוֹת וּפְסוּקוֹת הֲלָכָה לְמַעֲשֶׂה,

as explained in the commentary of Rashi ad loc.61that the term halachot refers to final rulings, without the surrounding debates and argumentation.

כִּמְבוֹאָר בְּפֵירוּשׁ רַשִׁ"י זִכְרוֹנוֹ לִבְרָכָה שָׁם.

This is actually explained by Rashi a little earlier in Tractate Megillah, not on the teaching about “Whoever studies halachot…,” but in connection with a eulogy for someone who used to “study halachot.”

In Tractate Niddah, commenting on this teaching, Rashi states that the term halachot refers to Mishnayot, Baraitot, and Halachah leMoshe miSinai, none of which include the discussions of the Gemara. This is also the case with regard to the Shulchan Aruch.