Thousands of people around the world this week will finish learning Maimonides’ magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah, which he termed a compendium of all the laws of the Torah. Learning three chapters a day, it took them the better part of the past year to plough through the 1,000-chapter monograph.

To celebrate their efforts and to honor the wisdom of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, or “the Rambam,” there will be a major Siyum HaRambam event in Brooklyn, N.Y. as well as many other events at Chabad centers around the world, on Thursday, Jan. 9. Scholars have completed the entire series a total of 32 times since the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—first instituted the study cycle in 1984.

Rabbi Baruch Hertz, rabbi of Congregation B’nei Ruven in Chicago, Ill., says the experience has made a real difference for many of his congregants.

“Recently, there was a well-respected rabbi who had come to our synagogue for a social function and went to our library to look something up in a somewhat obscure commentary on the Mishneh Torah. There was person there whom you would not think of as a Torah scholar, but he went right to the shelf, located the book and directed the rabbi to the exact spot he was looking for,” he recalls. “This is the kind of thing that comes from studying over a long period of time.”

For those who lack the ability to study the three chapters every day, the Rebbe suggested that they turn to Maimonides’ Sefer HaMitzvot (the "Book of Commandments"), covering the same commandments being studied in detail by those participating in the three-chapter-per-day regimen—concluding all 613 mitzvahs by the time the cycle ends.

He also suggested a parallel one-chapter-a-day track for those able to study the original, but at a more modest pace. (Those studying one chapter a day are currently two-thirds of the way through the 11th cycle.)

Over the years, digital and print resources have sprung up to make the Hebrew-language text available to the average layperson. For example, Rabbi Eliyahu Touger’s landmark translation of the entire Mishneh Torah (published by Moznaim) was put online in 2009 by Chabad.org, complementing the existing Hebrew texts and audio classes, and daily emails already offered by the site. Chayenu—a weekly Torah-content magazine—carries the one-chapter-a-day chapters of the week in both Hebrew and English as well.

In 2012, Rabbi Joshua B. Gordon began streaming live classes following the one-chapter-a-day track on Jewish.tv. Those archived classes are now available for individuals beginning the three-chapters-a-day track.

Daily study of Sefer Hamitzvot led by Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is available on Jewish.tv as well. And Malka Touger’s Sefer Hamitzvot for Children can be studied with the kids on JewishKids.org.

Hertz’s Chicago congregation will mark the conclusion of the 32nd cycle and the start of the 33rd cycle with a celebratory dinner co-hosted by the Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago, a local boys’ high school.

One hundred miles to the north, in Mequon, Wis., the joint celebration of the Chabad communities in the Milwaukee area will feature six local teenagers who will present specific mitzvahs discussed in different books of the Mishneh Torah.

In addition to recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of those who have studied over the past year, organizers say the celebrations also serve to attract more people to join the cycle.