From the Rav’s Desk: May one sleep with shoes under his bed

  1. Question: [Sunday, 15th Teves, 5782]

I have heard that there is a problem to sleep with your shoes under your bed, is this correct?



There is no issue with sleeping with shoes under one’s bed, and on the contrary, so was traditionally done as evident from Shulchan Aruch and Rishonim. I assume that this is getting confused with the idea of not placing food or metal under the bed, or with the idea of not placing clothing under the head when one sleeps, or with the Kabalistic idea of not sleeping with shoes near one’s head.

Explanation: There is no known source that I am aware in Jewish literature for restricting placing shoes under the bed, and on the contrary, it is explicitly mentioned in the laws of making an Ohel on Shabbos [regarding the usage of the space under the beds], that it was commonly used to store sandals. I’ve seen some people mention that based on the Gemara in Horiyos which states that one should not place his garments under his head due to the it leading to forgetfulness of one’s learning, that so too one should not place his shoes under his bed in the area that is under his head. I however don’t see any source from there regarding our issue, as the simple understanding of the above Gemara is regarding placing it literally under one’s head or under one’s pillow, and not simply under the bed. Others say that based on the Chida, that shoes should not be placed under the bed under the head. Once again, however, there too there is no real source for this statement as the Chida refers to placing shoes next to the head and nowhere does he discuss placing it under the bed. Hence all the so-called sources have been negated, and therefore we remain with the conclusion that there is no issue to place shoes under the bed even under the area that is parallel to one’s head.

Sources: See Admur 315:12 “So too by a bed…one needs the space under it for storing ones sandals”; Taz 315:4; Rashba 138a; Sefer Toras Dovid Kelalilm See regarding sleeping with clothing under the head: Horiyos 13b; Siach Hasadeh 1 Sefer Hazikaron 15; Meishiv Kehalacha 1:339; See regarding having shoes near head: Chida in Avodas Hakodesh 2:7-112

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