Learning Torah

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer

Buy me here or on Amazon.com

Learning Torah on Erev Tisha B’av:[1]

Learning past midday:[2] The custom[3] is to limit one’s Torah learning, beginning from midday of Erev Tisha B’av, to only those subjects that are permitted to be learned on Tisha B’av itself.[4] [Many authorities agree with this custom.[5] Other Poskim[6] however argue against this custom. Accordingly, some Poskim[7] conclude that one who relies on these Poskim, and continues his regular learning sessions, is not to be protested. Practically, however, one should be stringent as writes the Rama, especially being that there are permitted Torah subjects that one can learn.[8]]

Shabbos Erev Tisha B’av: The above dispute regarding learning Torah after midday of Erev Tisha B’av applies likewise to when Shabbos falls on Erev Tisha B’av. Accordingly, some Poskim[9] rule it is forbidden to learn Torah past midday even on Shabbos, with exception to those subjects permitted on Tisha B’av itself. However, other Poskim[10] rule it is permitted to learn all subjects of Torah even past midday on Shabbos. Practically, one is to be stringent in this matter.[11]

Pirkeiy Avos on Shabbos Erev Tisha B’av: When Tisha B’av falls on Sunday, some Poskim[12] rule Pirkeiy Avos is not recited on Shabbos after Mincha. Other Poskim[13] however rule it is to be recited. [Regarding the Chabad custom in this matter, the Rebbe spoke about this issue on numerous occasions, at times saying it is to be said[14] and at others leaving it to the person to decide.[15] Practically, when Shabbos falls on Tisha B’av and is Nidche, the widespread custom has become to not say Pirkeiy Avos.[16] Some[17] conclude Pirkeiy Avos is not to be said even when Tisha B’av falls on Sunday and is not Nidche. In any event, one is to repeat that same chapter the next week, even if he decided to recite it.[18]]



One is to limit his Torah learning starting from midday of Erev Tisha B’av to only those subjects permitted to be studied on Tisha B’av itself. Nevertheless, those who are lenient to continue their regular Torah sessions have upon whom to rely.



May one learn Chitas past midday?[19]

Initially, one is to complete his studies of Chitas prior to midday. However, if one was unable to do so he may study the regular Chitas studies until sunset.[20]


May one learn Rambam past midday?[21]

One is to complete the Rambam studies before midday. If he did not do so, then it is to be delayed until after Tisha B’av. [One however may study the laws of Aveilus in the Rambam even on Tisha B’av itself. Thus, during those years that the daily lesson for Tisha B’av is the laws of Aveilus there is no limit as to when it must be studied. Furthermore, some[22] are lenient all together, to allow learning all one’s set Shiurim of Torah until sunset, if he was unable to complete it before midday.]


May one say Tehillim after midday?[23]



May one read Shnayim Mikra after Chatzos of Shabbos Erev Tisha B’av if he has not yet done so?[24]



May an Avel recite Mishanyos after Mincha Erev Tisha B’av as he does throughout the regular year?

The Avel is to recite the Mishnayos of Moed Katan, saying the last Mishneh of the third chapter.[25] [He is not to conclude with the teaching of Rebbe Chananya, and is to begin straight with Kaddish after concluding the Mishneh.[26]] Some[27] however write that the regular Mishnayos may be recited.

Erev Tisha B’av falls on Shabbos: When Erev Tisha B’av falls on Shabbos, seemingly he is to recite the regular Mishnayos after Mincha.[28] However, some Rabbanim[29] hold that even in such a case he is to recite the Mishnayos of Moed Katan.


[1] Rama 553:2

[2] Rama ibid; Darkei Moshe 554; Teshuvos Maharil 44

[3] Letter of law or Custom: From the letter of the law it is permitted to learn all Torah sections until the night of Tisha B’av, as seen from the fact that all five oppressions are permitted until the night of Tisha B’av. Nevertheless, the custom is to limit one’s Torah learning to specific subjects being that in any event there are other subjects available which are permitted to be learned. [Biur Hagr”a 553; Chayeh Adam 134:10; M”B 553:8; Kaf Hachaim 553:16]

[4] The reason: As Torah learning brings one joy. [Biur Hagr”a 553; Chayeh Adam 134:10; M”B 553:8; Kaf Hachaim 553:16] Other Poskim however write the reason is because if one studies Torah after midday of Erev Tisha B’av, he will come to think of this Torah learning on Tisha B’av itself, and be brought to joy. [Chasam Sofer 156; Bigdei Yesha, brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid]

What subjects may one learn? See Halacha 7 For a list of subjects permitted to learn on Tisha B’av

[5] So rule M”A 553:7; Levush 553; Elya Raba 553:4; Mateh Yehuda 553; Kneses Hagedola 554; Degul Merivava 553; Derech Hachaim 1; So is evident from all Poskim who record this ruling even regarding learning Pirkeiy Avos on Shabbos Tisha B’av. [M”B 553:8]

[6] Taz 553:2 in name of Rashal that he learned after Chatzos by all years of Erev Tisha B’av; Mamar Mordechai 553:2; Aruch Hashulchan 553:4


The Rashal writes that he would continue his regular study sessions past midday and this is how he also ruled for others. The Gra and Chayeh Adam write in their commentary that this practice is an excessive stringency. The Mamar Mordechai also negates this custom claiming it causes Bittul Torah as many people don’t learn the specific sections permitted on Tisha B’av during this time due to lack of interest, and hence they do not learn Torah at all. Thus he too rules to be lenient and so was his custom. [brought in M”B 553:8 and Biur Halacha “Vilichein”] The Taz ibid sates that this custom mentioned by the Rama requires further analysis although he does not argue on this custom regarding learning on Erev Tisha B’av that falls during the week. Practically the Biur Halacha concludes that one who is able to limit his learning to the permissible subjects- Kadosh yomar lo.

[7] M”B 553:8

[8] M”A ibid; Kaf Hachaim 553:18; Luach Kolel Chabad; The Rebbe in numerous Sichos records the prohibition of learning past Chatzos; Mamar Mordechai states that although one may be lenient in order to avoid Bittul torah however one who is able to limit his learning to the permissible subjects- Kadosh yomar lo. [brought in Biur Halacha “Vilichein”]

[9] Rama ibid; Maharil ibid; M”A 553:7; Levush 553; Elya Raba 553:4; Mateh Yehuda 553; Kneses Hagedola 554 regarding Tisha B’av Nidche; Degul Merivava 553; Derech Hachaim 1; See Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 553:18

[10] Taz 553:2; Rashal; Kneses Hagedola 554 regarding if Tisha B’av falls on Sunday [not Nidche]; Birkeiy Yosef 553:3; Machazik Bracha 553; Gra; M”B 553:8; Aruch Hashulchan 553:2;

[11] The Kaf Hachaim ibid concludes that the custom is to be stringent like the M”A ibid

Chabad Custom: See Hiskashrus 940; See Hisvadyus Shabbos Chazon Erev Tisha B’av 1981 that the Rebbe stated to limit the topics of the Farbrengen to those matters permitted on Tisha B’av.

[12] Rama 553:2; Maharil; M”A 553:7 in name of Kneses Hagedola

[13] Taz 553:2; Rashal; Gra; M”B 553:8; Aruch Hashulchan 553:2

[14] Likkutei Sichos 19:43 footnote 53

[15] Hisvadyus Shabbos Chazon Erev Tisha B’av 1981

[16] Toras Menachem 1985 5:2695

[17] Hiskashrus 950

[18] Hisvadyus Shabbos Nachamu 1981

[19] Kaf Hachaim 553:18; Hiskashrus 889

[20] The reason: As even on Tisha B’av itself we allow learning one’s set Torah sessions past midday. Hence, certainly on Erev Tisha B’av that learning is merely a custom which some even allow, one may be lenient past midday.

[21] Based on the lesson schedule of Rambam edited by the Rebbe; Hiskashrus 889

[22] Kaf Hachaim 553:18

[23] Divrei Malkiel 6:20; Nitei Gavriel 50:8

[24] Zechor Leavraham 553:9; Chayeh Adam 136:4; Kaf Hachaim 553:19

[25] See Igros Kodesh 11:306 and Nitei Gavriel 75:9; Likewise, see Yoman of Rav Groner that only on Shabbos was the Rebbe surprised that the regular Mishnayos could not be said, being that we don’t show any public Aveilus; Vetzaruch Iyun, as a) Why is it not permitted to say the regular Mishnayos due to Seder Hayom and b) The above answer of the Rebbe was regarding a Yartzite which is only saying it on Tisha B’av, while a regular Avel has said it throughout the year and is part of his Seder Hayom, and hence perhaps the Rebbe never meant to prohibit him from saying it. Nevertheless, practically, the Rebbe said Moed Katan in 1988 even by Mincha of Shabbos.

[26] See Yoman of Rav Groner

[27] Hiskashrus Tisha B’av footnote 13

[28] Likkutei Sichos 14:185

The reason: As otherwise it is Aveilus Bifarhesya, and so exclaimed the Rebbe to Rav Groner that he is surprised at the ruling of the Rabbanim who ruled to him to say the Mishnayos of Moed Katan. [See Yoman of Rav Groner 1988]

[29] Answer of Beis Din to the Rebbe upon him asking which Mishnayos he is to recite, and so did the Rebbe that year, he recited from Moed Katan

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.