What I mean by “non lmaaseh” are sugyas in shas that most probably will very scarcely be nogeah to our daily life. I understand that to learn these sugyas well will give us a deep understanding of how to think in learning and also take us on a journey to understand the depth of HKBH’s holy Torah. But the bottom line is this: in yeshivas bachrim are encouraged to learn these things and not really pushed to have a set seder in Shulchan Aruch, the outcome of this are bachrim knowing some sugyas well but at the same time violating shabbos unknowingly! Is there some reason for how we can allow such a thing and why minhag Yisroel has become to learn this way?

(Specifically looking for mekoros from rishonim / early mid achronim whom agree with such an approach to this learning)

  • 2
    Hello and welcome to Mi Yodeya. Your question title mentions halacha lemaaseh sugyos, which implies gemarra rishonim etc. Then you mention a Shulchan Aruch seder and knowing hilchos Shabbos well. What are you proposing? Learning all halachos from the gemarra down? Just SA? Just MB? In any event I imagine this question isn't answerable as it can only be speculation.
    – robev
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 16:56
  • @robev more like why spending a lot more time on non lmaaseh sugyas is more pushed than spending a lot of time on lmaaseh sugyas
    – Mevakeish
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 16:59
  • And maybe are there famous achronim/ rishonim who write the importance of learning this way
    – Mevakeish
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 17:01
  • 2
    @TwoOs correct but they didn't address "Is there some reason for how we can allow such a thing and why minhag Yisroel has become to learn this way?"
    – robev
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 17:46
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Why learn Gemara? Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


The Shulchan Aruch Harav in Hilchos Talmud Torah, and the Iglei Tal in his hakdamah, write that now that the main books have been written, the purpose of yeshiva is to teach students how to understand them.

So it makes sense that yeshivos pick topics that are the most challenging to study, with the idea of "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

That being said, the high schools I know also have time set aside to learn practical halacha from Mishnah Berurah. In post high-school yeshivos, students are expected to make their own time to learn practical halacha from a sefer of their choosing, because they are expected to no longer need guidance to understand practical halacha sefarim.

Eventually (ususally in Kollel), those who want to become rabbanim stop learning just Gemara and start to learn halacha b'iyun, using the Gemara skills they got when they were younger.

  • You failed to demonstrate how all non lemaaseh sugyos are harder than lemaaseh sugyos, which is the whole crux of your answer.
    – robev
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 5:48
  • The question was why study hard gemaros over practical ones. The questioner took it for granted that the ones studied in yeshiva are good for training. But if you want a source, the gemara says, One who wants to become wise should study Nezikin. Yeshivos also consider some tractates of Nashim to be suitably hard.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 8:50
  • You're equating non lemaaseh with hard; I don't see how that follows. You're also implying lemaaseh equals easier, which isn't true. Also nezikin is extremely lemaaseh, as is parts of Nashim. They're also hard to learn.
    – robev
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 9:34
  • I am not equating non-lemaaseh with hard. I am justifying learning non-lemaaseh in yeshivos if it is hard.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 10:28
  • But that is not a reason to learn non lemaaseh instead of lemaaseh if lemaaseh is or can be just as hard
    – robev
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 10:42

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