What is the halakhic validity of learning before davvening shachris? Is this assur? Eating before davvening shachris is of course a problem (my understanding is that it really becomes a problem once you are a bar/bat mitzvah), but what about learning Gemara or Chumash before davvening? Is this permitted, and what sources indicate so? And is there any difference between learning before davvening during the week vs on Shabbes? Is there a maximum time that is allowed? My concern is with lessening bittl Torah and if I can get up to learn before davvening Shachris, that would be very helpful.

Thanks so much for your help.

  • Yes, this is certainly permissible. It is even a minhag among Chabad communities worldwide.
    – Tatpurusha
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 22:47
  • But is it halachically permissible? For example, a lot of Chabadniks and chossidim in general do not davven b'zman, even though the Gemara is clear on the importance of davvening b'zman. Thanks for your answer!
    – 3GYid
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 22:48
  • The Baal HaTanya holds that one must daven b'zman. He also holds that it is a commendable practice to learn before davening.
    – Tatpurusha
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 22:49
  • Learning before davening is wrong. Once the time of davening comes one should be davening not learning. Wben the gemoro says you spend an hour before davening it explicitly says not learning.
    – preferred
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:02
  • @preferred - Where does the gemara say that?? It mentions the need to pause before davening in Berakhot 32b (from the mishna on Berakhot 30b), but I see nowhere that it precludes spending that time learning.
    – Shimon bM
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:12

3 Answers 3


Shulchan Aruch (89:6) writes that one may not start learning Torah after Alos but limits this prohibition to someone who will also daven at home. The concern is that he may get involved in his learning and miss the time for Tefillah.

However, if he regularly davens with a minyan and certainly if he in a location where the minyan will gather there (Mishne Berurah 32), there is no concern of getting caught up in learning and missing zman Tefilah.

Also, if he is teaching others it is also permitted since learning Torah in a group is a great merit.

If you ask someone to remind you not to forget to daven (Mishne Berurah 34) or you are learning in a group (Mekor Chaim 6) there is no concern that you will miss the zman Tefillah and it is permitted to learn.


The Rambam writes (Tefilla 4:18):

וכן אין עומדין להתפלל לא מתוך שחוק, ולא מתוך קלות ראש, ולא מתוך שיחה, ולא מתוך מריבה, ולא מתוך כעס--אלא מתוך דברי תורה. ולא מתוך דין הלכה, אף על פי שהן דברי תורה, כדי שלא יהא ליבו טרוד בהלכה--אלא מתוך דברי תורה שאין בהן עיון, כגון הלכות פסוקות

And similarly do not stand to pray not from joking, not from frivolity, not from chatter, not from argument and not from Anger - rather from words of Torah, and not from judging Halacha, even though those are words of Torah, in order that he shouldn't be distracted by the Halacha - rather from words of Torah that do not require investigation, for example well established Halachos.

The source is Brachos 31a.

Shulchan Aruch HaRav quotes the רא"ה to Brachos 32a (brought in the Beis Yosef to Siman 50) that we precisely say איזהו מקומן because it is clear Halacha LeMoshe MiSinai.

So it would seem that yes, you should learn (specific things) before davening, and that this is part of the standard siddur that most everyone uses.

I have seen Daf Yomi Shiurim before davening in the morning, and according to the above, that would be a specific practice that could be questioned, although I'm sure the participants (or at least the organizers) have their reasons.

  • The reason for aizehu mekomon is because we really ought to say all the korbonos daily from the chumash. Korbonus are davening not learning
    – preferred
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:31
  • @preferred, check the sources at my link. Some even skip it in an avel's house.
    – Yishai
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:54
  • check the rav shulchan aruch chapter 1:9 first version.
    – preferred
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 0:01
  • לומר ״בכל יומס׳ העקידה לזכור זכות אבות ום׳ המן לבטוח בה׳ נותן לחם דבר יום ביומו ועשרת הדברות ויתר על כן טוב מאל ל! ע־לונין ק ןתלוי בלכופ ס״ב 1ומד ם׳ הקרבגות שהן עולה ושלמים ותודה וחטאת ןאשם ו ד אי יר) קרבן עולה ויורד ופי נשכים ושאר כל המנחות ככתוב במעמדות לקיים £״ש * ונשלמה סרים שפתינו וכמו שאמרו חכמים ע״ם * זאת התורה ץ,',1,"א ז) 'עולה למנחה ולחטאת וגו׳ כל העושק בתורת עולה כוי ייומ״מ מי שיש י י' גזלפרקי" שמני׳ז^נמנ־- 'ו לב ללמוד ולהבין אין לומר אפי׳ ס׳ הקרבנות בכל יום אלא ידי לו באמירת סרק איזהו מקומן כי גדול תלמוד המביא לידי מעשה מציח ול״ע) י ילידי ידיעת התורה (כמ״ש בהלכות ת״ת)
    – preferred
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 0:08
  • beta.hebrewbooks.org/…
    – preferred
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 0:08

The Piskei Teshuvot writes that people are not stringent about learning before prayers, and that anyone who finds it easier to learn before prayers based on his daily schedule may do so. He adds that according to the Mishneh Berurah and others there is almost no situation when it would be forbidden to learn before prayers.

Source: https://ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/7221

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