Several Acharonim (e.g. Pnei Yeshoshua to Brachos 15b) write that words of Torah must be enunciated during study.

Which Rishonim agree to this view. (I am asking specifically about those who hold that it is an integral component of the mitzva, not those who encourage it for side reasons such as its characteristic of facilitating memorization.)

I am looking specifically for views that can compellingly ascribed to Rishonim; not just Acharonim who can be found claiming that their views match those of Rishonim.

  • Is this a duplicate of this question you asked four minutes prior?
    – Fred
    May 1, 2015 at 3:14
  • 1
    @Fred Nope. It is the opposite question. Here I ask for Rishonim who hold that Torah study needs to be enunciated. There I ask for Rishonim who hold that it need not be enunciated.
    – mevaqesh
    May 1, 2015 at 3:20
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    @mevaqesh I'm finding your request for veiws directly expressed in the rishonim quite limiting. For example see the ערוך השולחן סימן מז May 4, 2015 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


here's one source

Rabeinu Bachya (shaar yichud intro - Chovos Halevavos) derives it from the Shema

Afterwards, He proceeded to the commandments of the limbs which require both thought and action, as He said (in the shema): "you shall teach them to your sons". And so that if you don't have a son, you will not mistakenly think that the (commandment of) verbally reading depends on having a son, He said: "You shall speak in them" (vedibarta bam).

Pas Lechem commentary there:

this refers to Torah study, which requires understanding of the heart (mind) and also physical acts, namely moving of the lips and pronunciation of the tongue ..Do not think that since the main purpose is understanding of the heart, if so, the need for verbally speaking it with one's mouth is only for making them known to the sons, therefore he said that even by oneself one needs to verbally pronounce them with one's mouth and tongue

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    I upvoted because the case was sufficiently compelling, but it should be noted that the Tuv Halevanon and R. Qafih disagree with the interpretation of the Pas Lechem.
    – mevaqesh
    May 5, 2015 at 23:54
  • @mevaqesh tov halevanon seema to me to learning the same only that the verse is referring ALSO to shema hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=41644&st=&pgnum=43 "to learn and to teach (i.e. talmud torah) and to recite the shema..." how do you learn his words?
    – ray
    May 6, 2015 at 5:05
  • @mevaqesh see also the story of Beruria who scolded a talmid learning quietly last line here: hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=3&daf=53b&format=pdf
    – ray
    May 6, 2015 at 5:20
  • I didnt look at the Gemara for too long, from the presentation of the Rambam cited there in the Ein Mishpat it seems that this Gemara refers to extra-halachic components of talmud study, such as memory-retention.
    – mevaqesh
    May 7, 2015 at 0:47
  • IIRC I considered that unlike the Pas Lechem who clearly writes that without V'dibarta one would have learned silently when not instructing others, (and comes along v'dibarta to teach that learning must be verbal), the Tuv Halvanaon, learns that without V'dibarta I would have thought that there is no obligation to learn Torah at all. Accordingly, "v'dibarta" wouldnt necessarily teach that it must be verbal, but rather that one must learn at all. However from his repeated references to the mouth, it seems likely that even if his point isnt that v'dibarta requires verbal study, that he...
    – mevaqesh
    May 7, 2015 at 0:50

The Tzemach Tzedek in Or HaTorah p. 866 points to the R. Yitzchak of Corbil in the SMa"K who includes learning Torah in the Mitzvos dependent on speech instead of in the section of Mitzvos dependent on thought.

  • But even the Tzemach Tzedek concedes that this is not an absolute rule. (I assume that he therefore holds that it never technically required, but only encouraged). Accordingly, the lack of universality of the rule is understood. Either way, it is not the equivalent of the P'nei Yehoshua et al.'s strict view. It would not be the first time that לא יצא י"ח means l'chatchila.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 28, 2015 at 4:03
  • @mevaqesh, in the case of Oneis it isn't required, otherwise it is. As far as I know, the P'nei Yehoshua would agree. (Compare with, for example, Rambam Hilchos Shavuos 3:3).
    – Yishai
    Oct 28, 2015 at 4:22
  • The point does not seem worth arguing as it seems obvious and clear cut. He does not mean ones because he refers to cases in which the mitzvah is fulfilled. If one is ne'enas he is exempt; he has not, however, fulfilled his mitzvah. Hence the Rambam there (3:1) dealing with "patur" not "yotze".
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 28, 2015 at 13:21
  • @mevaqesh, the upshot is not saying the words out of Ones makes it as if you said them. That principle is being applied to Talmud Torah. See Also Shulchan Aruch HaRav Hilchos Talmud Torah 2:12
    – Yishai
    Oct 28, 2015 at 14:57
  • As I said, the matter seems to clear to be debatable.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 28, 2015 at 16:14

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