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One is not allowed to learn Torah on Tisha B'Av, as it gladdens a person (SA 554:1-2). However, certain texts, relating to mourning and the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, are permissible (Mishnah Berurah ad. loc.).

What if even learning these latter texts gladdens a person? Say he enjoys learning Torah regardless of how joyous the topic. Would it still be permissible for him to learn? That is, is it a din in the person, or in people in general?

  • 1
    See the Arukh HaShulchan at the beginning of that Siman. – Double AA Aug 7 '16 at 21:30
  • As always, CYLOR for a practical ruling. – LN6595 Aug 10 '16 at 23:54
  • @LN6595 (Can I call you 8.794?) Of course. That goes without saying. – DonielF Aug 11 '16 at 3:31
  • @LN6595 Coming back to this a year later, I realize that it doesn't seem anybody got that joke. 8.794 is the natural logarithm (ln) of 6595. – DonielF Jul 31 '17 at 21:10
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See Taz Siman 524 sk 1(1) (I will not say exactly the same thing but reading the Taz I think an answer to the question). He describes a situation in which the pupils don't have pleasure with the study but the teacher has, and prohibit because the pleasure of the teacher. the teacher is adult and the pupils are children, the teacher is accustomed with the Gemara and Children not. Here is a Group in which a minority will enjoy and the majority will not. The learning is prohibited for the minority. But this minority is the generator of the learning and cannot be skipped, if it was possible, the learning should be organized without this minority. So if a person enjoy to learn the sad topics, he cannot learn. This proof is not really a proof because the group cannot be uniform when for the teacher and the pupils the topic represent something else. Anyway Svara Peshuta that to enjoy at hight degree is the problem, not the learning. So any enjoyment should be avoided.


(1) נראה פשוט דפירוש איוב ושאר דברים המותרים לגדול מותר ללמוד גם עם התינוקות וכאן לא אסרו אלא הלימוד שהקטנים לומרידם בסדר שלהם דהיינו חומש וגמרות וקמ"ל דאע"ג דיש צער קצת בלימוד עמהם ור"מ ס"ל בגמרא דהותר לשנות במה שאינו רגיל ואע"ג דלא קי"ל כוותיה היינו בלימוד של עצמו אבל עם התינוקות ה"א דשרי קמ"ל דאפ"ה ליבטלו מזה ואיסור של התינוקות בלימוד אין הטעם משום שהם שמחים דודאי אין להם שמחה אלא משום המלמד ששמח בד"ת שלומד עמהם כנ"ל. ‏

Translation of the content: I seems obvious to permit to learn with children comments on Yiov and last things allowed for adult. Why is it prohibited to learn with children? Children doesn't become happy from the study! The reason is the teacher. He would be happy when learning Torah with them. You can ask: We already know that The Halacha is ruled against Rabbi Meir (Who stated that a study which is hard because new is permitted) because all study will lead the student to happiness when he finally understand!? The answer is that when there is a stronger reason to not be happy, The hardness to teach children and the teacher will be allowed to learn Chumash and Gemara whith children. The conclusion of the halacha is that even in these conditions, the teacher is at least a bit happy to learn Torah words with them.

Important note:

Some people asked a question concerning the fact that to learn Job and the sad subject may be interesting. I remember a Mishna in Yoma. The Mishna expose how they made in time of Bet Mikdash to avoid that Kohen Gadol fall asleep.

  1. If he was a sage, he would expound.
  2. and if not, the disciples of the sages would expound before him.
  3. If he was familiar with reading, he would read.
  4. If he was not a sage and nor familiar with reading, they would read before him, from Job, Ezra and Chronicle.

וּבַמֶּה קוֹרִין לְפָנָיו, בְּאִיּוֹב וּבְעֶזְרָא וּבְדִבְרֵי הַיָּמִים.‏

Rashi explains that they stimulate interest and the Kohen Gadol will stay awake.

So, to read Job is known as interesting. But if you see the list in the Mishna, there is a descending order of interest. In conclusion, the degree of interest which is prohibited is not a simple interest of reading, but an interest of Chidushe Suggiot.

  • I don't see your conclusion in the wording of the Taz. You brought a very relevant source, but I believe you may have possibly made an error in Halacha. Perhaps take a look at the relevant Poskim. – LN6595 Aug 10 '16 at 23:52
  • @kouty I hear your sevarah. At the same time, I believe that the Halachah permits learning Eichah, Iyov, Eichah Rabba etc. even to one who enjoys it. This is what I heard from my teachers, and this is what I do in practice. – LN6595 Aug 11 '16 at 21:26
  • @kouty If I had sources, I would post an answer ; ) Since I don't have sources accessable, I am just commenting. Because this is a matter of Halachah (that people will use practically, even if we tell them not to), I believe it is correct to register my opposition. You can look at Zavlynov's answer for one applicable source. And if you can prove me wrong, yasher koach to you! – LN6595 Aug 11 '16 at 21:32
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Yalkut Yosef Ta'anit 554.52 brings down a very relevant qualification for learning even those subjects that are allowed to be learned on 9-Av. "Although it is permissible to read all the above (the permitted subject for torah study 554.51,) this is only to read them in a superficial manner. It is forbidden to delve into these subjects and study them intensely, since it brings a Jew great joy to resolve a difficulty that arises while he is studying Torah..."

and yet it Yalkut Yosef Ta'anit 554.56: "...One 9av Torah study is still in force except that there is a limitation to one's choice of subjects. It is forbidden to simply waste one's time from Torah study."

It would seem that this inability to choose to study the subject of one's desire whether or not it would bring joy to your heart is in itself a reason for morning. On top of that it must be limited to just superficial study.

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