Is there an Issur to study on Shabbas for a test that will take place after Shabbas? Would it be considered an Hachuna from Shabbos to Chol?

And if so, is there any difference between a test that's Torah-related or not?

Assume the material is allowed to be learned on Shabbos, and the only issue is the intent to use the knowledge after Shabbos.

  • 1
    see Shmiras Shabbas Kihilchasa
    – sam
    Jan 27, 2017 at 2:04

2 Answers 2


The OP is already answered halacha lemaase by NJM citing great poskim. I want just to try to find some sources in Shass. My approach is to help understand (partially) halacha only. For this we need a quick review of Chazal.

There are three issues in halachic terminology:

  1. Hachana,
  2. Daber Davar,
  3. Oneg Shabbat.

Apparently the prohibition of preparing (Hachana) is addressed in Gemara (Eruvin 38b Kushia of Abaye, see there in Chidushei Harashba) for a physical effort, e..g. walking a great distance to make an eruv. Regarding speaking the prohibition addressed is "Daber Davar". In Mishna Shabbat (see Talmud Bavli 113a) there are examples of technical preparation for bed-making, vessels washing and folding clothes. For thinking or reading alone no prohibition I didn't find sources calling them Hachana (contrarily, the Gemara allows: "hirhur mutar", Shabbat 113b).

To read secular matter in Shabbat is discussed e. g. Medicine or astronomy and is an independent issue.

At first glance if somewhat is permitted to study "per se" the day of Shabbat, no problem if the intent is to achieve a test. If the matter itself is not allowed on Shabbat, obviously we cannot learn it, even without test issue.

Studying, if the intent is the test only, may perhaps may perhaps be prohibited because of "Daber Davar", your speaking of Shabbat needs to be different than your speaking of Yom Chol. If he learns by speaking and not thinking only, and speak alone, it is not a "performative speaking" but rather a thinking equivalent, it's not relevant in matter of Dabber Davar. But we know that even thinking is not good because ofthe cancellation of the positive mitsva of "Oneg Shabbat".

An additional reason to allow secular activities is the "mitsvatic"content associated with them. E.g. asking for own lost object. If there is a mitsva in the speaking with others e. g. in way to generate mitsva of hashavat aveda, it is allowed. We can imagine a mitsva for at student in diverse ways.

This answer is not halachically relevant because some poskim cited in the answer of NJM prohibited due to hachana.


No, you can't study whatsoever during Shabbat, except Torah, and even Torah you shouldn't study too hard, just read and let yourself go. Some people are more lenient and admit reading secular books. Reading, not studying. The books however should in no way defile the sanctity of Shabbat. For instance, don't read comics or glossy mags. It doesn't matter you're having a test, it doesn't matter whether the test is about Torah or not, it doesn't matter that you have an important issue in your life. You must organise your life so that nothing clashes with Shabbat. It doesn't matter that you didn't organise your life better and now, unless you study during Shabbat, you'll fail and you'll have to repeat a whole school year. Are you going to tell Hashem that the convenience for you of not having a whole school year wasted is more imporant than His Shabbat? In Shabbat you dedicate yourself totally heart and soul to Shabbat, you even fight thinking of earthly matters that keep your mind worried. Only protection of life takes precedence from Shabbat. And not only when you're almost dying, suppose for instance that you need to take a medicine everyday no exceptions and that medicine must be cooked only moments before administration. You can't prepare it in advance and you can't instruct before Shabbat a goy to have it ready for you in the moment you need it. There's no way out. You need to cook with fire during Shababt to take the medicine. You won't die if you don't take it, at least not today, but you'll scramble the whole therapy. Then you make the fire during Shabbat. Is there a situation when studying could be in place of making a fire? Maybe. Suppose for instance someone gets sick during Shabbat and you are not sure which medicine he should take and you'll have to spend some time studying literature and enquirying. Then you do, even if the person will eventually only take the medicine after Shabbat. If your refraining from studying during Shabbat will delay the person's treatment and endanger his life/health, then you start studying during Shabbat.

This http://www.yeshiva.co/ask/?id=3880 says sefaradim are not allowed to study anything but Torah during Shabbat, though ashkenazim are, as long as it is not for such an activity as prohibited during Shabbat.

  • 2
    Other answers have provided sources from rabbis saying otherwise from what you claim. Can you please mention what sources you're basing this answer off of? Otherwise it looks like some random person off the internet (no offense) against Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchata, 39 Melachos, and Yalkut Yosef.
    – Scimonster
    Jan 30, 2017 at 17:02

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