There is a clear halacha see mishna berura here that one should not daven immediately after learning Torah. The source is the gemara Brachos 31a. The reason is so that our minds should be clear to be able to concentrate on tefillah.

Granted, the definition of "learning Torah" (i.e to what level), is discussed by the Poskim and it seems that, broadly speaking, "light" learning (learning that is not too involved - see the sources brought above that use the language of "שאין בה עיון") is ok and "heavy" learning is not.

My question is this: In all Yeshivos that I have studied at (and I'm sure this applies to many, many others) they daven Mincha immediately after the morning shiur (or morning seder). Surely morning seder, an iyun seder in most Yeshivos, should certainly qualify as Torah learning that is involving and distracting from Tefillah. What is the rationale behind this schedule?

  • 1
    Maybe that's why many yeshivoth have a 10-15 minutes Mussar-Seder before Mincha. Dec 11, 2017 at 9:52
  • 2
    Probably that no one has proper kavana anyway. That's usually the answer to these kinds of questions about the Gemara's recommendations for having kavana
    – Double AA
    Dec 11, 2017 at 12:28
  • 1
    @DoubleAA On what basis do you assume that no one has proper kavana? That sounds like the answer of someone who doesn't learn the proper kavanot and doesn't practice that aspect of the mitzvah performance. Dec 11, 2017 at 16:56
  • 4
    @YaacovDeane so SA and all of the many other authorities who laid down the generalization that we typically don't retain proper kavannah were merely "commenting" before they were exposed to kabbalistic teachings? You seem to operate in a very unhalachaic playing field.
    – Oliver
    Dec 11, 2017 at 19:44
  • 2
    @YaacovDeane Lol
    – Double AA
    Dec 11, 2017 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


Perhaps this is the lesser of evils. Let us look at the Talmudic source.

Berachos 31a

ת"ר אין עומדין להתפלל לא מתוך דין ולא מתוך דבר הלכה אלא מתוך הלכה פסוקה והיכי דמי הלכה פסוקה אמר אביי כי הא דר' זירא דאמר ר' זירא בנות ישראל החמירו על עצמן שאפילו רואות טיפת דם כחרדל יושבת עליה שבעה נקיים רבא אמר כי הא דרב הושעיא דאמר רב הושעיא מערים אדם על תבואתו ומכניסה במוץ שלה כדי שתהא בהמתו אוכלת ופטורה מן המעשר ואב"א כי הא דרב הונא דא"ר הונא א"ר זעירא המקיז דם בבהמת קדשים אסור בהנאה ומועלין בו רבנן עבדי כמתניתין רב אשי עביד כברייתא: ת"ר אין עומדין להתפלל לא מתוך עצבות ולא מתוך עצלות ולא מתוך שחוק ולא מתוך שיחה ולא מתוך קלות ראש ולא מתוך דברים בטלים אלא מתוך שמחה של מצוה

Our Rabbis taught: A man should not stand up to say Tefillah either immediately after trying a case or immediately after a [discussion on a point of] halachah; but he may do so after a halachic decision which admits of no discussion. What is an example of a halachic decision which admits of no discussion? — Abaye said: Such a one as the following of R. Zera; for R. Zera said: The daughters of Israel have undertaken to be so strict with themselves that if they see a drop of blood no bigger than a mustard seed they wait seven [clean] days after it. Raba said: A man may resort to a device with his produce and bring it into the house while still in its chaff so that his animal may eat of it without its being liable to tithe. Or, if you like, I can say, such as the following of R. Huna. For R. Huna said in the name of R. Zeiri: If a man lets blood in a consecrated animal, no benefit may he derived from it [the blood] and such benefit constitutes a trespass. The Rabbis followed the rule laid down in the Mishnah, R. Ashi that of the Baraitha.

Our Rabbis taught: One should not stand up to say Tefillah while immersed in sorrow, or idleness, or laughter, or chatter, or frivolity, or idle talk, but only while still rejoicing in the performance of some religious act. (Soncino translation)

As we can see, the very same Talmudic passage that prohibits praying amid studying Torah also prohibits praying amid sorrow, idleness, laughter, chatter, frivolity, or idle talk. If the yeshivot force the students to take a break from learning before praying, the good students will end up praying amid sorrow (for they had to abandon the joyful Torah study) and the bad students will end up praying amid idleness, laughter, chatter, frivolity, or idle talk. Therefore it is probably better to just allow them to pray amid Torah study.


The halacha in o.c. 89'6' is that one may not start learning once the time for tefilah arrived. If one began learning even after the zeman arrived nevertheless he may continue before his recital of the shmonah esrei. If someone began his learning bofore the time came there is surely no problem and one may begin his learning even when knowing that he shall still be learning when the time arrives.

Since we established that one may begin learning before the arrival of the zeman to pray, we may reason, if the isur of learning prior to prayers which is the care and foresight not to miss out the prayers yields itself for the learning allowing one to learn and go into the time of prayers, then surely the halacha of iyun prior to prayer which is a kavana issue and enhancer shall yield for the one begining to learn before prayer time.

This being the case it is no question that one may begin his yeshiva learning before the time for mincha came about or even before you are in close proximity to the yeshiva's mincha.

(See the Mogen Avraham 93'3' that says that although one may not learn iyun before tefila if he began and the tsibur is starting the tefila he may stop and daven with them as it is lechatchila only.)

In conclusion, this was a beautiful point brought up and along side that the answer is clear and unequivocal and the yeshivot may continue and maintain their tradition(merely calling it a tradition being that a custom in yeshivot may have significant rationale being astablished by great people), having the mincha after the morning learning.

  • 2
    I am not sure OH 89:3 is relevant. It is about the prohibition of performing various activities at prayer time, lest he forget to pray. This is distinct from the issue of learning before prayer. The relevant section of ShA to the question, is 93:3. As far as 89:3 goes, maybe you still need to take a break between learning and praying. || Regardless, 89:3 probably isnt relevant, since it is dealing with the b'diavad, and the question is about the l'khathilla of setting up the schedule that way. The MA is also apparently talking about b'diavad. He doesn't say one may do so l'khathilla.
    – mevaqesh
    Dec 12, 2017 at 0:55
  • 2
    the yeshivot may continue and maintain their tradition How do you know this is a tradition?
    – mevaqesh
    Dec 12, 2017 at 0:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .