If one flatulates and the smell is still present, is he allowed to learn Torah silently, or not?


1 Answer 1


R Jack Abramowitz from OU writes

If a person who is praying or learning Torah passes wind, he must pause until the offensive odor dissipates. The same is true if he is davening and a person in his vicinity breaks wind. However, if one is studying Torah, he does not have to wait because of a smell that comes from another person.

A person must distance himself so that he does not pray adjacent to a bathroom, even though it has walls and is clean. The same is true for a child’s potty or anything else used as a lavatory – it must be removed or covered in order to pray or study Torah.

DailyHalacha answers exactly this question in a similar way

With regard to Torah study, the Shulchan Aruch (79:9; listen to audio for precise citation) distinguishes between a case where one himself caused the odor, and where it was caused by somebody else. The person who caused the odor must discontinue his learning until the smell dissipates, whereas others may continue learning even though they smell the odor. The Shulchan Aruch explains that students would often sleep in the study hall, during which time they cannot restrain themselves from passing air. Had the Sages forbade studying when smelling an odor caused by somebody else, students would have to interrupt their learning very frequently as a result of the students sleeping in the room. The Rabbis were therefore lenient in this regard and allowed a student to continue learning even if there is an odor, provided that it was caused by somebody else.

These guidelines apply only to Torah study. When it comes to the recitation of Shema and the Amida, however, one must discontinue his recitation upon smelling a foul odor, regardless of whether it originates from him or from somebody else, and wait for it to dissipate before resuming his prayer. Nevertheless, if somebody did continue reciting Shema or the Amida while smelling a foul odor, his recitation is valid and he need not repeat the Shema or Amida, though in the case of Shema one should preferably repeat the recitation, without the Berachot. (See Halacha Berura, Helek 5, page 110.)

  • not at all what i asked. i asked about someone silently studying torah, what you quoted was only said about someone studying torah out loud. still awaiting an answer. anyone? Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 16:13
  • @simmonskorfen I'm not seeing what you see. Where in these citations is there mention that these rules apply only to studying out loud?
    – DanF
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 16:27
  • 1
    @DanF whenever Torah study stam is said, it means Torah study out loud. Torah study silently is not called torah study at all, as the Maharal brings in Nesiv HaTorah. Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 16:29
  • 1
    @DanF As R' Kaganoff states in his article on the subject "but we may not realize that there are halachos pertaining to foul-smelling odors. Specifically, that one may not recite a bracha, learn Torah aloud, or daven when smelling malodors. Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 16:31

You must log in to answer this question.

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