Does learning or teaching Mussar (Jewish ethics) without quoting Torah texts, require Birchas Hatorah?

There are many types of Mussar, like someone telling another person what the Jewish ideology is on a certain Mussar subject/character trait etc. is. Does this require Birchas Hatorah?

I have heard from Rav Chaim Kanievsky, that when a father tells his son stories about Gedolim/Tzadikim he is doing the mitzvah of "ולימדתם אותם את בניכם" "And you shall teach them to your children" - If this is considered teaching children Torah, does it require Birchas Hatorah?

Would it make a difference whether one is reading it from a sefer/book or just telling something?

{Note: I am not referring to a situation where one must tell someone mussar in order to stop him from violating an imminent issur /prohibition, Which is permitted without Bircas Hatorah].


1 Answer 1


The (ערוך השולחן (סי' מ"ז סעיף ח is unsure if Birchas HaTorah is required before learning Medrash or Kabbalah, because it is also Torah and was given to Moshe, or only things that explain the laws of the Torah require a Bracha.

Mussar that explains Halacha, for example pointing out how careful one should be with other people's money, would definitely require a Bracha.

Even if it doesn't expain a halacha, the Mishneh Berurah (47/1) treats birchas HaTorah as a Safek D'Oraisa. Therefore if one can make the bracha before the mussar, it should be made.

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