I was curious as to what the recommended way is to approach studying of all kinds; does the Torah prescribe any particular balance between religious and secular subjects?

Thanks for your help!

  • This falls under "Ask your Rabbi" questions category. There's no "universal" approach.
    – Al Berko
    Feb 23, 2019 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


Rambam Hilchot Talmud Tora, chapter 1, halacha 12.

א,יב כיצד: היה בעל אומנות--יהיה עוסק במלאכה שלוש שעות ביום, ובתורה תשע: אותן התשע--קורא בשלוש מהן, בתורה שבכתב; ובשלוש, בתורה שבעל פה; ובשלוש, מתבונן בדעתו להבין דבר מדבר. ודברי קבלה, בכלל תורה שבכתב הן; ופירושן, בכלל תורה שבעל פה; והעניינות הנקראין פרדס, בכלל התלמוד.במה דברים אמורים, בתחילת תלמודו של אדם; אבל כשיגדיל בחכמה ולא יהיה צריך לא ללמוד תורה שבכתב, ולא לעסוק תמיד בתורה שבעל פה--יקרא בעיתים מזומנים תורה שבכתב ודברי השמועה, כדי שלא ישכח דבר מדברי דיני תורה, וייפנה כל ימיו לתלמוד בלבד, לפי רוחב ליבו ויישוב דעתו.‏

If he has a professional activity, he can work three hours, three hours he can learn scriptural Tora, thre hours oral Tora (he means Mishnaic learning, including Midrashei Halacha), Three hours for reflexion on the learned material. ...

He doesn't address non religious studies. But nowadays, most persons who need to work further need to learn a professional activity. To learn non Tora studies, not to work further is not a mitsva. This can help to understand Tora topics and is included in the third part of Tora learning. The Rambam explains in the halacha above that learning Tora is an obligation and needs a very large investment. It is not the case for other studies. But there are professional activities that need large investment in learning. I know that great Talmide Chachaminm I had the chance to know chose occupations that didn't need large investment in learning.

Nowadays, one who need to support his family needs generally to work more than 3 hours. But the spirit of the text is that one needs to work less as possible, and learn Tora more as possible.

  • I think the question was about balancing between religius and non rel. studies, not Torah and work. please revise.
    – Al Berko
    Feb 24, 2019 at 17:47
  • It's also addressed
    – kouty
    Feb 24, 2019 at 18:06
  • @Al Berko......
    – kouty
    Feb 24, 2019 at 18:07
  • Thank you, this answer was and is useful. I was just rereading and realised I had forgotten to up-vote, sorry about that!
    – Jay
    Mar 22, 2020 at 22:36
  • @Jay thanks you too
    – kouty
    Mar 23, 2020 at 8:56

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