Which English book on the laws of Shabbos would you recommend?

One that is Halacha Lemaase with footnotes that show where the Halacha stems from and the differentiating opinions.

3 Answers 3


There are multiple options depending on how much of a reference book you are searching for vs. something which is readable cover-to-cover to rehearse.

  • The 39 melochos is an amazing reference work but it is very heavy (ca. 2000 pages) and detailed. Serves best to check out or learn in depth a specific melacha with Hebrew footnotes to enable further study
  • Shemirath Shabbath KeHilchata remains a classic, can be read cover to cover (although a bit heavy) and doesn't address more recent technology innovations
  • R Simcha Bunim Cohen's set feels more readable since each volume only covers specific topics (e.g., the home, the kitchen, muktze, amira l'akum) and is focused on halacha l'maase but (Hebrew) footnotes bring a variety of opinions
  • R Daniel Braude's Learn Shabbos in Just 3 Minutes A Day is a very recent book which is structured along the 39 melachot, it brings the halacha for each with background, lots of practical day-to-day examples and sources (mostly SA, MB, SSK and piskei aharonim focused on R SZ Auerbach, R Eliashiv). Its title stems from the fact it is broken down in 500 or so sections which can be learned in a few minutes. It is both highly readable and quite deep
  • I am traveling at present but happy to provide a few "inside pictures" towards the end of the week if useful
    – mbloch
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 3:47
  • 1
    Ty. Y'all are awesome. @mbloch
    – Moshe
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 5:24

Piskei Shabbas by Rabbi Eliezer Padwar is also very helpful sefer. It is 4 volumes (Yom tov as one vol) . It is in English and has footnotes. Many of the psakim are from Rav Moshe Feinstein ,and the Debercheiner Rav. Many people also use Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen's seforim ,which has good notes (Many times contain more lenient opinions). There is also Rav Shimon Eiders sefer on shabbas as well.

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Sample page:

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Rav Cohen's books:

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Rabbi Eider: enter image description here

  • Do you know where I can buy the set? @sam
    – Moshe
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 1:07
  • It's out of print for a long time,but check here amazon.com/…
    – sam
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 1:12
  • 1
    +1 for Piskei Hilchos Shabbos. I loved that when I was younger, and as I grew, I enjoyed the Hebrew section in the back.
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 3:03
  • It's great,but I think it is very strict for many things .
    – sam
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 3:04

The 39 Melochos by Rabbi Dovid Ribiat. I haven't used it that often myself, but in my experience of observing others this seems to be one of the most, if not the most, highly regarded English books about the laws of Shabbos. The few times that I have used it it seemed to do a good job of laying out the concepts and providing the relevant sources.

  • 1
    However you really need the Hebrew footnotes in the back. In the front he sometimes oversimplifies the concepts. (For halacha lemaaseh the front is probably fine.)
    – Heshy
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 23:43
  • See also comments to judaism.stackexchange.com/a/742/170
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 0:46
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    Also most of the leneinces are in the Hebrew footnotes
    – sam
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 0:52

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