Ask the rabbi

  • Halacha
  • Computers and Internet

Blessing on learning Torah


Rabbi David Sperling

Tammuz 1, 5780
Hi there, I learn all my Torah online (I don’t have books yet where I live...), and I get confused between when I should make a blessing for the study of Torah. Since B”H in between eating, chores, etc. I study Torah stuff whenever I have time, but the content really varies. For example, sometimes I’m listening to a rabbis class while I’m doing chores or in the car. Sometimes I sit down to study a book of Torah from the app Sefaria, and sometimes I sit to watch a Torah related or Israel related video. The rabbi I study from told us that every dvar Torah, even one you are thinking about, counts as learning Torah....But let’s say I open my day with a class on Israel and things that happened in the Torah in certain spots in Israel, does that warrant a blessing on Torah study? Do you only bless if you’ll be looking at an official Torah book? How do I know when doing independent study what warrants a Torah study blessing? B”H, for now, I’ve just been thanking G-d for learning Torah in my own words, but I wanted to know when to say the actual blessing. Thank you so much and wishing Chodesh Tov!
Shalom, Thank you for your question. It’s wonderful to read of your Torah study. May you be blessed with every success and growth in Torah. As to the blessings over Torah learning – your question is a good one. However, the universal practice today is that we say the blessings over learning Torah every morning as part of the morning prayer service. If you have a siddur (prayer book) you will find the Blessings over Torah learning printed somewhere near the front of the siddur in the morning service. We say these blessings every morning (both men and women). You will see that immediately after the blessings we recite a few small sections of Torah learning (some verses from the Torah, a Mishna and some Talmud). Based on this recitation of the blessings, and this small act of learning, we then can learn Torah all day long without any additional blessings. Whenever you have time to return to some Torah you can rely on the blessings you said in the morning. If you don’t own a siddur, you can find one on line (in the Sefaria app you mentioned). May you learning be uplifting, Blessings.
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