Thursday, July 18, 2013

v'dibarta bam -- v'lo devarim beteilim

The gemara (Yoma 19) darshens from the words of shema, “v’dibarta bam – v’lo devarim b’teilim.”  Tucked away in his Mei Marom on Avos (5:22, link) R’ Ya’akov Moshe Charlap raises this safeik: what about a person who is not learning, but is not speaking devarim b’teilim either – is that a violation of this mitzvah d’oraysa? 

We could formulate the safeik as follows: is “v’dibarta bam” a positive aseh commanding limud haTorah, or is it an issur aseh that prohibits devarim b’teilim? 

R’ Charlap ends off by saying tzarich iyun l’halacha (this is not a derush question!)


  1. shouldnt this be taluy in the machlokes rishonim whether there is a chiyuv to learn torah every second? the ran (nedarim 8a i believe) says there is such a chiyuv, while the rambam / mechaber / rema dont seem to accept this position, since they say one can fulfill his requirement to learn torah with a little learning both morning and night.

  2. Maybe, but I am not sure that machlokes is about the mitzvah of "v'dibarta bam." The Ran there quotes the mitzvah as "v'shinantam." It could be there are two seperate mitzvos: 1) learning Torah whenever possible = v'dibarta; 2) knowing Torah cold, which can only be accomplished by complete immersion in study = v'shinantam. The Birchas Shmuel doesn't quote v'dibarta, but he does break the mitzvah into these two components. So maybe you need to always be learning to fulfill v'shinantam and v'dibarta is just an issur aseh? I'm not sure.

  3. See the Siftei Chachamim to Devarim 1:16 S'K 30. He seems to clearly hold that there is no issue with not learning Torah for at least the vast majority of people.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Dorash Moshe, Terumah, second half of [first?]
    ma'amar. My previous, deleted comment cited the
    Dibros Moshe in error: right shul, wrong shtender.

  6. I noticed over shabbos that the rambam completely ignores any discussion of vidibarta bam in the context of talmud torah, and instead uses vidibarta bam as the basis for krias shema. not really sure exactly what to make of that...

  7. Maybe I am looking at the wrong Sifsei Chachamim, but the point of the one I think you are referring to is that once you become a dayan, your time is not yours. It's a question of public responsibility vs. personal freedom.

    Interesting Dorash Moshe. Would the same apply to tefilah?

    Re: the Rambam, so your question is why the Rambam omits this din. something to look into...

  8. It seems to apply only to those things "she'ayn lahem shiur".
    Note Rebbi Eliezer's dictum that ha'oseh tefillaso k'va ain
    tfilaso tachanunim.

  9. I agree that that is the simple understanding of Rashi. However, the Siftei Chachamim seem to equate that public responsibility with the obligation to constantly learn Torah. In contrast, normal people have a choice: "To learn and plumb the depths of halacha or to just be idle."