Reading on Shabbos

Written by din, 8/7/2019

 

Question:

Dear Rav,
Reading science and story books give me a tremendous amount of oneg shabbos. I also have an issue that I’m more prone to depression than other people. Is there a heter for me to read these books on shabbos? Of course, I’ll try to spend most of my time learning.

Answer:

 

Reading books of secular knowledge is not permitted according to some opinions[1]‘ and this seems to be the opinion of the מחבר who the Sephardim follow. However, others argue that books of knowledge are not similar to business documents and the two won’t get confused and they are permitted mixed up, and this is the custom of the Ashkenazim. However, since this is the topic of controversy it is still preferable for all not to read them on Shabbos. While the custom of the Ashkenazim[2]  is to be lenient and read these books on Shabbos, the Mishnah Berurah says that a god fearing person should preferably not[3] read them. Included in “books of knowledge” are; Math books[4], Geography books, language books[5], encyclopedias[6].

There is an exception to this; if this knowledge is one’s trade then it is not permitted because then it is like part of his business, for example an engineer may not read engineering books because this is part of his business[7].

 

 

Sources:

[1] דעת הר”מ בפימ”ש, פכ”ג  וכן בבעל המאור שבת קט”ז ע”ב שמותר בכל ספר שיש בו סרך קדושה, ומשמע  שסתם ספרי חכמה אסור. ודעת המקילים הוא הרמב”ן, והרשב”א. ופ’ המ”ב בס”ק ס”ה מהלבוש, גר”ז, ועצי שיטים שהמנהג להקל אמנם יר”ש יחמיר, וכן הוא המנהג אצל האשכנזים. אמנם בכף החיים ס”ק קכ”ג כ’ שהספרדים יחמירו כיון שהמחבר סתם כדעת הר”מ והביא הרמב”ן רק כי”א.

[2] ע’ כה”ח ס’ ש”ז ס”ק קכ”ז שדעת המחבר כי”א הראשונים וממילא לספרדים אסור.

[3] מ”ב ס”ק  ס”ה בשם א”ר.

[4] שלמי יהודה פי”ב הערה ס”ג, עלינו לשבח שמות תשובה ע”ח.

[5] ס’ שטרי הדיוטות שם ערה כ”ג מס’ משאת שבת.

[6] ס’ שטרי הדיוטות פ”ג סע’ י’ בשם ס’ משאת שבת ס’ ש”ז סע’ י”ז אות כ”ז.

[7] שש”כ  פכ”ט ס”ק קכ”ב.


Reposted with permission from http://dinonline.org/2019/07/07/reading-on-shabbos-2/

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