1 678
 Hilchos Kriyas Shema 85 (page 232)
 מתחילת סימן פה עד אמצע סעיף ב ואם נזדמן

What to do When it is Forbidden to Think About Torah
Speaking Divrei Torah in Other Languages
Entering a Bathroom in the Midst of Learning Torah

What to do when it is forbidden to think about Torah
All forms of Torah are forbidden in places where Torah thoughts are not permitted. For example, it is forbidden to think about Hebrew grammar in the bathroom, since the rules are based on words as they appear in Tanach. Considering a grammar issue can easily lead to thinking about the relevant pesukim. In places where they could not learn Torah, the wise men of Israel would occupy their minds with worldly wisdom, such as philosophy, language or science. Issues pertaining to Hashem's existence or self-improvement (as long as they don't lead to Torah thoughts) can also be considered, as can inconsequential matters such as beautiful buildings or pictures.
( סעיף ב וס"ק ה-ו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 4, עם הרחבת המקור)
Speaking divrei Torah in other languages
Torah discussions in unclean places are forbidden in any language. It is permissible to speak Lashon Hakodesh in an unclean place, but it is praiseworthy to avoid doing so. (It is possible to be lenient in countries where the primary spoken language is Hebrew.) It is forbidden to mention the sacred names of Hashem (e.g. Havayah, E-lokim) in unclean places, whether this is done in Lashon Hakodesh or any other language.  This is also the case with words that are sometimes used to refer to Hashem (e.g. Shalom, or Rachmana in Aramaic).
( סעיף ב וס"ק ט-י; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 8-10)
Entering a bathroom in the midst of learning Torah
Ideally, one should not go from Torah straight into tefilla because the Torah thoughts might occupy his mind during the davening. Forcing his mind to focus on the davening will likely further distract him from tefilla. In contrast, one may enter a bathroom just after studying Torah, because even if he becomes preoccupied with forcing himself not think about Torah, this will keep his mind from Torah. In the event that he is unsuccessful in avoiding Torah thoughts, he is considered an ones and is not held culpable. Another reason that one can go directly into a bathroom right after learning is that simply being in a bathroom helps remind a person to refrain from Torah .
( ס"ק ח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 7)

  • It is forbidden to think Torah thoughts in the innermost chamber of [an ancient] bathhouse where [almost] everyone is usually undressed, even if everyone is dressed and the room is clean.
  • It is permissible to think Torah thoughts in a shower room that is clean. Hirhur is permitted even while bathing because it is permissible to think about Torah when the body is undressed.
  • Shalom is one of Hashem's names (see Shoftim 6:24) and may not be pronounced in a bathroom or any place where divrei kedusha are forbidden.

  • An exception to the prohibition against studying Torah in a foul area

  • Which odors require distance?

  • Keeping a distance from sewer pipes




PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.