Question:

What is the minimum dress code a person is obligated for while learning torah. Is there a difference which topic of torah . For example pshat or sod? I am currently listening to a shiur about gilgulim, based on the ramban Arizal and the reishis chachma. Can i listen to the shiur in a undershirt pants and slippers. Thank you

Answer:

It is nice that you feel that when you learn torah you should be dressed appropriately; your feeling is very correct. In essence though, there is no difference between learning pshat or sod- it all has the kedusha of H-shem’s holy Torah, and His divine word. In fact, in olden times when they learnt any part of Torah, they would stand he whole time, out of reverence for what they were learning. (Nowadays however most of us do not have the strength to do this, and such a practice is not encouraged, although I know of a man – in his seventies that does this!). This is the correct approach to learning in general, halachically though it is permitted to think in learning, even when one is with any clothes, and listening to a shiur is like thinking in learning. To talk in learning though, that may only be done when the person’s ervah and head are covered, and there is a separation between his heart and ervah. Just to reiterate, it is definitely preferred that a person be properly clothed when learning out of respect for the holiness of what he is doing, but the halacha is as already stated.

Best wishes

Sources:

Shulchan Aruch O:CH 74-1, Introduction to SIman 74 in Biur Halacha, M:B 1,4.

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