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Is reading secular self-help books considered Torah?


We are told in kohelet to listen to the words of the wise. We are also told somewhere to purchase books of truth and not sell it.Does the first point refer only to Torah scholars or to geeral wisdom from anyone in everyday life.The purchase of books does this refer only to Torah or to proverbs around the world generally .




What you are referring to is a verse in Proverbs 23-23. The verse reads “Buy truth and don’t sell it”. The major commentaries (Rashi, Metzudos) explain that this verse means that if one can not gain Torah knowledge for free, he should be willing to even pay for it. However, if there are others that want to learn from him, he should not sell it, and charge them money for it, rather (if he can) he should teach them Torah for free. According to this, it is not referring specifically to purchasing books, rather to learning Torah in general. It does not refer specifically to Proverbs.

Best wishes


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