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Halacha of stacking books



  1. Can you please explain the halacha of stacking books horizontally on a table or vertically on a shelf? Is it ok to mix secular books with books about Torah or mitzvot?
  2. Is it halachically acceptable to place a Torah book on a seat or a book with the name of G-d on a seat?



  1. Here are some of the halacha regarding placing books on top of each other. The books should be placed with the book that are considered more prominent going on top, therefore a chumash on top of everything, even above books of Neviim and Kesubim. Books of the prophets, go on top of books of the oral torah such a Mishnayos, Gemoras etc. Torah based books go on top of secular books, which aren’t discussing the will of Hashem at all.
  2. We are not[1] allowed to sit on a bench that has a sefer on it. Standing the sefer up does not[2] help for this at all.

One may sit on a seat of a bench that has a separate seat for each place, even if there is a sefer on the other seat, because it doesn’t look like the same seat[3].

If something that has a little height, (not just a piece of paper) is under the sefer we may sit on the bench[4].  According to some poskim[5] it should be a טפח high.

According to some opinions, if the person was sitting there first, and then the sefer was put there he may continue sitting there[6]. Best wishes


[1] יו”ד ס’ רפ”ב סע’ ז’, וכ”פ הש”ך וערה”ש שם אות י”ב.

[2] גנזי הקודש פ”ב הערה ט”ו בשם ר’ אלישיב ורש”ז ר’ נ. קרליץ זצ”ל  ושכן הורה ר’ משה זצ”ל ובמשנה הלכות ח”ה ס’ קצ”ב וע”ע אז נדברו חי”א ס’ ד’ שבמקום ביטול תורה יש מקום להקל בזה זמני.

[3] שו”ת שבט הלוי ח”ג ס’ י”א, ס’ גנזי קדוש שם הערה י”ז מרש”ז, ר’ ב”צ אבא שאול ור’ אלישיב זצ”ל

[4] ש”ך יו”ד ס’ רפ”ב סק”ט בשם הב”י, וכ’ בגנזי הקודש שכן שמע מר’ אלישיב ור’ נ. קרליץ זצ”ל.

[5] ערה”ש יו”ד ס’ רפ”ב אות י”ב, וע’ רדב”ז ח”ג ס’ תקי”ג שהמחמיר בזה טע”ב.

[6] גנזי הקודש שם הערה י”ח משו”ת תשורת שי י”ב ס’ קס”ט.


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