Fulfilling the Mitzvah of Torah Study


What counts as ‘learning Torah’ in order to fulfill the mitzvah? Does reading a book or website in English (or one’s native tongue) that talks about the Torah count as learning Torah? What about attending a shiur or lecture from a rabbi or a layperson knowledgeable about at least part of the Torah? How about just watching a YouTube video in which there is no two-way interaction in which someone reads verses or comments about the Torah?

Can any of these methods fulfill the mitzvah of studying Torah? Or must one actually open a book of the Tanakh or Talmud and read the exact word written inside?



  1. The Rambam rules, Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:11, that one gets the full Mitzvah of Learning Torah only if one understands the meaning and clarifies all the details. This means that one can learn in whatever language they feel comfortable in, and that they will receive the reward for it.

    Having said that, there is no doubt that learning texts in their original languages means that the nuances and the subtleties of meaning will not be lost, as is generally the case when things are translated.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team