Studying on Shabbos for a Test

By Rabbi Chaim Chazzan


I’m aware that there is a prohibition of hachono – preparing on Shabbos for after Shabbos. May one study on Shabbos for a test?


There are several forms of preparation which are prohibited on Shabbos:

“Mimtzo cheftzecha” – one may not do something permissible on Shabbos in preparation for a weekday activity which is prohibited on Shabbos.

“Vedabair davar” – forbids even verbally expressing one’s plans to do those activities.

“Hachana” – forbids preparation for after Shabbos even when the activity itself and what it is facilitating are not related to anything prohibited on Shabbos[1]. An example would be to bring a bottle of wine from the cellar for havdalah[2]. There are several conditions that are required to be present in order for an activity to be classified as hachana, a discussion of which would be beyond the scope of this article.

A preparation that addresses a present Shabbos need, even if the act also serves as a post Shabbos preparation, is permitted[3]. As example would be clearing off a table from shalesh seudos if the table is needed or the messy appearance of the room is disturbing.

It follows that it is permitted to study for a test on limudie kodesh because the mitzvah to study Torah applies on Shabbos, therefore when studying Torah one is fulfilling a “need” for Shabbos, despite it also serves as a post Shabbos preparation[4]. However, verbally expressing one’s post Shabbos motive is possibly forbidden on Shabbos[5].

Some forbid studying for a test on secular studies, but others doubt whether this is prohibited[6].


Reprinted with permission from  Lmaan Yishmeu – a project of Mercaz Anash. To see more articles visit

[1] שוע”ר סי’ שז ס”א, וסי’ תק”ג ס”ג.

[2] משנ”ב תרס”ז ס”ק ה. סי’ זה בשוע”ר לא הגיע לידינו

[3] שוע”ר סי’ שב ס”י

[4] שש”כ פכ”ח ספ”ד ובהערות

[5] בשש”כ שם הע’ קסט מסתפק ע”פ משנ”ב סי’ רצ ס”ק ד וכ”כ בשוע”ר סי’ רצ ס”ו

[6] שם הע’ רו הסתפק הגרש”ז אוירבאך, אכן ראיתי במלקטים שיש מחמירים

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