Sunday, May 04, 2008

Moshav Leitzim

The Moshavei Leitzim I examined were more the types that involved more than one person. Generally speaking, my belief is that as to the specific individual, this is a highly subjective matter. For some people reading Harry Potter, for example, is certainly permitted recreation - perhaps even inspiration. For others it is improper an frivolous ("leitzanus'dik"). The same may be said about reading newspapers, etc. There really can be no objective standard, so long as collateral aveiros of Lo Sasuru etc. are not involved.

Does that help at all?


Dear Rabbi Bechhofer, Shalom u'vrocha,
I lived in Chicago for 7 years and attended some of your classes on Nach that you gave.
I am trying to understand more about Moshav Leitzim and to see if there is an absolute standard or if it varies by the individual person. I see that you have a tape listed on your website but am not sure how to obtain it from here (Jerusalem).
For instance, I had heard that computer games are an acceptable means of relaxation if it gives the person a needed break from their work/learning and won't become a major source of time wasting.
I also heard that the same would be true for relaxing novels that have no problems with tznius and/or hashkoffa.
On the other hand: The Mechaber mentions Books of Wars in Simon שז as Moshav Leitzim. The Magen Avraham there lists a number of other similarly forbidden activities. And the gedolim in Israel wrote in strong terms against computer games several years ago.
I started to look into the various Sheilos and Tsuvos on reading newspapers on Shabbos and how this was considered different than 'Books of Wars' but didn't end up with a clarity on the real difference.
I would appreciate any reference materials or insight that could help me to clarify the topic.
Thank you very much,


  1. welll of dourse The Mechaber and The Magen Avraham where charaedim

  2. He even said to wear a hat during davening whata frummie.