Rav Avigdor Miller on Torah and Tehillim on Public Transportation

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Q:
Is it proper to say Tehillim or daven on public transportation?


A:
If there are no women present, so there is no problem with the Halacha of saying דברים שבקדושה in front of unclad women, then you can. The way the streets look today, you have to be very careful with that. The streets are filthy today. Here’s a woman walking down Kings Highway and what is she wearing? She’s dressed in a pocketbook! It’s a crazy world out there. The streets are terrible today. So if women are present, they have to be dressed properly. Otherwise, you can’t say דברים שבקדושה. And even if her hair is uncovered, you won’t be able to say דברים שבקדושה unless you close your eyes. And you’re going to have to learn תורה שבעל פה once your eyes are closed.

And of course, if there are bums present, then you have to be very careful. And that’s because bums are incensed by any open display of religion. I know a man who lost his life because he was learning from a big sefer on the subway. Watch out for the bums.

But otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with studying Torah on public transportation. As long as you make sure that you’re being considerate of your fellow travellers. You always have to be considerate of others. But you don’t have to be embarrassed about learning Torah or saying Tehillim on the bus or the subway. No, not at all. You always have to be thinking about הקדוש ברוך הוא. Even when you’re riding the bus and the subway.

TAPE # 405