Q. (Re- question 2227 above .) If the answer to the above question is no, (Studying math and sciences, when used for Torah purposes, can be counted as actually learning Torah), why would it not be similar to the history stories or even the funny stories used as meshalim by Maggidim (such as the Duvner Magid or the Chofetz Chaim), to explain Musar or the Parsha? If that is Torah I assume, why would not also the math and sciences needed to explain the Halacha questions?
If those secular subjects, when needed and used for understanding Torah, do become a part of Torah, would one have to make a Birchas Hatorah, before studying them?
A. Please refer to the above answer, as to the fundamental difference between the Torah we received from Hashem and secular studies, even when used for explaining parts of the Torah. Therefore, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that no brocho should be recited on them.
Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 307: 16) rules that one is not allowed to read during Shabbos stories and meshalim of secular value. Mishna Berura (ibid. 58) adds that reading (of the history books of)Yosephus Flavious, Sefer Hayuchsin, Divrei Hayomim of Rav Yosef Hacohen and Shevet Yehuda, is permitted on Shabbos, since one may learn from them words of musar and fear of Hashem, even when written in other languages. It seems that there is indeed if not Torah value, at least some musar and ethical value on those stories.
In Pirkei Avos (3: 9) we read Rabbi Yaakov said: if one is studying while walking on the road and interrupts his study and says, “how fine is this tree!” [or] “how fine is this newly ploughed field!” scripture accounts it to him as if he was mortally guilty. Minchas Shabbos explains, that it refers to one who wants to abandon his Torah learning, for trying to reach Hashem by concentrating only in the beauty of nature and the splendor of Creation. However, that appreciation of nature and the wonders of the universe, can be used effectively only together with the Torah one learns. It is not Torah by itself, just as tefilah and prayers are not.
Talmud (Shabbos 30b) teaches that Rava, before beginning a lecture would tell a “Milsa D’bedichusa,” a humorous story or witticism that would make people laugh. Meforshim point out that it was part of the Torah learning experience with simcha and joy (See Menuchas Sholom p. 48 and others).
However, Pnei Yehoshua (introduction to Kesuvos) maintains that they were words of Hagad’ta.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a