The greatness of Kollel Chatzot
We all know how difficult it is to wake up at midnight and to learn throughout the night. Besides for a couple of times a year like shavuos night and Hoshana Rabo, most people are not accustomed to waking up at chatzot to study until morning. At kollel chatzot, our esteemed avreichim stay up every single night throughout the year. During the regular zman, and even during bein hazmanim when most yeshivos do not learn. They are delving in torah without out any break. Even on chol hamoed, they wake up night after night with mesirus nefesh.
What do the members of Kollel Chatzot do?
They start the night with the recitation of Tikkun Chatzot, a powerful tefilla that is said at exactly chatzot- midnight. At this great and auspicious time, they pray for klal yisroel, sweetening all bad decrees. Not only do they pray for the nation as a whole, they also daven for individuals who have given their names in order to be prayed for by the kollel chatzos members for specific yeshuos. The members then go on to learn Torah from chatzos until morning when they then daven shacharis at the time of netz hachamoh.
Why learn from chatzot until morning?
There are many sources for the power and greatness of learning after chatzos.
Ramban on learning after chatzos:
The ramban writes that ‘Even though it is a mitzvah to learn torah day and night, a person acquires most of his torah wisdom from the study at night.’ Therefore, one who wants to acquire the crown of torah should be very careful that he doesn’t lose even one night in eating, drinking or sleeping; but he should study torah.
Zohar on learning after chatzot:
The Zohar writes many times about the great power of this time of night. He says there is no time more great than chatzot. It is the opportune time to sit and engage yourself in Torah study. He writes “The clarity of night Torah is much more than during the day” (Zohar 3-23) He also wrote that “Even at a time when harsh decrees exist and prayers of Jewish children are, unfortunately, not accepted up above, the pleas of those who get up at Chatzos are answered.” He says of those who get up at chatzos that they ‘are in the inner chamber with the king because there is no greater virtue than that.’
R’ Yehuda Hachassid on the power if this mitzvah:
In sefer Chassidim, R’ Yehuda Hachassid writes that you should try to love the mitzvah that other people don’t, and then your reward will be even greater. The talmidei Chachamim in Kollel chatzos do just that. They wake up at midnight when nobody else wants to and in that way they reap even more reward than for a regular mtizva.
The Arizal on learning after Chatzot:
The Arizal writes about those who are part of a kollel chatzos saying “There is no limit to the reward of one who arises at midnight to unite Hakadosh Baruch Hu with the shechina. There is no level higher than his, and he shall be among those tzaddikim who decree below and their words are fulfilled above.”
R’ Nachman on the power of Chatzot:
R’ Nachmun revealed to us from the likutei moharan that there are 24 hours in a day which correspond to the 24 upper courts. At every hour of the day there is a specific court which judges a person. And they judge the world. People unfortunately go through many hardships and types of suffering and because of the specific court out of the 24 courts which judged him at that time. R nachan said that for a tzadik to be able make a pidyon- a redemption, he must be fluent in all the 24 courts and know exactly which court is prosecuting at that moment to overturn the judgement. He needs to then have enough merit to enter that court and sweeten the judgement. This can be compared to when someone has a court case and he hires the top lawyer on his behalf to try to get him a good judgement. However if the lawyer goes to the wrong court or he doesn’t know which court to go to, it wont help. It wont matter how brilliant that lawyer is if he doesn’t show up to the correct court room.
The same is true in our case, if the tzaddik is not fluent in all 24 courts, it wont help. Yet today there is no-one on a level who knows which court has judged a person, but there is a solution. When a person is worthy of of waking up at chatzot, chatzot acts for him as a pidyon- redemption. When he wakes up at chatzot he sweetens upon himself all the judgements from all the 24 courts simultaneously. And so the batei dinim judge him favorably with good decrees.
Kollel Chatzot members speak about their experience
The kollel chatzot members, as well as people who support the Kollel monetarily, have seen many nissim and moments of salvation which can be attributed to the great power of kollel chatzos. Each one can personally attest to the many brachot that came about in his life after starting to learn in kollel chatzos. There is an air of kedusha in the city because of the kollel and many community members feel that the city is safer and has seen less terror or crime at night due to kollel Chatzos. The kollel chatzos members feel that after learning from chatzot until morning, their tefilos during shacharis are much more powerful and they are able to concentrate and reach greater levels of kedusha. They all agree that their main goal is the bringing of the Geula which the Zohar states will come from learning after chatzos.