Issachar Zevulun

How Does The Yissaschar Zevulun concept connect to Kollel Chatzot?

There is one specific area in which a Yissachar Zevulun relationship is utilized nowadays and that is through Kollel Chatzos. The power of reciting Tikkun Chatzot at midnight and learning through the night is brought down in many places, most significantly in the Zohar. Therefore, it is important for each person to try to do their best to fulfill this concept. However, for a lot of people staying up all night is not possible, and that is where the Issachar and Zevulun concept comes in.

What Is Issachar Zevulun?

The names or phrase Yissachar and Zevulun have become synonymous with the partnership that people make together, whereby one partner studies Torah, and the other works to support both partners. It is agreed that the rewards for the Torah learning will be split between the two. Issachar Zevulun is the idea that a person can receive part of another persons reward in the Next World by supporting his Torah learning in this world. In this way a person can acquire a lot of merit even if he is unable to sit and learn Torah himself. This is also a unique opportunity as the Yissaschar Zevulun contract can only take place with Torah learning and not with any other mitzvah.

What reward does one get in this Yissaschar Zevulun relationship?

Issachar Zevulun- Greater reward

In Sefer Chassidim, R’ Yehuda Hachassid writes that you should try to love the mitzvos that other people don’t love to do which will make your reward 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. Without sponsors they would not be able to do this and therefore those who sponsor them with a Yissaschar Zevulun contract get to share in this great reward.

Issachar Zevulun- Yishuv Haaretz

Additionally, the Maharam Mintz says that when you give money to support torah study in Eretz Yisroel, it is considered as though you have a share in the mitzvah of yishuv eretz yisroel. So it is a unique and great opportunity to be involved in this Issachar Zevulun relationship.

Issachar Zevulun - Power of Chatzot

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai writes that anyone who becomes a partner in this, equally benefits from all the profits that Chatzos brings. The Zohar Hakadosh writes in almost every section  about the benefits of praying and learning at Chatzos, and how cherished those who accomplish it are. He writes that it is vital for every individual to attempt to the best of their ability to accomplish this but if he cannot do so himself, he should at least support a Torah scholar who learns during the night hours and in doing so, have a share in his learning.

He writes "By signing on as a partner with the Torah Scholars, you merit abundant wealth on this World! And you are assured a share in the Next World!” It is written ‘Praised is he who strives to achieve it, and how good his share and lot are in the world to come! An eye has not yet seen the like’s of it!’ (Rav Yeshaya Asher Zelig Margolis of Yerusalayim in his sefer Kumi Roni in the name of the Chutzos Damesek and the Kaf Hachaim)

What is the Original Source of the Issachar Zevulun Partnership

The source for this relationship is in Moshe’s end-of-life brachos to the tribes of Issachar and Zevulun where he says

“Rejoice, Zevulun, in your departure, and Yissaschar, in your tents.”

Rashi on Issachar Zevulun

Rashi explains this to mean that “Zevulun and Yissaschar entered into a partnership. Zevulun would dwell at the seashore and go out in ships, to trade and make profit. He would thereby provide food for Yissaschar, who would, in turn, sit and occupy themselves with the study of Torah. ” He continues: “Consequently, Moshe mentioned Zevulun before Yissaschar [even though the latter was the elder of the two], because Yissaschar’s Torah came through [the provisions provided by] Zevulun.”

Rema on Issachar Zevulun

The Rema writes that when a person supports someone else who is studying Torah, “it is considered as if he had studied himself.

And a person may make a condition with his friend that [his friend] will study Torah and he will provide him with a livelihood, and

they will then split the rewards . . .” This is the Issachar Zevulun partnership.

How does the Yissaschar Zevulun contract take place?

A sponsor is matched to one avreich from Kollel Chatzos, who learns all night. A contract is written up and signed by both partners stating that through the support of the sponsor, the avreich will be able to sit and learn without worrying about where his parnasah will come from. Because of this, the avreich will share his reward for learning with the sponsor in the world to come. The contract must be verbalized too ignorer for it to be valid. It should be noted that one can use his maser money in the Yissaschar Zevulun contract.

Why Support Kollel Chatzos through the Issachar Zevulun contract?

Many places have Tomchei shabbos, Bikur Cholim and other great programs, but not many have a kollel chatzos where more than a minyan of talmidei chachamim start learning at midnight and continue to learn until morning. This is a unique and special zechus that one can be a part of by becoming a Yissaschar Zevulun partner. Even more so, it is only through the Issachar Zevulun contract that the kollel is able to continue to exist as without it these great men would not be able to continue to learn in peace.


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