Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I saw in some books (Rav Belsky, Arizal) that you are not allowed to learn torah Shebictav (Tanach) at night without commentaries. Why is that?

share|improve this question
1  
Did the books give any reasons? Which book by the Arizal or Rav Belsky? –  Double AA Apr 14 '13 at 20:59
    
no, i asked my friend he said something about demons harming you. I saw it in Rav Belskys halacha book. I heard it comes from Arizal the source. –  shlomo Apr 14 '13 at 21:01
2  
Rav Belsky and Arizal?! That's a pretty interesting combination –  Yehoshua Apr 14 '13 at 22:14
    
Halachically Speaking has a chapter on this. –  Ypnypn May 5 at 2:45
    
Rivevos Ephraim chelek 2:86 –  sam May 5 at 2:48

2 Answers 2

Mishne Berurah (238, Shaar HaTziyun 1) writes that the Midrash (Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer 46 and Tanchumah Parsha Ki Sisa 36) writes that Moshe Rabenu was taught the Written Torah during the day and the Oral Torah at night. From this Midrash the Ba'er Hetev (2) (and Arizal [ed]) concludes that one should not learn the written Torah at night.

The Pri Megadim writes that it is permissible to learn Torah Shebeksav at night and the Shaar Hatziyun concludes that even according to the Machmirim it is only a preference and not an issur.

Additionally, the Yesod veShoresh Ha'Avodah (6:2) writes that with a Peirush there is no problem at night in any event.

Regarding Tehillim (which is the Written Torah and according to Arizal should not studies at night), the Kaf Hachaim (237:9) writes the minhag is to recite it after Chatzos, But Aishel Avraham (Butchatch) writes there is no problem at night but then adds perhaps only with a minyan.

See Dirshu edition of Mishne Berurah, ibid) and also see Yabia Omer OC 17

Some add that Friday and Yom Tov evening is not problematic to learn Torah Shebeksav according to Arizal (Yosef Ometz 54). Some include Thursday night (going into Friday) as well (Yesod veshoresh ha'avodah and others. See Piskei teshuvos footnote 32)

share|improve this answer
    
Does the same apply to Oral Torah during the day? –  Double AA May 5 at 3:44
    
@DoubleAA That's an interesting point! I did not see anywhere in my research not to learn Oral Torah during the day. My guess is that Oral Torah nearly always has a reference to Written Torah (cf Kiddusihin 30, Rabenu Tam in Tosfos sv Lo) and is therefore not problematic –  Yoni May 5 at 4:01
    
it should be mentioned that the arizal supposedly held that it is forbidden to even read tehilim at night –  ray May 5 at 10:13
    
@ray I edited the answer. Thanks –  Yoni May 5 at 16:20
    
דדער ספר חק לישראל איז א סדר פון דער וואכענדיגער סדרה, עס איז אזוי מסודר אז יעדן טאג פון דער וואך זאל מען לערנען אביסל חומש רש"י, נביאים, כתובים, משנה, גמרא, זוהר. חומש לערנט מען די וואכנדיגע סדרה, זונטיג 6 פסוקים, מאנטיג 4 פסוקים, דינסטיג 5 פסוקים, מיטוואך 6 פסוקים, דאנערשטיג 5 פסוקים, און מען איז משלים די סדרה ליל ששי און פרייטיג. נביאים לערנט מען די הפטרה אויפן זעלבן סדר.That seems to mean thursday night lail shishi as well. –  preferred May 5 at 17:12

In the siddur of Rabbi Shabtai from Rashkov, which presents kavvanot of the Arizal (many books do, it's just the one I have at hand), it says, in the section 'Kriat Shma she-al Ha-Mita':

אין ללמוד מקרא בלילה כי הקורא בלי פירוש עומדת בעשייה מקום תגבורת הדינין ואין ראוי לעוררן בזמן שליטתן שהוא לילה

One should not learn Miqra at night because reading [Miqra] without commentary stands in [the world of] Asiyyah, the place of the strengthening of the harsh judgements, and it is not proper to awaken them at the time of their rule, at night.

For the Kabbalists, part of the rhythm of time is that during the first half of the night the forces of judgment are ascendant in the world of עשיה. Also, for the Kabbalists, different kinds of learning--e.g., learning Mishnah, learning Kabbalah, learning Miqra-- stand in different worlds. Since Miqra stands in עשיה, it shouldn't be engaged in at night.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.