I'm looking for the source of an achron, I believe, who says that a Torah Scholar should get a good night's rest; while possibly foregoing some amount of learning at night so that the learning of the next day will be more dynamic.

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    Arugas HaBosem Teshuvot OC 1. (I just read it recently.)
    – Binyomin
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 16:26
  • @Binyomin thanks. Is that available online?
    – Shababnik
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 16:33
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    Sure! hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1080&pgnum=17
    – Binyomin
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 17:08
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    R. Yisrael Salanter (Ohr Yisrael #27) וכאשר נשכיל בינה נמצא כי יש דברים שהותר למלאות המטרה של מצות ידיעת התורה מה שלא היה ענין למצות לימוד התורה וכמו ביטול הזמן כי לשם ידיעות התורה שהוא יכולת הלימוד רשאי לבטל זמן לילך מעיר לעיר גם להרחיק נדוד לחפש אחר רב גדול לבקש תורה מפיו ולקבל ממנו דרכי הלימוד והעיון וכן לבלות זמן על עיתות מנוחה ושינה מה שנחוץ לו לפי טבעו שיהיה אח"כ דעתו צלולה עליו ביותר להבין ולהשכיל בעומק העיון אשר כל זה לא היה ענין למצות לימוד התורה בלבד כמובן
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 23:55

3 Answers 3


Taz, Even HaEzer, 25:1

דהיינו שיש ת"ח מנדרין שינה מעיניהם ועוסקים בתורה הרבה ויש ת"ח שישינים הרבה כדי שיהיה להם כח החזק וזריזות לב לעסוק בתורה ובאמת יכול ללמוד בשעה א' מה שזה מצטער ועוסק בשני שעות ובודאי שניהם יש לכם שכר בשוה

That is, there are Torah Sages who withhold sleep from their eyes and learn lots of Torah, and there are Torah Sages who sleep a lot so that they will have the strength and fortitude of heart to toil in Torah. In truth, one [the latter] can learn in one hour what the other one suffered through in two hours. [Either way], the two have equal reward.

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    Many users of this platform do not understand Hebrew, you would do them a big favor in translating your answer
    – mbloch
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 3:57
  • So reward is based on lines learned?
    – shmosel
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 4:00
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    @shmosel he says the opposite
    – robev
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 10:40
  • robev, appreciate your deft handling 🙏
    – Nahum
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 13:27
  • This doesn't say one should do one way or the other. It equates the two.
    – Shababnik
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 15:02

Arugas HaBosem Teshuvot OC 1

The questioner asked which is preferable:

  1. To learn more at night and lose waking up early OR

  2. Learning less at night and waking up (to learn) early.

The author answers that every place where Chazal are praising the value of night learning, it is possible to apply it to mean the end of night – that is, the very early morning, dawn hours.

What more, when one looks at the biblical sources of their statements, it even fits the dawn better than the night (see for example Eicha 2:19, quoted in Vayikra Rabba 19:1). So he is seemingly opting for Option No. 2.

Afterwards he goes on to discuss the indeed prevalent custom amongst some Torah scholars who prefer Option No. 1, and founds sources in Chazal that justifies their behavior as well:

כָּל הַמַּשְׂבִּיעַ עַצְמוֹ מִדִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה וְלָן — אֵין מְבַשְּׂרִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשׂוֹרוֹת רָעוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְשָׂבֵעַ יָלִין בַּל יִפָּקֶד רָע״.

Anyone who fills himself with matters of Torah and goes to sleep, they do not deliver evil tidings to him, as it is stated: “He who lies satisfied, will not be visited by evil.”

(Berachot 14a)

  • So it seems that there's no one correct way to go about it?
    – Shababnik
    Commented Jan 2 at 21:22
  • @Shababnik Yes, you could say that in this respect it is similar to the answer of the Taz mentioned above. But my impression is that this is leaning towards No. 2. (while I seemingly lean towards No. 1., as I am writing it right now... :)
    – Binyomin
    Commented Jan 2 at 21:25
  • What makes you think Rabbi Grunwald prefers one over the other?
    – Shababnik
    Commented Jan 2 at 21:33
  • @Shababnik He starts with his own answer, and he is very clearly putting it this way with several phrases (like דע לך). And then he says that there are others, and they also must have some reason, and he doesn't want to judge them, but this is not his answer.
    – Binyomin
    Commented Jan 2 at 22:23
  • understood. Thank you.
    – Shababnik
    Commented Jan 2 at 22:25

An anecdotal answer that i can provide, is that my personal teacher Rabbi Elimelech (Meilech) Zweibel Z"L mentioned to me personally that it is preferred to finish learning at an appropriate hour at night if it will mean having more shtarkeit in the morning.

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    My Rosh Yeshiva slept 3 hours a night each night for many decades. He would occasionally book in to a hotel and take sleeping pills and sleep almost a whole weekend.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 16:52
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    You gonna keep us in suspense or you gonna ID him for us?
    – Nahum
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 16:57
  • @RabbiKaii I'm sure he had his reasons for such a schedule; though are you suggesting we all emulate him. Especially if we don't have the luxury to solely sit and learn ?
    – Shababnik
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 22:18
  • @Shababnik just sharing anecdote, and as per site rules definitely not suggesing anyone do anything practically - CYLOR. Don't need to mention his name, it's not relevant. No suspense, just not relevant (not comparing with Rav Elimelech Zweibel Z"L)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 22:55
  • @RabbiKaii understood... He slept through shabbath ?
    – Shababnik
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 0:14

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