What opinions say that one should say Tikkun Chatzos? What opinions say you shouldn't?

What are the reasons behind these opinions?

  • @msh210 why remove the mysticism tag from a question about a kabbalistic practice? – mevaqesh Mar 5 '17 at 7:34
  • @mevaqesh, the question doesn't indicate any knowledge that this is about a kabbalistic practice, and indeed asks for reasons (so "kabbalistic practice" will likely be the bare-bones outline of an answer). That's why I removed it; but note also that if every question about every kabbala-based practice, even if the question is not about kabbala, is tagged with the kabbala tag, then it will make questions actually about kabbala much harder to find. Of course, (you or anyone) add the tag back in if you find you have a better argument for so doing than the ones I outlined against it. – msh210 Mar 5 '17 at 9:25

Halachapedia quotes both sides of the question:

1) In order to feel pain over the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash, every night slightly before Chatzot, one should say Tikkun Chatzot. (Shulchan Aruch 1:3) writes that it is proper for a God fearing person to be pained and agonize over the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash. Mishna Brurah 1:9 writes that the Mekubalim emphasized the great importance of waking up at chatzot to say a certain Seder of Tefillot organized by the Arizal, printed in the siddurim.

2) However, the Minhag is not to say Tikkun Chatzot and some achronim justify the minhag, nonetheless, it’s praiseworthy to say it from time to time. (Piskei Teshuvot 1:10.) Yavetz in Mor UKesiah (Siman 1) writes that the obligation only applies to Torah scholars and in Israel. The Chida in Machzik Bracha 1:3 argues that it applies to all people in all places. Kitzur S”A 1:5 writes that it’s good to say Tikkun Chatzot if a person is able to wake up at Chatzot and say Tikkun Chatzot.


I asked about this in my Chabad seminary, being careful to point out that this minhag appears in Sefer Haminhagim Chabad. The rabbi insisted that "We just don't say it; it's just not what's done," even suggesting that something might not be right about saying it. I mentioned to another learned Chabad rabbi (from an old Chabad family) that it is in Sefer Haminhagim and he was stunned. So it seems clear that @NJM's general answer (that apparently one should say tikkun chatzot, and that the minhag is not to say it) is at least correct in the particular case of Chabad.

  • Interesting take on things. From the aforementioned answer I saw one of the numerous new practices based on kabbala and absent from tannaim, ammoraim, geonim, and rishonim, that never caught on with the majority of Jews. From your answer it appears that in spite of some references in print, that chabad too does not generally practice this. It is therefore misleading in my opinion to state that this "custom" which isn't customary should be done based in the above. – mevaqesh Mar 5 '17 at 5:57
  • What would be the reason for not reciting it? Extra sleep hours? – ezra Mar 5 '17 at 6:31
  • @mevaqesh Hmm, do you take issue with my "should"? I was trying to say somewhat elegantly that one "should" according to Chabad itself...but even that, as you note, is slippery – SAH Mar 5 '17 at 6:43
  • @ezra I don't know – SAH Mar 5 '17 at 6:43
  • Yes. As I said, 'should' seems a bit misleading. Not necessary according to mainstream Judaism ad4d a whole, including chabad, seems like a more accurate summary of the presented. – mevaqesh Mar 5 '17 at 6:56

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