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TIKKUN CHATZOS, MOURNING OUR EXILE!
For more then two thousand years, the Jewish people have been exiled from their home. The holy city that once flourished is surrounded by controversy, strife, and frequent bloodshed. Our holy Temple stands no longer, and we are left with one beautiful wall to remember her by. The cohanim and leveim are unable to perform their service of the Temple. The Jewish people have fallen from the loftiest heights, and are now no longer basking in the warmth of the Shechinah.
We are so worried about our own lives and troubles that we seem to forget the pain of others and the pain of Hashem. The Holy One, blessed be He, created the Torah and mitzvos and gave them to us as a gift. He gave us a way to come close to Him yet we continuously forsake Him, only to add to His pain. Just imagine the sweetest person giving you a precious gift worth millions and from your anger you throw it back at him. Why are we so angry with Hashem? Why do we hurt the ones who truly love us the most?
It is within our power to bring about an end to this exile from the real Jerusalem. Our nation has been exiled for so long, we don’t even know what we miss. The land as we see it today is not as Hashem promised us it would be. Our return to Jerusalem will only come about through our return to Yiddishkite, Torah and mitzvos. At that time, the righteous moshiach will come and our return will soon follow. The land will no longer be desolate and bare but will flourish like it once did over two thousand years ago. Our holy Temple will be restored and evil will dissipate from the world. The dead will arise and return to their families. All will be at peace.
The first exile was caused by the sins of idol worship, illicit relations and murder and was redeemed in the merit of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yakkov. Our present exile was caused by the sin of loshon hara and baseless hatred, which are the antitheses of Torah. This exile will come to a close through the merit of Moshe and the Torah that was given through him.
There are many teachings on what we must do in order to bring about this final geula, redemption. Some important aspects of this redemption are that Jews from all over the world will return to their Jewish roots and following halacha. The Gemara says that if the Jewish nation keeps two Shabbosos in a row, moshiach will come instantly. Another aspect is ridding the baseless hatred within us aimed at different movements of Judaism and our fellow neighbor. Rabbi Schneerson taught that learning about moshiach and the laws of the Temple hasten moshiach’s arrival. All these aspects are an important part of bringing the final redemption.
There is a special devotion that has the ability to hasten our geula that is unknown too many. It is a devotion that is so holy that many people who practice it keep it to themselves. To some, it was the most important religious devotion they performed. The simplest Jew to the greatest kabbalist would in the middle of the night break the slumber of their eyes and awaken to say the holy prayer of tikkun chatzos.
Tikkun chatzos, written by Dovid Hamelech himself, is a prayer that speaks about the yearning for redemption from this long and bitter exile. It talks about the pains of Hashem and the Jewish nation over the loss of the holy temple. When saying this prayer, one is prone to come to tears over the hardship of our nation and the loss of the Temple. Each of these tears from reciting tikkun chatzos arises heavenward and is very dear to Hashem. Chazal teach us, “It is in the merit of those who mourn over the Temple, that the temple will be rebuilt.” By reciting this special prayer, one is not only taking responsibility for their sins, the sins of the generation but also the sins of past generations. Could there be a greater show of love and yearning for spirituality then recital of this prayer? The Zohar says, “All our suffering in this bitter exile is caused because of not getting up to study Torah and sing songs of praise after chatzos.”
You may think, “Who am I to pray over the exile and Jerusalem? Will the ingathering of the exiles and the final salvation come about through my prayers?” The answer to this is the same as we have learned. “The reason why each individual is created uniquely is so that each one will say, ‘The world was created for me.’” It gives Hashem great delight when His children pray and entreat Him about this, even if their request cannot be granted because the time has not arrived or for some other reason. Even so, they have done their part, and Hashem rejoices over this.
“The earth was devastation and desolation, and there was darkness on the face of the deep…” It says in the Midrash that this verse alludes to the kingdoms that took the Jews into exile, causing the light of Hashem and that of the tzaddik to be hidden. “But the spirit of Hashem was hovering over the face of the waters.” The “spirit of Hashem” is a spirit of moshiach when he reveals himself to rectify everything. But how will we be worthy of this? It will be through our tears, weeping, and our mourning over the destruction of the Temple. This is why the “Spirit of Hashem”/Spirit of moshiach was “hovering over the face of the waters” – namely, the waters of our tears, as it is written “pour out your heart like water.” “For these I weep… water comes forth from my eyes, for my comforter is far from me.”
If we take our mind and heart back to Syria in the 18th
century, we will more so enjoy the following story. Rabbi
Avraham Entabi was the Rav of Aram Tzova, a city in Syria. He told over this
remarkable story: “In my youth there was a Rabbi of our town called R.
Yedidiah ben Dayan, who took it upon himself to rise before chatzos and
walk through the streets together with the synagogue sextons. They would knock
at each door of the houses of all the Jews telling them to wake up and come to
shul. Hashem was with him, and almost no one let him down. I can honestly
tell you that the majority of our community used to get up after chatzos
and come to shul. The town people sat in groups. There was a group of young
scholars who used to sit learning Gemara, some studied Shulchan Oruch,
some Zohar, while some others learned mussar. Each Thursday night,
there were some who spent the whole night in the shul. Before the onset of Shabbos,
Rabbi Yedidiah would bring sufficient oil to light up the entire shul, and
practically the entire community would come during the night and recite all the
psalms in unison. Afterwards, they would begin reciting the Song of Songs. I can
testify that all the time they abided by this practice, ‘The children of
Israel had light in their dwellings.’ Throughout those
years there were no tragedies, and not a single Jew came to any harm. It was a
time period of prosperity and plenty. People were free of worries. Not a single
person died before his time. Of that generation, I say, ‘and your people are
all tzaddikim. ’”
Eliyahu Lopian began regularly to recite tikkun chatzos in his later
years. When one of his students approached him and asked him why, he responded,
“When I leave this world and come before the Heavenly Tribunal, they will
question me if I kept the Shulchon Oruch and presumably I’ll say I did.
They’re sure to say, let us check, and they’ll probably start going through
the Shulchan Oruch section by section law by law. If they catch me on
some detail after about two hundred sections, I might be able to come up with an
answer. What am I going to say though, if they catch me on the very first
As Rabbi Lopian has reminded us, the very first section of the Shulchon
Oruch speaks about the important practice of tikkun chatzos. Says
the Shulchan Oruch, “It is desirable, if possible, for a person to rise
early, to get up at midnight and recite tikkun chatzos, as it is stated
in Eichah 2:19, ‘Arise, call out at night, at the beginning of the
watches.’” Rabbi Yosef Caro goes on to explain how Hashem cries out
at this time every night over the destruction of the
Temple. Therefore, we too should cry out and
show Hashem how much we also want the rebuilding of the holy Temple.
are many basic Jewish practices that have priority over this one. Rabbi Yosef
Caro, author of the Shulchan Oruch hasn’t stated that this
practice is something one must follow. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai doesn’t either
but he says, “Happy will be the portion of the person who rises at that hour
to study with zest the holy Torah. Hashem will bring forth to him
a tread of grace that will secure him protection of both the higher and lower
angels. As it is said in the Psalms, “By the daytime Hashem will
command His grace and at night I shall chant his song.” Reb Hizkiah said,
“Whoever learns Torah at that hour will constantly have a portion in
the future world.”
David truly understood the importance of this hour as he constantly spoke of
this often in the Psalms. “At midnight I will rise to give thanks to thee.”
He also said, “Awake my soul, awake lyre and harp, I will awaken the dawn.”
King Solomon also speaks of this practice and he stated, “Arise, cry out in
the night at the beginning of the watches, pour out your heart like water in the
presence of Hashem.”
We are told, “If the Jewish people were more careful to arise for Chatzos
their enemies would be subdued and would not impose any decree’s against
Rebbe Nachman says, “This tikkun,
rectification prayer, has the power of redemption. It sweetens harsh decrees.”
The Tikkun is broken up into two sections. One is called Tikkun Rachel and the other Tikkun Leah. Tikkun Rachel is said only during days when Tachanun is said. Tikkun Leah is recited following Tikkun Rachel’s recitation on all days and is said alone during days in which Tikkun Rachel is not said. The first tikkun primarily speaks about the temples destruction and the pains of our nation. Tikkun Rachel on the other hand focuses more on the love of Hashem and drawing close to Him.
For some, it may be difficult to institute this prayer into their busy schedule. As difficult as it may be though, the rewards would be seven fold. The holy Baal Shem Tov says, “Convert the nights into days. Sleep a few hours during the day so that you will suffice with but little sleep at night. When rising at midnight and overcome by sleepiness, drive it away by pacing back and forth in the house and chanting hymns with raised voice. Study a number of [diverse] subjects. Do not concentrate on a single lesson lest it become onerous for you. Thus study many [different] lessons [and that will banish your sleepiness].”
If you have the strength, continue through the night after saying the Tikkun learning Torah or practice hisbodidus. The amount you are able to accomplish with your learning and prayers is many times greater after chatzos. You can also increase your level of Yiras Shamayim tremendously. While the world is asleep you have broken your slumber to show Hashem your true devotion to Him and this has a remarkable effect.
The Baal Shem Tov taught his students, “May your fear of Heaven be as great as your fear of flesh and blood.” If one’s teacher were to come and find him asleep, upon awakening, he would recoil and begin to tremble in his master’s presence. Therefore, how much more [should one rise with alacrity] when the Creator awakens him from sleep at midnight [to lament the destruction of the holy Temple and the exile of the Jewish people.]”
Those with a high level of mentality do everything they can to arise at chatzos and to remain awake, learning throughout the night. When the sun arises from its chambers they then run to davening, catching the early neitz minyon. The Baal Shem Tov said about this, “One should always be sure to arise at midnight, as well as to connect the night to the new day [through ones Devine service].” He also said, davening when the sun first arises is like the difference between east and west.
Rav Nosan once said, “Through getting up at chatzos, or at least before dawn, in order to join night with day by means of Torah study and tefillah, the night, which is the level of Disorder, becomes included in the level of Order, which is the day.
Once, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh of Ziditchov and Rabbi Yaakov of Radzimin were in Lublin visiting the great Rebbe, known as the Seer of Lublin. Before dawn the holy Rebbe asked Rabbi Hirsh, “Rabbi Hirsheli, has morning come?” He responded, “The daylight has certainly arrived.” The Rebbe then told him to go outside and double check. He then went out and realized it was still dark but realizing the Seer wanted it, they agreed with him that it was day. The Seer then commented, “It is still dark, but through the tikkun chatzos that we did we have clarified the darkness into day.”
Someone once heard Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh exclaim, “Many of the great of the previous generations, who had the holy spirit, told us to bind together day and night through Torah and prayer.”
Each of these devotions, arising for chatzos and praying at sunrise, is pious and stands very high. When combined together though, who can imagine the greatness? It certainly is true avodas Hashem at the highest level. This should be the goal and dream of every man to perform. Happy are those already holding on this madreiga. How pleasant with be their portion in the next world. Oh how we as a nation owe them so much gratitude as they are supporting us explains the Zohar in Parshas Lech Lecha. My friends, I only hope we are supporting them.
As we have spoken about before, it is the habit of great tzaddikim to keep their pious devotions more to themselves. The holy Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz was one who tried to keep his devotion of saying the tikkun a secret. Once, when he was saying the tikkun he had prostrated himself fully on the floor having forgotten to close the door behind him as usual. One of the townspeople came into the room and discovered his Rebbe in this most unusual way. The Rebbe immediately jumped up trying to hide what he was doing. Having realized he was caught, the Rebbe said, “Certainly the people of the city don’t know the greatness of their Rabbi!” The man having thought the Rebbe was saying this out of pride spoke against him to his fellow townsfolk. This was just as the Rebbe had intended hoping he could still keep this devotion a secret.
Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov once heard of a poor woman. She was separated from her husband who was in prison for theft, and she had recently given birth during a cold winter night. Rabbi Moshe put on clothing disguised as a gentile peasant hoping he wouldn’t be recognized as he carried on his shoulder firewood he had chopped himself. Having arrived at her home, he built a fire and offered her something hot to drink. He then began reciting Tikkun Rochel and Tikkun Leah.
The Rebbe, Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac of Ziditchov once remarked that for fifty-four years consecutively he never slept through midnight (except during an emergency), but always arose and said tikkun chatzos. This meant that he must have begun this practice when he was approximately fourteen years old.
Once after Shabbos Reb Boruch (the landowner) lay down to rest. Suddenly he was startled as he saw a light through his window. Expecting the worse, he got up quickly from his bed to see if there was a fire in one of his rented rooms. As he approached the door of the room lit up, he looked through the keyhole. To his surprise, he saw the poor man sitting on the ground trembling as he was reciting Tikkun Chatzos. He was at the verse, “Why have you forgotten us for so long, why have You left us abandoned for such length of days?” The man’s hands were spread and raised. His face shown brightly with a great light and tears were running down his holy cheeks. This man was none other then the Baal Shem Tov.
When Rabbi Chayim of Tzanz returned from the mikvah he used to say tikkun chatzos with an outpouring of his soul. He said it with such bitter crying that those who were outside his room would themselves break down and begin to wail. After finishing the tikkun, he learned in the Zohar with great d’vekus and then he repeated Mishnayos from memory, usually from the order of Zeraim.
Every night in Jerusalem, an elite bunch of men get together in a van and go to the Kotel to recite tikkun chatzos. When he was a young man, the Nikesberger Rebbe Shlita and his followers got together and learned all night. All Thursday and Friday the Rebbe wouldn’t sleep but would continuously learn Torah. Only on Shabbos afternoon would he finally replenish his strength with a brief nap. This, my friends are examples of people who today are supporting the world.
Rabbi Avraham HaLevy, who wrote the Tikkuney Shabbos, lived in Safed in the time of the Arizal. Each night, Rabbi Avraham would arise at Chatzos and go around the Jewish quarter of the city crying out bitterly, “Jewish brothers, you surely know that the Shechinah is in exile because of our numerous sins, and our holy Temple has been burnt down. Rise up and let us shed tears out to our Hashem, who is a loving and compassionate King! Maybe Hashem will hear our cries and prayers and have mercy on the remnant of Israel!” Rabbi HaLevy gave no rest to anyone in town, and they would all arise and go to the bais medreshim, where they would recite tikkun chatzos. Following the recital of the tikkun, everyone studied at his own level, or sang songs and prayers until the light of day.
Arizal praised Rabbi Avraham for his saintliness, and said that he was a
reincarnation of the prophet Yirmiyahu. Once the Arizal told him, “You should
know that your days are coming to a close and the time has come for you to leave
the world… except if you will except the following assignment- and if you do,
you will remain alive for another twenty-two years. You must depart to Yerushalayim
and pray at the Western Wall. Pour you heart out, and then you will merit to
perceive the Shekhinah.”
The pious Rabbi Avraham locked himself up in his home for three days and nights and sat fasting in sackcloth and ashes. He then went to the Western Wall and poured out his heart in prayer, crying profusely. Suddenly he noticed the form of a woman near the wall. She was swathed in black. Rabbi Avraham was so scared that he fell down on his face weeping and sobbing, “OY! That I have seen you like this! OY! My poor soul!” He cried and cried, pulling at his hair, until ultimately he fainted and fell into a deep slumber. He dreamed that a holy spirit dressed in beautiful garments came to him and spoke, “Be comforted, my son Avraham, for there is hope for you in the long run: the children will return to their land, for I will free them from their captivity and have pity on them.”
After having awoken, Rabbi Avraham journeyed back to Safed. When he came to the Arizal, the latter immediately replied, “I see from your appearance that you had the great honor of glancing at the face of the Shekhinah. You can now be sure that you will be alive for another twenty-two years.” Rabbi Avraham did indeed live for an additional twenty-two more years, and he should be an roll model to everyone to rise at chatzos, or at least before the light of morning, to mourn over the destruction of the Holy Temple. Regardless of whether one says many prayers or just a couple, the main thing is to direct one’s heart to Heaven, and then a person will then be worthy of seeing the rebuilding of Yerushalayim, Amen.
It says in the siddur of the Shelah, “A man who arises regularly for tikkun chatzos is a tzaddik. A thread of mercy is stretched over him to rescue him from all accusers. He is considered a member of the Court of the King and his parnasa is assured.”
The night is divided into many watches. During the first part of the evening, the world undergoes its daily judgment and the kelipos have access to higher levels drawing greater nourishment. If this were to be unchecked, the forces of the other side would have too much power and this would adversely affect creation a great deal. However, the kelipos become ensnared by the mitzvos and Torah study that we down below perform and they loose power. This happens at chatzos, when the first traces of chessed’s light start to manifest itself in the world. The rectification of Malkhus then begins, when judgments are stayed and loving-kindness begins to be revealed. Dovid Hamelech once recited, “I will rise up at midnight to give thanks to You for your righteous judgments.”
The study of Torah after chatzos diminishes the forces of evil. The forces of unholiness are overcome and a person’s sins are forgiven. One’s intellect and thoughts become purified and one can grasp Hashem’s unity without confusion. Everyone who wants to come closer to Hashem should drive slumber from their eyes at night and devote himself to Torah study and pray in order to triumph over the “husks.” This will positively help him come nearer to Hashem.
If the Jewish people would arise at chatzos, their enemies would be subdued and would not impress any decrees against them. Our affliction in this bitter exile is caused because of not getting up to study Torah and sing songs of praise after chatzos.
Rabbi Chiyya taught, “If a person studies the Torah at night, the Shekhinah resides with that person.” This is because it says, “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of Hashem.”
“Bless Hashem, all of Hashem’s servants who stand in the house of Hashem in the evenings.” Rabbi Yochanan remarked, “Those who study Torah at night are considered as if they were engaged in the Temple service.”
“Just as the Exodus from Egypt started at chatzos, so too the final Redemption will begin at chatzos. It will come about in the merit of those who arise for chatzos.”
In Kedushas Levi it says, “When a
person has holy thoughts & mourns over Jerusalem, his thoughts and very
essence are enthused with holiness. Through this practice, even at present, one
can see and experience something of the joy of Jerusalem as it will be in the
time to come.”
The Iyun Yakkov teaches that Torah study at night is called true Torah, because his meritorious deed is hidden from others. This contrasts with Torah study when done during the day when his deed (though it may not be his motive) is seen and wins him recognition. Studying at night is therefore intrinsically study, which can be considered lishma.
Torah study during the night is very beneficial because of the modesty it instills. Our rabbi’s have suggested to us that it is better to study with ulterior motives (studying solely for fame, wealth, etc.) then not at all. This is because study that is shelo lishma leads to study done lishma. Though study shelo lishma is not without value as it is a commandment for a man to learn Torah, it doesn’t reach the true potential of elevating the Malkhus like it should. Torah study at night, more specifically Torah sheba’alpe, brings loving kindness upon a person and not only that but has the ability to transform ones study for personal gain into studying lishmah. To understand this idea more, you can look at Likutey Maharan Chapter 3.
The Netziv teaches us, during the time of the Bais Hamikdash, if a person wanted to find favor in Hashem’s eyes they would take a sacrifice to the Kohein Gadol and he would offer it to Hashem for them. This brought divine sustenance to this person who brought the sacrifice and to the entire world. After the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the only way that a person can attain Divine sustenance is to arise and study at night. The Talmud says, “One who learns Torah at night is graced with the presence of the Shechinah as the verse states, ‘Arise and study at night in the presence of Hashem.’”
Being in the time of exile, the righteous are no longer supported by the sacrifices of the kohanim. Chazal teaches us that prayer has taken the place of sacrifices. Prayer can reach many high levels, but it reaches exceptional heights when the learning of Torah follows it. This is especially true during chatzos, the time of favor for the entire world. The righteous used to only have to concern themselves with spiritual matters in the time of the Temple. Now that she is destroyed, they have the additional worries the Kohanim used to relieve them of. They have to support the world and bring blessings down through their prayers as the Talmud teaches, “Just as the Kohanim were obligated to present sacrifices to draw forth Divine Bounty and win acceptance for the prayers and requests of the people, so too scholars are obligated to pray on behalf of Israel.”
“If the Temple is not built in one’s days, then it is as if it was destroyed in our lifetime. There is a responsibility that each of us has to care and mourn over the temple and Jerusalem. It is a responsibility we should no longer ignore. We don’t even know our own loss as we are so removed from holiness. If we were to comprehend our loss completely, we could no longer bare living in this world. The physicality and honor we each strive for is so wasteful. Our whole lives and entire being should only be devoted to bringing one another back to Hashem, doing chessed and the learning of Torah. How can we not feel the pangs of moshiach and not hear the wailing’s coming from the Kotel. Even two thousand miles away the message should be clear. The Shechinah is in exile. We are in Exile. Lets make an achrais to do our part to end this pain in all the worlds. There is a wail from one end of the world to the other. In the heavens, our tears are counted. No tear goes to waist without being collected. Let our hearts be open to feel the needs of our fellow Jews and let us be sensitive to the needs of the Shechinah. We can make a difference and bring this exile to a close. Let us realize that it all starts with us.
The Bal HaTanya advises, “The time
for teshuvah tata'a,
is designated at tikkun chatzos. Whoever cannot do this nightly should
maintain an absolute minimum of once every week, before the Shabbos,
Thursday night.” Reb Shneur Zalman also
says that a person should realize that through his sins he wrought the exile of
Reb Nachman says something similar, “Perhaps in a previous incarnation we
actually did cause the destruction of the Temple. Therefore, it is fitting that
each of us makes certain that at least we are not responsible for the delay in
rebuilding it. Therefore, we must make the effort to get up for chatzos
and mourn the destruction of the Temple. Hashem has promised to reward
all those who mourn by allowing them to witness the rebuilding of the Temple and
Jerusalem. Rebbe Nachman also
compares the Holy Temple to our own da’as.
When someone’s mind, da’as, is pure, it is as if the Temple were built.
However, when man’s mind is blemished, then this is indicative of the
destruction of the Holy Temple.
Close to two hundred years ago, there lived a tzaddik, Rabbi
Yitzchak Isaac Eichenstein of Safrin zt”l and his pious wife Hinda zt”l.
Together they raised five sons all of whom were great Torah giants in
their generation. The most, well known of them and greatest was Rabbi Tzvi Hirch
of Zidichov zt”l.
The Rebbezin Hinda was notorious for her gentle heart and kind deeds. She
had a custom of rising every night at chatzos. She would sit herself upon
the ground and quietly she would recite the tikkun with streams of tears
coming from her eyes. Having begot children, she still remained strong in her
devotion of arising every night and saying tikkun chatzos. Not only was
she devoted to arising herself, but also she would awaken her sons with her,
even when they were only infants, and sit them beside her on the ground. The
children would also cry with her (though it might have been for other reasons as
well). The holy Rebbitzen explained that if she wanted to train her children
that a Jew must arise at chatzos, she had better get them accustomed to
it right away. If she “pampered” them by letting them sleep through the
nighttime, who knows if in future years they would be able to break the habit.
Though it might appear excessive, her logic apparently bore fruits. In
later years, she used to say that she has no fear of the Heavenly Court that
will judge her after her death. “Even if I personally am not worthy of a place
in Gan-Eden, they will have to grant it to me because of my five pious
sons!” She paraphrased the verse, “I will ascend ba-mesilah (on the
Each of these letters ba-mesilah, she would say, were an acronym for the
names of her five sons, Berish, Moshe, Sender, Lipa
Rabbi Elijah deVidas said, “It seems to me that this practice is a
basic pillar for all the service of Hashem. It is also not by accident
that the service at midnight is emphasized so much throughout the Zohar,
innumerable times, more so than all the other mitzvos.”
Rebbe Nachman once remarked, “A Jews main devotion is to rise at midnight”.
have spoken here mostly about the importance of learning and the recital of the tikkun
at this hour but let us not forget the importance of hisbodidus.
There is no greater time for hisbodidus than from midnight until
daylight, when the entire would is sleeping. This is the time when you can make
your accounts with your Creator and search your ways.
Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh of Ziditchov said on this matter, “I have received a tradition from our Rabbi’s that tikkun chatzos arouses in heaven a special time of Divine favor, when a persons sins will be forgiven him. My brothers, there is no superior time for hisbodidus and for separation from worldly matters, when the worldly thought will not disturb you, than at chatzos. This is the time to arouse yourself to stand up and pray for the welfare of your despondent soul, which has become distant through her sins from the source of pure living waters and has become coarsened through involvement with the body which as its root in the lowly dust.
At this hour you should search well to uncover those things that you have done which are worthy of shame, and you should talk from your heart to Hashem, like a servant before his master…with soft spoken words, humbling yourself, and with verses about Hashem’s mercy, to converse like a son before his father. All that he talks in prayer should be in his native language that he speaks and understands, so that he can pour out his soul without difficulty and can express fully the pain of his heart over his sins and transgressions. He should ask for pardon and forgiveness, and beg Hashem Who made him and formed him that He come and help to bring us close to His service, so that we will fear Him with all our hearts. This teshuvah is the entire purpose of getting up at midnight. When you consider all this before going to bed, pray that from heaven they will wake you at midnight [that you will be successful waking up then], and then you will go to sleep without uncertainties and be at peace!”
There are those who say that laws of Judaism and customs of the past don’t apply in our modern day of age. What will these people answer when they are brought before the Bais Din Shel Mala? We still remain, as does the Shechinah, in exile! Hashem still calls out, woe to my children who have been exiled. The pains of our exile have if anything increased over the years. In our generation when so many have forgotten their identity it is even more imperative then ever to arise for chatzos. We need to show Hashem that we care and we still mourn over the loss of our Temple. It is not enough to learn Torah yet ignore entirely the most precious hours of the day. “Awake, my soul, awake,” says Dovid as he stirred himself out of bed at this hour not forgetting about the Shechinah. Each night he would create Psalms to Hashem and try to fix the world. Not only have we the ability to fix our own neshamos by saying tikkun Chatzos but also the entire world just like Dovid Hamelech. Shall we sleep through these precious ours of the night? If so, who will it be to bring the final redemption if not us?
Thank you Hashem for giving
us the Torah and the commandments. How do I begin Hashem, to speak to You about
how much we need the Temple to be rebuilt in this generation? There is so much
bloodshed, anti-Semitism, immorality, crime, hunger, loneliness and sadness in
the world. My self-confidence is shattered just thinking about how much really
has to be done to bring perfection in a world so full of confusion. I have
learned that there is a special prayer unlike no other in which can help bring
an end to this long and bitter exile for all of us. Unfortunately, this is a
very difficult devotion to practice successfully as it entails awakening in the
middle of the night when I am already so tired out from my work and studies.
Hashem I understand how important this practice is and I want to incorporate it
into my life like the great tzaddikim of old used to do but I need a full Yeshua
in order to do so. I need help to control my Yeter Hara,
which does not want to allow me to arise at this precious hour of avodas Hashem.
Also, I need support from my family so that they too understand the importance
of this avodah.
When successful in arising at this hour, please help me to utilize my
time wisely saying the tikkun chatzos prayer, repenting, doing hisbodidus and
learning Torah. Help me please, Hashem to remain awake often from chatzos until
the morning sunrise learning Torah with tremendous enthusiasm. By my practice,
let the evil in the world loose strength and be diminished.
Saying the tikkun is good Hashem, but to say it with all my heart, how
precious it will be in Your eyes. Help me to understand a little bit of our true
loss at this hour and truly feel our current exile. Have the remembrance of the
destruction of the Bais Hamikdash be real in my heart. Let me feel shame over my
sins, my ancestors and the sins of our nation. May my prayers at this hour be so
heartfelt that my eyes come to tears. After having expressed and felt the
destruction of our Temple, please help me to then return to joy at the thought
of the imminent redemption as otherwise my heart would not be able to contain
Hashem, please help me to not let this propitious hour slip by. Dovid
Hamelech never slept past this hour as he took control over his time and life. I
too want to do the same and serve you righteously never forgetting that outside
of myself there is a Shechinah in exile waiting for me to bring her home. Help
me Hashem to know and never forget that I too can make a difference by arising
for chatzos. Thank you, Hashem for opening the gates to my prayers as you have
done so often. There maybe millions of prayers entering the gates of heaven, but
non-the-less You turn my words not away but welcome them.
 Yoma 9b, Gitten 57b
 Zohar Chadash 10
 The code of Jewish law
Chai, Genesis 77
 Sanhedrin 37
 Mesilat Yesharim 10
 Genesis 1:2
 Lamentations 2:19
 Ibid.1: 16
 Korban Isheh, intro
R. Aharon Stern, Mashgiach, Kaminetz Yeshiva, Jerusalem
Zohar 1, 92a
 Psalms 57,9
 Lamentations 2,19
 Zohar Chai, Bereshis 77
 Likutey Moharan1, 149
 Sleeping during the day (except on Shabbos) is generally disapproved of, especially by the mystics. If it is necessary to enable one to study Torah at night, however, one may “borrow” from day-time to “repay it” in the night
 Tzava’as Harivash #26-28
 Berachos 28b
 Kesser Shem Tov 205
 Morning prayer at sunrise
 Tzava’as HaRivash 83
 Seder Tikkun Chatzos, p.19 #8
 Ha-Hozeh mi-Lublin, p. 138
Bi Yamav Tzaddik, p.39b
 Eser Tzachtzachos, p.88, #22
 Menorah ha-Tehorah, p. 51 #10
 Eser Kedushos, p. 73, #8
 Sippurei Chassidim, Zevin, vol. 1. #268
 Sefer Rabbeinu ha-Kodesh miTzanz, p.250
 Divine Presence
 Kav HaYashar 93
 Prayer book
 Spirits of impurity
 One of the Sefiros/literal translation loving kindness
 One of the Sefiros/literal translation Kingship
 Zohar 1, 92b
 Psalms 119:62
 Zohar 1,248
 Reishis Chockmah, Sha’ar HaKedushah 7
 Zohar Chai, Bereshis 77
 Talmud Tamid 32b
 Psalms 134:1
 Menachos 110a
 Likutey Halakhos, Hashkamas HaBoker 1:15
 For the sake of heaven
 Talmud Chagigah
 Not for the sake of heaven
 Pesachim 50b
 Oral Torah, (the written Torah corresponds to Z’er Anpin and the oral Torah Malkhus)
 Parparos LeCokhmah
 Netziv, Shir Hashirim
 Yerushalmi, Yoma 1:1
 To arouse divine compassion
 Igeres Hateshuvah, chapt.10
 Tanya Ig-Hateshuvah ch.7
 Likutey Maharan II, 67
 Likutey Maharan II, 67
 Numbers 20:19
 Totzaos Chayim p.23
 Sichos Haran, #301
 See chapter 6
 Seder Tikkun Chatzos, p.12
 DhTvhY, Hashkamas ha-Boker, #22
 The Heavenly Court
 Evil inclination