Eretz Israel, midnight. The city of Beitar is blanketed in quiet and an aura of tranquility. But a group of tzaddikim, under the helm of Rabbi Yehoshua Meir Deutsch, is just rising and preparing for a new day. They gather to recite Tikkun Chatzot, and then dedicate the remaining hours until morning to study. At daybreak they hurry to the mikveh so as to approach the morning prayers with added purity and sanctity.
The Zohar and many other holy books characterize midnight as the time when the portals of heaven open up to our tefillos and Hashem is the most receptive to our supplications. He listens to those who are engaged in Torah at this time of night and fulfills their wishes ,whatever he wishes is granted and whatever he blesses is blessed.
|Midnight Light Shining on the Kollel's Avreichim
For this reason, our greatest Sages of times gone by rigorously maintained a routine of Tefila and Torah study starting at midnight. With the decline of the generations, however, this way of life has fallen into obsolescence. At Kollel Chatzot this beautiful and holy tradition has been revived and is maintained by a community of scholars and pious men, whose aim is to enhance the lives of the Klal in their merit. Their mission is undertaken on behalf of all of Am Yisrael, an underlying principle that describes both the overall vision of the Kollel and its practical operations.Torah is learned for hours non stop at this special hour were the atmosphere is 'spiritualy touthable' and one is able to consentrate much easier with less to no distractions.Some of the sholars have finished Shas while others have been tested on sections of the Shulchan Aruch.At the end of such a long exhausting night, one would think that the davening (prayers) would be fast and without devotion , but the opposite is true, the Tefilah is said with great enthusiasm,word by word ,with real Hishtapchus HaNefesh (Outpouring of the soul) befiting the pinicle of such a spiritially fulfilling night.The Seder (learning secion) is finished with a shiur given by the Rosh Kollel Rabbi Deutsch. (See video at www.kollelchatzot.com)
The Kollel Chatzot scholars have large families with many mouths to feed. The community, which started out as a group of 5 dedicated men, currently numbers over 60 members, with more hoping to join. Rabbi Deutsch has committed himself to providing a fixed stipend of $600 per month to each member; funded solely by private donors, with no organizational or governmental support whatsoever. The donors are regarded as full and equal partners in the Kollel, in accordance with the time-honored Yissakhar/Zevulun alliance. A formal agreement (recognized in halakha and set forth in the Shulhan Arukh) is signed between the Kollel and its donors, whereby a certain period is funded and the Tefilla and learning during that period is dedicated, specifically and by name, to the merit of the donors. Every study session has its own printed list of supporters, and the Kollel members pray for them by name. Once a week the entire Kollel visits the Kotel at midnight to pray for all of Am Yisrael, and also specifically for all of the supporters listed in the Kollel register.
Aside from the wish to be part of this special endeavor, the decision to support the Kollel may be made for a particular "zechut": success in a prospective business deal, in honor of a family celebration, for a person who is ill, chas veshalom, etc. Indeed, this merit has proved itself over and over - sometimes in very tangible ways. One day Rabbi Deutsch received a call from a woman in New York, distraught over a relative who had been erroneously imprisoned in America. The lawyers and other professionals who had been hired to defend the man had had no success in freeing him. They were not even able to convey kosher food or tefillin to the prisoner. At the time Rabbi Deutsch was canvassing for funds to cover Pesach expenses for the members of his Kollel. He proposed that the woman cover the cost of the matzos for "Chag ha-Cherut" - the festival of liberation - with the hope that in this merit her relative would be liberated from prison. The woman readily agreed, and finalized her contribution on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. By the next day her relative's judgment had been rescinded and the judge, without any seeming reason, elected to free the man immediately.
|Rabbi Y.M. Deutsch
Rabbi Deutsch, a visionary who has had to uproot and replant his Kollel many times over, is determined to improve the current cramped conditions and has undertaken the construction of a large edifice, with an adjunct mikveh, that will serve the needs of the Kollel and serve as a testament to the service of Hashem 24 hours a day. Its roster of activities will comprise the Kollel Chatzot, a Day Kollel, and Torah instruction in both Hebrew and English. Refreshments will be available day and night. A plot of land has already been approved and set aside by the Beitar municipality for this specific purpose.
Our sources teach that just as the Exodus from Egypt occurred in the middle of the night, so will the final redemption come about by the merit of those who awaken in the middle of the night. The public is warmly invited to take an active, meaningful part in this holy endeavor, by sponsoring study sessions (either single sessions or a period of a week, month, etc.) and/or by contributing towards the Kollel's permanent premises. Contributions towards the building will be appropriately memorialized.
For more about the Kollel, visit www.kollelchatzot.com.
Rabbi Deutsch will be visiting the US for three weeks, starting Dec. 16th. He may be reached during this time at tel. 646-4033750.
To contact the Kollel in Israel, call 972-2-5803545.
Contact number in the US: 646-4033750.
Contributions are tax deductible in the US, and may be made by credit card.
Checks may be sent by mail to P.O. Box 30067, Beitar Illit, Israel,
or to our US address: c/o Friedman, 1540 40th St. Brooklyn N.Y. 11218
Personal requests for special Tefillot may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to fax no. 972-2-5805123.