The Kollel Chatzot Experience
The avreichim share their unique experience of midnight study in the special atmosphere of the Kollel Chatzot.
People often ask me, why am I leading such an abnormal lifestyle? 'Why shouldn't you sleep at night like everyone else?' - they want to know.
To answer this question, I will begin with stating that we see that in the time of the Gemara, nightfall was the normal time to go to sleep, and then people would awaken at midnight to learn Torah. This was also the daily schedule of Dovid Hamelech, and it is also discussed in Shulchan Aruch (1, 3); 'It is proper for every G-d fearing person to be upset and worry about the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh'. The Mishnah Berurah there (9) explains; 'The mourning should ideally be done at midnight, and then Torah should be studied until the morning'. This is a concept that some people are not aware of, but it is the obligation of 'All G-d fearing Jews to mourn the Beis Hamikdosh' and ideally at midnight. Torah studied after midnight is also considered the idealist time for Torah, as the Rambam (Hilchos Talmud Torah, 3, 13) teaches us.
To awaken at midnight requires mesirus nefesh, self-discipline and dedication. There aren't any bein hazmeinim, there aren't any vacations or 'nights off'. Every night of the year we rise at midnight. Where do we get our energy from?
This question will automatically be answered, after we describe the wonderful Kollel Chatzos we are attending. It is not a regular kollel by any means. The special, unique atmosphere of the kollel, and the close comradeship between the scholars, are factors which are not found anywhere. There is a lot of joy and enthusiasm to do the will of the Creator.
I know this from my own experiences. I've studied in several yeshivos and kollelim in my lifetime, and I am baruch Hashem the type of student who enjoys to learn. However never have I accomplished so much in Torah as I've accomplished in the Kollel Chatzos. In the kollel Chatzos I merited to celebrate several siyumim, testifying to the great strides on can accomplish in Torah when the atmosphere and the timing is ideal.
Furthermore, behind this entire program stands the dynamic figure Harav Hachosid Rabbi Yehoshua Meir Deutsch Shlita, who has a listening ear, and a caring heart for all his students, and he leads all his avreichim with individual respect and understanding. His presence in the kollel elevates and inspires all the members.
Harav Deutsch Shlita has recently begun his plans to build a beis medresh for Torah and tefillah twenty four hours a day. The beis medresh will be an illuminating light for all of Klal Yisrael. It is e a great mitzvah and merit to help him in his endeavors. Hashem will surely bless all donors with parnassah and brochos and the fulfillment of all the desires of their hearts.
Israel Hayim Swissa