The Kollel Chatzot Experience
The avreichim share their unique experience of midnight study in the special atmosphere of the Kollel Chatzot.
My feelings at midnight in the Kollel…
Midnight!! To learn all night until the morning!
How impractical and unreal it may sound, for an avreich to leave his home every night to study Torah until the morning! What? Doesn't he have a family?
That's what I also thought until…
I joined the Kollel of Harav Yehoshua Meir Deutsch.
Before I came to the Kollel, I told my wife that it was only a try-out to see whether it was as wonderful as everyone is saying, and to see whether it was at all possible.
So I came one night to the Kollel Chatzos. First we said the Tikun Chatzos. I thought to myself how indeed am I able to sleep in bed in my home all night, when Hashem Yisborach doesn't have a home for Himself? Together we cried for the tzoros of Klal Yisrael, and each person for his own individual tzoros. When we remember the troubles of Klal Yisrael, we simply feel that we must join in their pain, and plead to Hakodosh Baruch Hu that there shouldn't be anymore pain and suffering at all, rather there should only be peace and kindness for all Jews.
Then we ask Hashem Yisborach in our simplest words that He bring us, and all of Klal Yisrael close to Him. By this point, all tiredness that we may have had leaves us and we are entirely awake in order to serve Hashem throughout the night.
Then we begin to study together for many hours straight, everyone is in perfect harmony and unity. Even when I learn alone by myself during the day, I still feel that I am learning in the Kollel, because the friendship and unity remains with me throughout the day.
At this point, I began to slightly understand all the wonderful statements which are written in the Zohar and our holy sefarim, praising those who awaken at midnight to learn Torah. I realized that at this time, everyone is sleeping, but I am sitting and learning. The mind is free from all the obligations and disturbances which naturally exist during the day hours, because even when a person learns during the day hours, he is distracted somewhat by all the obligations that he has to take care of during the day.
At midnight, all these disturbances cease to exist. Silence! Tranquility! Only me and Hashem! Only the Torah and I! This is a feeling which I cannot express in words; but it is felt in the heart.
And after a night filled with serving Hashem, when we remember that only such things will remain with us in the eternal world in Olam Haba, we realize how happy we must be, and we return to our homes happily. When our wives see how happy their husbands are, they are also happy that their husbands are learning in the Kollel Chatzos… and this is the way to grow in the ways of Hashem.
From all my past experiences, nothing compares to the experiences that I enjoy in the Kollel Chatzos.