Waking up on time

Waking up on time: [1]

One should be strong like a lion and overcome his desire [to continue sleeping] by waking [from his sleep[2] some time[3]] prior to the morning [dawn[4]] in order to serve G-d [which is the purpose of his creation and it is for this reason that his soul was returned[5]]. One is to greet the morning[6] [rather than have the morning greet him[7]. This is the conduct of a Beinoni.[8]]
Avoiding giving into one’s inclination:[9] One should not allow himself to be persuaded by his inclination which tells him that he did not get enough sleep.
If one cannot awaken before dawn:[10] If one cannot awaken before morning, then at the very least he should not sleep past the time that the congregation gathers for prayer.
How to motivate oneself to get out of bed:[11] [Immediately upon awakening, in order for one to overcome his inclination and motivate himself to get out of bed with alacrity[12]], he should [accustom himself to immediately[13]] think about who he is lying before and how G-d is constantly standing over him.[14] He should contemplate how if he were to lie in the presence of a king of flesh and blood it would be considered a capital offense and even more so here that he is lying before the King of all Kings. [He should then contemplate that due to this he should therefore immediately and speedily come out of bed to serve his lofty creator.[15]]
Not to stand immediately upon awakening:[16] One should not suddenly stand immediately upon awakening, [being that one who does so is closer to death than life[17]]. Rather one is to wait a little [prior to standing[18] until he completes the recital of Modeh Ani, as is explained in Tractate Derech Eretz.[19]] [Practically one is to refrain from placing his feet on the ground until after he washes hands.]  

Summary:
One should wake up early, some time prior to dawn. If one cannot awaken before dawn, then at the very least he should not sleep past the time that the congregation gathers for prayer.

 

Q&A

Does the above law of awaking prior to dawn apply in today’s times?[20]
In today’s times one is not required to awaken prior to dawn. The reason for this is because the order of life and sleeping schedule has changed since previous generations[21], and in order to receive enough sleep, sleeping past dawn is required. One is not required to shorten his learning schedule at night in order to wake up prior to dawn.[22] 

How much sleep does a person need at night?
The Rambam[23] writes that one is to sleep at night for one third of the day, which is a period of eight hours. In other Sefarim[24] it states that one is required to sleep four hours. Practically the Poskim[25] conclude that the amount of sleep one needs varies in each person, and each person is to sleep enough time that he have a clear and calm mind for learning Torah and serving Hashem.[26] The Yaavetz[27] writes that a healthy person can sleep for six hours a night and this is dependent on one’s sleeping habits that he acquired. The older one becomes the less sleep he requires.[28]

To Purchase this Sefer


[1] Kama and Basra 1/1.
Siddur Hashkamas Haboker: “ On a night that one is unable to awaken by midnight he should at least try to awake some time [Eiyzeh shah] prior to dawn”

[2] Basra 1/1

[3] Siddur

[4] Siddur

[5] Kama 1/1

[6] As the verse states “You shall awake the morning” which means to say I arouse the morning in contrast to the morning arousing me. [Basra ibid]

[7] Basra 1/1 based on Taz 1/2; omitted in Kama 1/1; Michaber 1/1; See Likkutei Sichos 16 Purim 1 [p. 361-363] for an explanation of the difference between the ruling of the Kama and Basra.
Background: The Michaber ibid records that one is to awake like a lion in order so he greet the morning. The Michaber does not record the ending “and not have the morning greet him”. The Tur however does record this ending. Admur in the Kama ibid omits it, as writes the Michaber. However the Basra ibid records the ending as rules the Tur. The Taz ibid explains the reason behind the ending is as follows: The two parts of the statement refer to two types of arousals. One is an arousal from below, in which the person arouses himself to serve G-d. This arousal then draws down a second arousal from above which helps and assist him in his services. The meaning of “and the Shachar/morning does not greet me” means to say that one does not need the arousal from above as assistance, as his own arousal is suffice. Who however is able to say “I do not need assistance from above”? Only David the king. However a regular Jew needs this Divine assistance. It is for this reason that the Michaber omitted the ending of the Tur, as in today’s times every Jew needs the Divine assistance and woe that we should merit to do the arousal from below so we can receive the arousal from above. Accordingly however Tzaruch Iyun why Admur wrote the ending in the Basra while omitted it in the Kama. The Rebbe ibid explains as follows: This Halacha refers to the conduct of a Beinoni. In the Kama, which was written according to the codifiers, Admur rules like the codifiers that a Beinoni is one who has 50/50 sins and merits. Thus he requires the arousal from above in order so he not sin. However the Basra follows the Kabalists, which rule that a Beinoni has no sins at all, hence the Beinoni does not need any arousal from above to prevent sin. Nevertheless this only refers to the type of arousal called “Shachar/morning” which is meant to prevent sin. However arousals from above for one to add in love and fear and increase in holiness, that every Jew needs, even a Tzaddik. [Likkutei Sichos ibid]

[8] Basra 1/1

[9] Kama 1/1

[10] Kama 1/4

[11] Basra 1/4, Kama 1/1; Siddur

[12] Basra ibid; Siddur

[13] Siddur

[14] As the verse states “And the entire earth is filled with his glory”. [Basra ibid] or As the verse states “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth states Hashem” [Kama ibid; Siddur] The Kama and Basra quote different verses as the source for the idea of G-d standing over the person. To note the Chassidic explanation of the difference between these two versus is that the verse brought in Basra refers to G-d’s revelation of Mimalei Kol Almin [the personal and internal G-dly energy which he infuses into every creation according to its level] and the verse in Kama refers to Soveiv Kol Almin [the encompassing G-dly light which surrounds every creation equally]. [See Torah Oar 16a; 94b; 123b]

[15] Kama ibid

[16] Basra and Kama 1/6; See also Hilchos Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh 5

[17] Kama 1/6

[18] Kama ibid

[19] Basra ibid

[20] Mishmeres Shalom 1/1; See Pischeiy Teshuvah 1/1; M”B 1/9
The Elya Raba and Peri Megadim write in the name of Poskim that if awaking prior to dawn will cause one to sleep during his prayer then it is better for him to sleep as much as required than to awaken early and sleep during Davening. This applies even if one will not fall asleep during Davening but will not have a clear mind for prayer and learning Torah. [Mishmeres Shalom ibid]

[21] Today we no longer follow the same sleeping schedule as was followed in previous times. Back then people went to sleep immediately after nightfall. This is no longer accustomed today. Hence the times of waking up from sleep have also changed. Hashem does not demand the impossible from his creations and hence waking up past dawn even initially is justified in today’s times. [Mishmeres Shalom ibid]

[22] Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid

[23] Hilchos Deios 4/4

[24] Ashel Avraham Butchach 1; Mahram Schik 1

[25] M”A 238; M”B 238/2; Taz Even Haezer 25/1

[26] Taz ibid

[27] In his Siddur under the section of the bedtime Shema; See also Maggid Dvrav Leyaakov Hosafos p. 47 for a letter that the Maggid wrote to his son Avraham in which he states to his son that he sould sleep not less than six hours per night.

[28] See Tiferes Yisrael Avos 6/83

 

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?