Summary of Shulchan Aruch Admur: Chapter 1 Mahadurah Basra-Hashkamas Haboker

Chapter 1: Hashkamas Haboker [Mahadurah Basra]

9 Halachos

Halacha 1: Attributes to emulate[1]

  • The four animals: Rabbi Yehuda Ben Teima stated: One should be as bold as a leopard, as light as an eagle, as swift as a deer, and as strong as a lion in order to fulfill the will of your Father in Heaven.
  • Emulate a leopard-Not to let oneself be intimidated by scoffers: One should be as bold as a leopard and not allow himself to get intimidated or embarrassed by those who scoff.
  • Emulate a lion-Overcome inclination: One should be strong like a lion. The main character of might is found within the heart. This means that one is to overcome his inclination and prevail it just like a warrior subdues his enemy and wrestles him to the ground.
  • Waking on time before morning:[2] Thus, in the morning every person is required to strengthen himself like a lion and overcome his desire [to continue sleeping] by awaking some time prior to dawn in order to serve G-d. One is to greet the morning rather than have the morning greet him. This is the conduct of a Beinoni.

Halacha 2: Tikkun Chatzos[3]

  • Awaking before midnight: All G-d fearing Jews whom G-d touches their heart should awaken by midnight and recite the Tikkun over the destruction of our temple and the exile of the Shechina, as during this period of time G-d also laments His destruction of the Temples.
  • Concentration versus quantity: It is better to recite a smaller amount of supplications with greater concentration, then a larger amount without.
  • Learning the oral Torah until the morning? When one has completed the Tikkun he should learn Torah until the morning.

Halacha 3: Tikkun Chatzos cont.

  • The auspiciousness of this time: The auspiciousness of this time is elaborated on in the Zohar. As well the Talmud says that this is a time of appeasement above and that anyone who learns Torah at night the Shechinah resides opposite him, and a “string of kindness” is drawn upon him for that day.
  • One who does so is also called a servant of G-d.
  • If one can’t wake up by Chatzos: One who can’t wake up by midnight, then he should wake up by Ashmuros Haboker.
  • Having a rooster or person wake one up: It is proper to prepare a rooster to awaken one from his sleep by midnight emulating Rabbi Akiva who was accustomed to have a rooster even when traveling in order to wake him by midnight.
  • If this is not possible then one should hire someone to wake him up.

Halacha 4: How to motivate oneself to get out of bed:[4]

  • Immediately upon awakening, in order for one to overcome his inclination and motivate himself to get out of bed with alacrity and on time, he should think about who he is lying before and how G-d is constantly standing over him.
  • 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.

Halacha 5: Know before whom you stand[5]

  • One acts differently upon having the realization of G-d’s presence: This is a great rule in the Torah and in the levels of the righteous which walk before G-d, that when one views himself in G-d’s constant presence, one acts in accordance to him being in the presence of the king. Just like one’s speech and actions in front of a king differs from how they would be were he to be alone, so much more so will his actions be different when he realizes that he stands before the king of all kings. This realization immediately enters into a person’s heart a constant fear, submission, and bashfulness of the awe of G-d.
  • What should one do if the thought of G-ds presence does not stir him? If one does not begin having these feelings right away, then he needs to contemplate in this for longer periods of time and in greater intensity until he begins to feel it. As well one should do Teshuvah on ones sins, as sins prevent a person from feeling fear of G-d, as the verse states “Your sins separate between you and I“.

Halacha 6: Modeh Ani[6]

  • Saying Modeh Ani: Immediately upon awakening, even prior to washing one’s hands, it is proper to accustom oneself to say Modeh Ani.
    • This is done in order to remember that Hashem is standing over him and motivate him to get up with alacrity.
  • Not to stand immediately upon awakening: One should not suddenly stand immediately upon awakening. Rather one is to wait a little until he completes the recital of Modeh Ani.
  • In what position is it to be recited? One should say it while sitting or lying on his bed.
  • Saying Modeh Ani before washing hands: Modeh Ani may be recited even prior to washing one’s hands being it does not contain Hashem’s name.
  • Speaking and thinking words of Torah before washing hands:[7] It is forbidden to speak words of Torah prior to washing hands, although he may think words of Torah prior to washing.
  • Learning Torah while lying in bed:[8] One should not speak or even think words of Torah while still lying in his bed, even if he has already washed his hands, rather he should get up and stand or sit in fear of Heaven as the verse states that one needs to prepare himself properly before he comes to greet G-d.

Halacha 7: Restrictions prior to washing[9]

  • Learning Torah: According to the Talmud and Codifiers one who slept in his clothing may recite blessings, and study Torah prior to washing his hands upon awakening. However, according to the Zohar, it is forbidden to learn Torah or say a blessing or learn Torah prior to washing.
  • Touching clothing: According to the Talmud and Codifiers one may touch his clothing prior to washing his hands upon awakening. However, according to the Zohar, it is forbidden to touch one’s clothing prior to washing.
  • Touching food and drink: Even according to the Talmud and Codifiers one may not touch any food or drink prior to washing.
  • Walk 4 cubits: According to the Talmud and Codifiers one may walk around prior to washing his hands upon awakening. However, according to the Zohar, it is forbidden to walk four cubits prior to washing, and one who does so is liable for death.
  • What does one do if there is no water available:[10] If it occurred that one does not have [enough] water available to wash his hands three times properly, then he is to clean his hands with the little water he has, or clean it with anything that cleans, and [say blessings and] learn Torah as rules the Talmud and Poskim.

Halacha 8: The time of midnight [relevant to Tikkun Chatzos][11]

  • Applicable in all areas: The auspiciousness of the time of midnight above in Heaven is applicable at all times and in all places.
  • 12 hours from noon: The time of midnight is the exact middle of the night, and is always calculated in the same manner in summer and winter, which is exactly twelve hours after noon.
    • Every city follows the midnight according to their location.

Keeping two days of Yom Tov in Diaspora:

  • Even inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael who are temporarily visiting the Diaspora for the holidays are obligated to keep two days of Yom Tov.

Halacha 9: Reciting Karbanos[12]

  • Parshas Akeida: It is proper to recite every day the Parsha of the Akeidah.
  • The Mun: It is proper to recite every day the Parsha of the Mun.
  • The ten commandments: It is proper to recite every day the Parsha of the Ten Commandments.
  • The Karbanos: It is very proper to recite [every day] the paragraphs of the sacrifices of the Olah, Shelamim, Todah, Chatas, Asham, Olah and Yored, and of the flour offerings [menachos] and the wine libations [nesachim].
  • One who knows how to learn Torah: One who knows how to learn Torah should not recite the above paragraphs every day, [and thus diminish his learning], but rather only on occasion. For him it suffices for him to recite Azehu Mikomun daily [in place of the Karbanos].
  • Saying the Parsha of a Karban if one became liable for it: If one has sinned a sin, or has been saved from danger, in a way which in the times of the Temple would obligate him to offer a certain sacrifice, then he should say the paragraph of that sacrifice immediately after doing the sin, or being saved.
    • Olah: One who did not do a positive command, or thought of doing a negative command says the paragraph of the Olah.
    • Todah: One who has been saved from a place which requires him to bring the Todah sacrifice, says the paragraph of the Todah.
    • When: These paragraphs are to only be recited by daytime.
    • Standing versus sitting: One does not need to stand while saying the sacrifices.
  • Parshas Shtei Halechem on Shabbos: On Shabbos, it is proper to recite the passage describing the offering of the Showbread.

[1] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 1 Halacha 1

[2] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 2 Halacha 1

[3] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 2 Halacha 2

[4] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 2 Halacha 1

[5] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 2 Halacha 3

[6] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 2 Halacha 4

[7] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 3 Halacha 3D [p. 60]

[8] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 2 Halacha 6

[9] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 3 Halacha 3

[10] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 3 Halacha 7A

[11] See “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 2 Halacha 2

[12] See “The Laws of prayer” Chapter 19 Halacha 1-2

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