Tanach & Tehillim at Night

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Reading Shenayim Mikra or Tehillim at Night🌚 📖


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן

‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one read Shenayim Mikra V’echad Targum at night?

May one read tehilim at night?


Answer:

According to kabalistic reasons, one should refrain from reading "Mikrah" (Tanach) at night. The Arizal explains, being that both the words of Tanach and nighttime are spiritually rooted in Judgment, joining them together would awaken Judgement. That being said, one should not read Shenayim Mikra V’echad Targum at night. One may only read shenayim mikra v’echad targum at night if he reads it along with a commentary, such as Rashi. [1] On Friday night and Motzei Shabbat one is permitted to learn the mikrah even without Rashi. [2] It’s good to note, this restriction is only said for someone who would be learning otherwise, if however, one cannnot learn other parts of Torah other than Tanach, there is no need to be stringent, and one may learn Tanach at night.


It is permissible to read tehilim at night for the sick, preferably after chatzot. If however it is necessary, one may read tehilim for the sick and in time of need even before Chatzot. [3]


It's good to note, according to some opinions, one who reads shenayim mikra during the chazarat hashatz has not fulfilled his obligation and must read it again later. [4] Regardless one should not learn during chazarat hashatz one should look into the siddur and pay attention to the words of the Chazan and answer accordingly. [5]


Sources:

[1]. Kaf HaChaim, Palagi, 31:55; Yabia Omer 6:30:4 – 5; Halachah Berurah, vol. 12, p. 228.

[2]. See Rav Pealim 2:2; Kaf HaChayim 285:23; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, pg. 52; Yabia Omer, vol. 6, 30:5; Yalkut

Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 1, book 4, p. 461; BaTzel HaChochmah 4:44-45; Tzitz Eliezer 8:2; Orchot Rabbenu, vol.1, p. 123, halachah 99

[3]. Ben Ish Hai, Parashat pekudeh 7; Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 2, siman 2; Yabia Omer Vol. 6 siman 30; Or LeTzion 2:46:64; Rav Pealim, vol. 2:2; Piskeh Teshuvot 238:3. See however Chazon Ovadia, Avelut, vol. 1, p. 19.

[4]. Opinion of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in Orchot Yosher, p. 104 and in Da’at Noteh, Hilchot Teshuvah 291.

[5]. Halacha Berurah 124:12 13 14


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