Rav Avigdor Miller on Utilizing the Long Night



What’s the significance of the nights starting to get longer again?


I said before that the morning is the best time because you have new energy in the morning when the day starts all over again. The sun rises again and the birds are singing again and everything is cool in the morning.  It’s a new opportunity and life starts all over again.  המחדש בטובו בכל יום – He renews in His kindliness every day.

But nighttime is especially set aside for avodas Hashem, for learning Torah. And it should be utilized for that. That’s what the sun going down is telling you. When the sun goes down the weary office worker or the laborer comes home and he thinks, “I gave away my day today for gashmiyus. Part of my life, I gave away.”  בנפשו יביא לחמו – with his soul he brings his bread.  I gave away my soul for my bread, but now at sunset I’m patur from it.” So now he takes himself to the beis hamedrash before he goes home and he prays, and a little bit of learning he gets in, a few minutes, and he goes home and eats something – maybe he takes a short nap too – and then he hurries back to the beis medrash as soon as he can. Of course, if he has a good wife, she urges him, “Hurry up, Chaim.  Go back to the beis hamedrash.  You’ll miss the shiur.”

And he runs back because he knows that up until now his life has not been utilized properly. Even with everything we said, that we’re doing it l’sheim Shomayim and thinking great thoughts while we’re working during the day but at night he wants nothing but avodas Hashem.  And that’s why the night, לא איברי לילה אלא לגירסא – the night was created only for learning (Eruvin 65a). That’s why the nighttime must be utilized and the Jewish nation always has made use of the nights to gather to study Torah. So the nights, the long nights, certainly are a glorious opportunity.
TAPE # 224 (July 1978)


Toras Avigdor Tidbits

Rav Avigdor Miller zichrono levracha once told the mispalelim in his shul that unlike yeshivahs nowadays where there are always various signs and announcements displayed on the walls or bulletin boards, in the Slabodka Yeshivah there were never anything posted. But there was one exception: On 15 Av there was a sign posted (taken from Bava Basra 121b) that read as follows: מכאן ואילך דמוסיף יוסיף – From now on, because the nights begin to get longer, di’mosif, one who adds in his learning at night, yosif, will live longer.