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The Gift of Longer Nights

Friday, 23 July, 2010 - 10:27 am

The Talmud observes that the 15th of Av marks the turning point of summer (the term used is "a diminishing of the strength of the sun"), as the days begin to get shorter and the nights longer. (While we in New Orleans don't notice this "diminishing of the sun's strength" for yet a few more months, our calendars will attest to the fact that the days have indeed begun to get shorter.)

The sages of the Talmud regard the longer nights as a gift - the gift of extended Torah study time. "Night was created for nothing else but study." The solitude and silence of night is conducive for mental concentration. Therefore the lengthening of night must result in additional study of Torah. 

In a practical sense, the day is spent going about our affairs. We work, we care for family, we attend school. Nighttime waking hours however, can be devoted to matters of the spirit and the study of Torah.

Imagine if we all took this suggestion of our sages seriously, and each one of us added time to our Torah study. Our community would be thousands of hours richer in Torah study. We would increase our "knowledge power" manifold, and consequently, our appreciation for Judaism and its teachings and life path would blossom in a wonderful manner. Let's do it!

We wish a hearty Mazel Tov to Penny and Dan Pershell upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son Josh this weekend. May they enjoy continued Nachas from him. 

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