"And G‑d went before them by day" (Ex. 13:21). Rabbi Yosi opened his discourse, saying: "To the Chief Musician upon the break of dawn. A psalm of David". (Psalms 22:1) How beloved is the Torah before G‑d [more than any service or praise] for anyone who is occupied with Torah is beloved above and below. G‑d hearkens to his words, He does not forsake him in this world and He does not forsake him in the World to Come. [G‑d is truly with him and His light sparkles in him always.]

A person should be occupied with the Torah both day and night, as is written: " you shall meditate therein day and night" (Joshua 1:8) and, "If my Covenant be not day and night..." (Jeremiah 33:25)

It is easily understood [why one must study] by day [because most of the mitzvot relate to the daytime] but during the night [when people need to rest], why? So that a complete Holy Name will be present by him [for the letters yud, hei and vav of the Name relate to the day and Zeir Anpin, and the final hei relates to the night and the sefira of malchut]. For as there is no day without night, and it is only complete when one is with the other, so is it necessary for the Torah to be present with the person day and night. The completeness should be with the person day and night.[Thus a person causes the union of Zeir Anpin and malchut by learning Torah day and night.]

We have learned that the main part of the night is from midnight on. Even though the first half of the night is part of the night, G‑d enters the Garden of Eden at midnight to delight Himself with the Righteous. Then a person should wake up and become occupied with Torah.

We have learned that G‑d hearkens to the voices of all the Righteous in the Garden of Eden, as is written: "You who dwell in the gardens, the companions hearken to your voice; cause me to hear it" (Song of Songs 8:13). They have already explained it. "You who dwell in the gardens" is the Congregation of Israel [Shechinah/malchut], that praises G‑d with the praise of the Torah during the night. Blessed is the portion of he who joins with them to praise G‑d with the praise of Torah.

When the morning arrives, the Shechinah comes and delights with G‑d. And He extends the scepter of kindness not only to Her, but to all those who join Her. We have learned it is written: "Yet G‑d will command His steadfast love in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me" (Psalms 42:9). She is called 'the break of dawn' [for G‑d loves her anew every dawn].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this in Hok LeYisrael?

Here in beautiful fashion is the secret of midnight study. This is not done for one's own sake. Rather, it is to open oneself up to the subtle and sublime supernal energies as discussed above. "After midnight, we're gonna let it all...." happen in complete unity. When we learn at that time, we are actually in spiritual fashion playing with the righteous in higher worlds. And we bring together sacred forces that cause extreme pleasure to G‑d, as we have learned.

In fact, the whole series of BeRahamim LeHayyim flows from a series of recurring dreams of sitting at a table learning with the Holy Arizal and Chida at their Midnight Yeshiva! Perhaps this is why this Zohar is revealed to me now!

What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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