The Arizal stated the following regarding the first night of Shavuos:
“Know that one who does not sleep at all this night, but instead spends all his time learning Torah, is guaranteed that he will live out the year and no harm will befall him.”
I have said this before and will say it again. This guarantee by the Arizal should not be taken lightly. Who knows what the coming year has in store for us? Who wouldn’t love to have such a guarantee?! But remember, in order to get this guarantee, a person has to spend “all his time learning Torah,” – which probably means without taking a break and talking to friends. We are all capable of this. If you try to do this, Hashem will assist you and make it happen. Haztlocha!
Live out the whole year means until Rosh Hashanah? Until the next Shavous?
Certainly there were people who learned the whole night bli hefsek, and were still niftar.
There is a chiyuv seuda on Shavous night, so we cannot possibly learn LITERALLY the whole night b/c we need also to eat.
He doesn’t explain his words, so it is up for interpretation. I personally think it means the entire night bli hefsek, which is very very rare, and unless you have this goal in mind, most do not do this. I used to take it to mean that once I start learning, I don’t stop until Davening. But I now try to take it further and learn with my family during the meal and avoid any discussions that are not on Torah. Even when walking to and from shul, I try to stay focused on Torah. It is not easy, but i try to make people aware that I don’t want to be bitul Torah so they don’t approach me while i am learning. But of course, I try to be as friendly as possible. I sometimes tell them this vort, and that we must continue learning. Bathroom breaks are sometimes necessary, but my feeling is, that is not bitul Torah. As long as you don’t waste any time and devote your entire night to Hashem and to Torah, I hope to get that guarantee. People like to take breaks throughout the night. Sometimes I need a drink…but I always try to stay focused on Torah. I sometimes will walk with my chavrusa to the snacks table and continue learning… I hope this helps.
Your customs in this regard are very admirable. It says (in Kav Hayashar? or somewhere else?) if that a person feels thirsty while he is learning and feels like he needs a drink, but he ignores it and continues learning without drinking, this is an atonement for all the sins that he committed with his mouth. The Baal Shem Tov instructed that no idle words should be spoken from the beginning of Shavous until after Mussaf (this is not to say that idle words may be spoken afterwards).
Wow. That is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.
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