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Observations placeholder

Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism - Tikkun Hatsoth



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism

The first of these rites is the midnight lamentation, tikkun hatsoth. A Talmudist of the third century said:

'The night is divided into three watches, and in each watch sits the Holy One, blessed be He, and roars like a lion: Woe unto me who have destroyed my house and burned my temple and sent my children into exile among the Gentiles.'

Strange to say, almost a thousand years passed before this passage came to be reflected in ritual. Not until the eleventh century did Hai Gaon, head of a Talmudic academy in Babylonia, declare that pious men, vying with God, lament the destuction of the Temple in all three night watches.

The midnight vigil makes its appearance in numerous passages of the Zohar and is described as a Kabbalistic exercise

At midnight, a wind rises from the North, a spark flies from the power of the north, which is the spark of the fire of the power of judgement and strikes the Archangel Gabriel under the wings.  His cry awakens all the cocks at midnight.

[cocks crow at dawn too]

The source of the experience

Judaism and Kabbalah

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps