Gerer Botei Medrash to Close at 9:30 P.M. Sharp

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gerrer-rebbeThe Gerer chassidus has announced that Gerer Botei Medrash will be closing each night at 9:30 p.m.

The Gerer Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Aryeh Alter, recently held a meeting to deal with talmidim arriving in a tardy fashion to Gerer botei medrash in the morning. It was felt that the lateness was caused at least in part because bochurim and avreichim were staying in the botei medrash to learn late into the night. This greatly impacted the next day’s seder hayeshiva, so the Rebbe decided to ensure that the bnei yeshiva will have the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep.

The new rules have been targeted specifically at neighborhood botei medrash where young bnei Torah generally learn.

Those responsible for the botei medrash have been told to shut the lights at about 9:30 p.m. and ensure that the remaining lomdim exit, so that they go home and get a restful night of sleep, thus having koach to engage in rischa de’Oraisa following davening and breakfast the next morning.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. I recall Rav Matisyohu Salomon shlit”o just over 20 yrs ago,in a riveting address at the Pirchim Siyum Hashass in Gateshead,decrying just this problem,urging the boys to retire for the night a lot earlier in order to arise early,and emotionally stating “I am not only addressing the pirchim,but ba’alei battim and even kollel yungerleit may hear this as well”….

  2. I admire that the Gerer Rebbe can make and enforce rules for his community. Why then, can no one do anything about kanaim in Israel who attack people, throw rocks, and all sorts of chilul Hashem behavior.

  3. I wish I had the problem of sitting and learning for too long. Unfortunately, I have no zitz fleish. I always try to learn but I cannot do it for long. Any eitzos from anyone here? I am serious.

  4. #7,

    How about YOU addressing the chilul Hashem problem here, in America, of trying to devalue Hashems words – the Torah? How about doing something about the huge chilul Hashem of saying some gentiles words are as valuable as Hashems words? Or worse, of saying its even more valuable?
    How about begining with yourself???

  5. “Why then, can no one do anything about kanaim in Israel who attack people, throw rocks, and all sorts of chilul Hashem behavior.”

    Because the Aibishter gave man bechirah. You have to CHOOSE to do the right thing. HKB”H does not stop people until a certain point. Even then, He seems to prefer sending in a human goel, rather than extending His Hand Pesach-style.

    “will people go across the street to Belz learn?”

    Not if they fear Hashem and follow their rebbeim.

  6. to #8

    NEVER give up. The more difficult the more schar!
    I believe two suggestions.
    1) Daven and Daven until it gets easier.
    2) Set a VERY small amount of time to learn daily and NEVER miss that seder. After a while increase it by mamash a drop and keep going like that. Eventually when you learn and get past that starting point it’ll be easy and geshmak. Will take a wile but you’ll sing and dance later when you get there be”H!

  7. In response to #8 –

    I suggest that you submit your question to the editor here for a Matzav Shmooze sound off discussion (

    For starters, I would say that you should be aware that many others have the same problem. Some to a greater degree and some to a lesser degree. Even Moshe Rabbeinu had to take breaks when learning to contemplate and absorb what he learned from Hashem.

    You should try to find a maggid shiur and/or a chavrusa that clicks with you and is on your wavelength. There many different types and ways of learning. If you have trouble sitting in beis medrash with a sefer, you can listen to/watch shiurim online.

    Also, you should follow the advice of the gemara in avoda zara that people should learn a limud that their heart desires. If you like medrash, learn medrash. If you like nach, learn nach. Not everyone must learn the same gemaras.

  8. 1. you must learn something that you enjoy (i.e. something that you have specific capabilities for. if you like halcha, go for it. if you like hashkafah, go for it.) Don’t pick a limud, just because everyone else is if it doesn’t work specifically for you.
    2. don’t bite off more than you could chew. start with a little and when you feel you could do more, go for it.
    3. create friendly pressure to do it (i.e. tell your wife that you plan on doing it, tell your friends, your rav – get a chavrusa, etc.)
    4. Stop and congratulate yourself when you have even a small amount of success.
    5. MAke goals – both short-term and long-term, but be raelistic.

  9. To my Fellow Jew (#8)

    Often lack of zitzfleish comes because we aren’t learning what we want to learn. “Chanoch lanaar al pi darko” still applies!

    Perhaps you lack zitzfleish to learn chumash but gemara would excite you; perhaps you’re not learning gemara in a way that brings it to life for you. You may have to look around for a shiur.

    Or maybe sifrei mussar will get you interested.

    At the same time, I recall what my rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Meiselman once told me: “If you can’t learn with cheishek, learn without cheishek.” It’s hard, but it can be done. And very often, the cheishek comes.

    I also heard besheim a famous mashgiach (Rav Wolbe, zt”l, I believe, or perhaps Rav Schwab from Gateshead) to learn five minutes more than you want to, and then stop.

    I sometimes reverse this with my own sons. When they tell me they don’t want to learn, I say, let’s learn for just five minutes. If after five minutes you don’t want to learn anymore, we’ll stop. Usually, but not always, we go on a while longer.

    So in conclusion: (a) Find a subject that interests you even if it isn’t mainstream; (b) Push yourself; (c) Don’t push yourself off a cliff!

    Feel free to email me at

  10. See the article (below) from the eminent professor of neuroscience Russel Foster that appeared recently in New Scientist, a UK publication:

    22 April 2013 — New Scientist — by Russell Foster

    Why teenagers really do need an extra hour in bed

    Schools and wider society must wake up to the distinct sleep needs of adolescents
    “MAKING teens start school in the morning is ‘cruel’, brain doctor claims.” So declared a British newspaper headline in 2007 after a talk I gave at an academic conference. One disbelieving reader responded: “This man sounds brain-dead.”
    That was a typical reaction to work I was reporting at the time on teenage sleep patterns and their effect on performance at school. Six years on there is growing acceptance that the structure of the academic day needs to take account of adolescent sleep patterns. The latest school to adopt a later start time is the UCL Academy in London; others are considering following suit.
    So what are the facts about teenage slumber, and how should society adjust to these needs?
    The biology of human sleep timing, like that of other mammals, changes as we age. This has been shown in many studies. As puberty begins, bedtimes and waking times get later. This trend continues until 19.5 years in women and 21 in men. Then it reverses. At 55 we wake at about the time we woke prior to puberty. On average this is two hours earlier than adolescents. This means that for a teenager, a 7 am alarm call is the equivalent of a 5 am start for a person in their 50s.
    Precisely why this is so is unclear but the shifts correlate with hormonal changes at puberty and the decline in those hormones as we age.
    However, biology is only part of the problem. Additional factors include a more relaxed attitude to bedtimes by parents, a general disregard for the importance of sleep, and access to TVs, DVDs, PCs, gaming devices, cellphones and so on, all of which promote alertness and eat into time available for sleep.
    The amount of sleep teenagers get varies between countries, geographic region and social class, but all studies show they are going to bed later and not getting as much sleep as they need because of early school starts.
    Mary Carskadon at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who is a pioneer in the area of adolescent sleep, has shown that teenagers need about 9 hours a night to maintain full alertness and academic performance. My own recent observations at a UK school in Liverpool suggested many were getting just 5 hours on a school night. Unsurprisingly, teachers reported students dozing in class.
    Evidence that sleep is important is overwhelming. Elegant research has demonstrated its critical role in memory consolidation and our ability to generate innovative solutions to complex problems. Sleep disruption increases the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Impulsive behaviours, lack of empathy, sense of humour and mood are similarly affected.
    All in all, a tired adolescent is a grumpy, moody, insensitive, angry and stressed one. Perhaps less obviously, sleep loss is associated with metabolic changes. Research has shown that blood-glucose regulation was greatly impaired in young men who slept only 4 hours on six consecutive nights, with their insulin levels comparable to the early stages of diabetes.
    Similar studies have shown higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which promotes hunger, and lower levels of leptin, which creates a sense of feeling full. The suggestion is that long-term sleep deprivation might be an important factor in predisposing people to conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
    Adolescents are increasingly using stimulants to compensate for sleep loss, and caffeinated and/or sugary drinks are the usual choice. The half-life of caffeine is 5 to 9 hours. So a caffeinated drink late in the day delays sleep at night. Tiredness also increases the likelihood of taking up smoking.
    Collectively, a day of caffeine and nicotine consumption, the biological tendency for delayed sleep and the increased alertness promoted by computer or cellphone use generates what Carskadon calls a “perfect storm” for delayed sleep in teenagers.
    In the US, the observation that teenagers have biologically delayed sleep patterns compared to adults prompted several schools to put back the start of the school day. An analysis of the impact by Kyla Wahlstrom at the University of Minnesota found that academic performance was enhanced, as was attendance. Sleeping in class declined, as did self-reported depression.
    In the UK, Monkseaton High School near Newcastle instituted a 10 am start in 2009 and saw an uptick in academic performance.
    However, a later start by itself is not enough. Society in general, and teenagers in particular, must start to take sleep seriously.
    Sleep is not a luxury or an indulgence but a fundamental biological need, enhancing creativity, productivity, mood and the ability to interact with others.
    If you are dependent upon an alarm clock, or parent, to get you out of bed; if you take a long time to wake up; if you feel sleepy and irritable during the day; if your behaviour is overly impulsive, it means you are probably not getting enough sleep. Take control. Ensure the bedroom is a place that promotes sleep – dark and not too warm – don’t text, use a computer or watch TV for at least half an hour before trying to sleep and avoid bright lights. Try not to nap during the day, and seek out natural light in the morning to adjust the body clock and sleep patterns to an earlier time. Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch.
    It is my strongly held view, based upon the evidence, that the efforts of dedicated teachers and the money spent on school facilities will have a greater impact and education will be more rewarding when, collectively, teenagers, parents, teachers and school governors start to take sleep seriously. In the universal language of school reports: we must do better.
    Russell Foster is professor of circadian neuroscience, chair of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology and director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford. He co-wrote Sleep – A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

  11. #7..Probably this is what #20 was hinting at..Gerrers are a highly disciplined chassidus,the Rebbes word is holy in all aspects,therefore his takonois are strictly adhered to.Just see how they daven,you can hear a pin drop!Where else can this be found? Or the general yiras hakovoid they have for the Rebbe.Ma she’ein kein by these hoodlum kanoim,they have no rebbe to who’m they must adhere to .

  12. Reb Avigdor Millear ZT”L used to speak about this too. “Yeshiva boys should not be foolish & think they are doing something great by staying up late & yhen kissing Tefilah Bitzubur the next morning”


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