De-Stressing Before Learning Torah [#14359]

August 11, 2021


For many years, when I am learning Torah, I feel physically stressed and I become very nervous, to the point that it is hard for me to focus, and I get physical aches in my body, and I feel emotionally stressed as well. Through the kindness of Hashem, I continued to persevere like this [and learn Torah in spite of these issues]. Many times I wanted to give up, but I always had an inner drive and a need to learn Hashem’s Torah, out of a deep recognition that without learning Torah, there is no purpose to life. I persevered, but eventually I became physically not well. Through the kindnesses of Hashem, I no longer feel physical and emotional stress, but many times when I learn Gemara, even at the very start of learning, I already feel exhausted, and many times I even fall asleep. What is the reason for this, and what can I do so that I shouldn’t feel exhausted like this? How can I overcome the feelings of exhaustion when I learn Gemara?
Much thanks to the Rav. The Rav’s words of Torah have given me much encouragement and a new perspective throughout the years.


Before beginning your learning, calm your soul first, either by tasting a light treat which is tasty and refreshing, or by calming your soul more directly, or by singing a tune that you find calming, or by looking at a scenic view – whatever works for you.
After that, think about what you are going to do, and why you are about to do it, and of the great spiritual benefits it has. Keep thinking about this until you feel joyous about it and you feel a true will to learn Torah, from amidst a calmed soul. From amidst this calm and relaxed state, and from amidst a love and a joy that you have the opportunity to learn Torah, begin to learn, joyously and calmly. Every so often, tell yourself that you are praiseworthy and that your portion is praiseworthy, for you have the zechus (merit) to learn Torah. That is how you should always begin your learning – from a calmed soul, coupled with joy.
This is, understandably, besides for clarifying what your personal area in Torah learning is – which part of Torah you should mainly be learning –and the appropriate style of learning for you, and how much, etc.